Helen Flanagan defends Corrie co-star Michael Le Vell
Helen Flanagan has spoken out to defend her former Coronation Street co-star Michael Le Vell as he battles a string of child sex offence charges.
The veteran actor, who plays mechanic Kevin Webster, was charged in February with 19 offences, including raping a child and indecently assaulting a child, but Flanagan, who played his on-screen daughter Rosie for 11 years, insists she doesn't believe the allegations.
She tells The Mirror, "I don't believe it for a second. I can't believe what Michael is going through. I was so shocked to hear the allegations had come back. It's absolutely vile what is being said about him.
"It sickens you to the stomach and it is so upsetting what that man has been through. I have a lot of respect for the man because I have grown up with him. He's a lovely, lovely man. Everyone at Coronation Street is behind him. It's a respect thing."
The actress, who quit the show last year, also called for people to receive anonymity when facing child sex charges until they are proved guilty.
She adds, "I don't think things like that should be in the press until it's proven. It's the worst thing to be accused of. It's terrible. I have spoken to him and he knows I am there for him. He's always been a great friend. I just wish him all the best. There's absolutely no way he did it. I don't believe it for a second."
Le Vell was removed from the hit TV show pending the outcomes of legal proceedings and is due to appear in Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday.
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