Paddy Jackson has said he is ashamed that the woman at the centre of his rape trial was left distressed – saying he is “ashamed”.
The 26-year-old rugby player was acquitted of all charges in Belfast Crown Court last week, but has now said he will “always regret” the events that took place at his house in 2016.
He told the Press Association he would always regret the events of the night in question.
“I am ashamed that a young woman who was a visitor to my home left in a distressed state,” he admitted.
“This was never my intention and I will always regret the events of that evening,” he told AP.
Paddy also added that public criticism of his behaviour has been “fully justified”.
Speaking about the Whatsapp messages that were sent the morning after, where the men referred to women as “Belfast sluts” and spoke about “spit roasting” the young woman.
“I am also truly sorry for engaging in a Whatsapp group chat which was degrading and offensive and I apologise unreservedly for this.
“The criticism of my behaviour is fully justified and I know I have betrayed the values of my family and those of the wider public.
“Following the trial I have taken time to reflect with my family on the values that were such an integral part of my upbringing, the most important of which is respect.
“My departure from these values has caused understandable public anger and I am resolutely committed to returning to those principles.”
Stuart Olding also expressed regret following the verdict last week.
After the verdict, people all over Ireland marched for #IBelieveHer rallies, supporting rape victims and victims of sexual assault.
#SueMePaddy also began trending after Paddy’s solicitor threatened to sue those who defamed his client during rallies and on social media.