Former JLS star Oritse Williams says he went through a “horrific” experience when he was accused – before being cleared – of rape.

Jurors unanimously acquitted Williams, 32, in May.

He told Good Morning Britain: “It’s been horrific. I haven’t been able to work for three years.

“I had this accusation just hanging over my head every single day, from the time I wake up in the morning to the time I go to sleep at night.

“It just completely tormented me. But I had two choices – either I could let it drag me under and completely destroy me, or I could stay strong and hope that the truth would eventually come out, which ultimately it did.”

He told the ITV show: “I tried to protect my mother from the whole thing but when you’re in the public eye…

“My family are so loving, I’ve had so much unconditional love and support from them all and my friends, even members of the public and my fans have been absolutely amazing”.

JB Gill, Marvin Humes, Aston Merrygold and Oritse Williams of JLS
JB Gill, Marvin Humes, Aston Merrygold and Oritse Williams of JLS (Chris Radburn/PA)

Williams has been working on new music.

“I’ve had a lot of time on my hands over the last few years so I’ve been reconnecting as a songwriter, immersing myself in my music like I did when I was a little boy,” he said.

“I believe I’ve written some of the best songs of my life during this period. I’ve poured my heart out into these songs, I’ve bled all over them. I’ve shed tears over them.

“At some point, when the time is right, I’d really love to be able to share this music with people.”

Jurors at Wolverhampton Crown Court deliberated for around two hours before unanimously acquitting Williams, who told the jury he had consensual sex with the woman in the city in December 2016.