Calum Best appeared at the Audiencia of the Balearic Islands in Palma de Mallorca on Tuesday (Picture: Joan Llado / GTres / SplashNews.com)
Calum Best is being tried today in Spain over an alleged sex assault with the threat of a three-year prison sentence hanging over his head.
The reality TV icon and only son of football legend George Best has been summoned to court following an arrest at a famous Ibiza beach club.
Spanish state prosecutors have demanded the maximum sentence – three years in jail – if the three trial judges convict him as charged.
The 42-year-old, now the chairman of Dorking Wanderers FC’s women’s team, is denying any wrongdoing and is expected to protest his innocence when he takes the stand.
Best, who won Celebrity Love Island in 2006 with Bianca Gascoigne and has starred in two series of Celebrity Big Brother, was held in April 2022 over an incident at the O Beach Club which was never made public at the time.
The famous beach club in the Ibizan party resort of San Antonio is owned by the TV personality’s friend Wayne Lineker, brother of Match of the Day host Gary.
Best has denied the allegation of sexual assault (Picture: Joan Llado / GTres / SplashNews.com)
The reality star was accompanied by his lawyer (Picture: Joan Llado / GTres / SplashNews.com)
Best, arrested in October 2015 over sex assault allegations at a Manchester hotel but never charged, was allowed to leave the holiday island after a day in custody while a criminal probe which resulted in his prosecution and today’s trial continued.
His alleged sex crime happened on the evening of April 22 2022 according to a pre-trial indictment drafted by Spanish state prosecutors.
The two-page indictment accuses Best, born in San Jose, California, of kissing a female tourist he had argued with moments earlier over photos she had taken before ‘grabbing her hand and putting it on his privates, under his trousers, while he told her “Feel This.”’
Prosecutors say both actions were motivated by his aim of ‘satisfying his sexual desire.’
His female accuser, a British holidaymaker who was at the beach club with friends, is said to have removed her hand immediately and left the venue in a state of ‘shock and confusion.’
She has been called to give evidence at Best’s trial and is expected to testify via videoconference.
Best is accused of sexually assaulting the woman at O Beach Ibiza in April 2022 (Picture: GC Images)
He has been charged with a crime of sexual assault under Spanish law, which is punishable by between one and three years in prison.
As well as the maximum jail sentence possible, Spanish state prosecutors want him served with a restraining order preventing him from going within 100 metres of the woman he is accused of targeting and trying to contact her for five years.
They also want him banned from working with minors for eight years if he is convicted as charged.
His fate will be decided by three professional judges rather than a jury as jurors are not used for sex crime trials in Spain. The trial is expected to start and finish today.
Best, whose dad scored 181 goals in 474 appearances for Manchester United and was capped 37 times by Northern Ireland, was arrested on October 12 2015 in the UK after a 20-year-old woman claimed he had sexually assaulted her.
He was held at the Innside Hotel in Manchester following a night out with friends including Ex on the Beach star Ashley Cain.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed a fortnight later no further action was being taken.
A spokesman for Best added at the time: ‘The police have now looked into the matter and have taken the decision that there will be no further action regarding these allegations.’
The reality TV star, an active campaigner for the Her Game Two campaign which aims to tackle sexism and champion women’s football, took a volunteer chairman position in August 2021 at Dorking Wanderers after being approached by owner and friend Marc White.
He told the BBC last year after getting involved with Dorking Wanderers FC’s women’s team: ‘I’d never even thought of being involved in football like this before.
‘But, I thought there was the opportunity to do something positive for women’s football. And, of course, I quite liked the title.’
He also confirmed the team had been filming a BBC series titled Squad Goals: Dorking ‘Til I Die – but said he took the role before any television was involved.
George Best passed away in 2005 aged 59 as a result of liver failure following alcohol addiction – meaning Calum was raised by his mother Angie Best.
He spent most of his childhood in Los Angeles where he became a model in his mid-teens.
In 2022 he appeared in and jointly won the fourth series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.
He revealed afterwards he had had help from the series’ ousted chief instructor Ant Middleton.
Metro.co.uk has reached out to reps for comment.
Got a story?
If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.
The reality star denies all charges.