The media circus around Ched Evans turned him into a news story on a par with Isis and Ebola, according to his father-in-law.
Karl Massey has spoken exclusively to talkRADIO this morning about why he stood by the footballer during his trial, even pouring around £500,000 into his defence, even though his son-in-law was accused of raping another woman in a hotel room.
Evans was eventually jailed, but the decision was overturned in October, by which time he had served two-and-a-half years of his prison sentence.
Massey told Julia Hartley-Brewer that while the former Manchester City player made a "moral error of judgement" in cheating on his girlfriend with a waitress in a hotel room, he's still a "decent guy" and this was reflected in the "affection" displayed by fans of Sheffield United, the club he was playing for when the allegations arose.
Massey also said this would be his first and last radio interview, adding he was sorry for Evans, his daughter Natasha and the girl Evans was initially convicted of raping.
"[Evans and Natasha] have been in the media spotlight really heavily, and I think for a four-month period they were the third biggest news story in the UK. There was Isis, and Ebola, and then Ched Evans."
“They’ve no desire to be in the public spotlight at all."
Massey revealed that that he'd like to give the girl Evans was convicted of raping "a hug" and suggested she and Evans were both victims - with the police and CPS being the guilty parties.