Channel 4 reality star arrested for common assault after 'homophobic attack'

THE Circle runner-up Freddie Bentley was arrested for common assault after defending himself in an "unprovoked homophobic attack".

The 24-year-old spent Saturday night in police cells for a bust-up in Wetherspoons, after punters yelled "that's that gay c*** from the telly".

Freddie shot to fame on the Channel 4 series in 2018 when he catfished players by pretending to be straight.

But the gay reality star was left shaken at the weekend when he was recognised in The Roebuck, in Rayleigh, Essex.

Freddie claims three lads shouted a string of homophobic slurs at him on his way to the bar at around 8pm.

"At first I tried to ignore it, thinking 'I'm better than them, ignore it''," Freddie told The Sun.

"But they kept shouting over at me. I went over and said 'are you talking to me?'

"I felt so threatened and intimidated that I knew I had to stand up for myself.

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"I'm a normal person, regardless of my sexuality, I'm just out with my friends having a drink.

"I felt so attacked because I was on my own. They thought I was weak and picked me at a vulnerable moment."

Freddie threw his drink over the men – and was quickly held back by the bouncer who asked him to leave.

"I was in such a panic and frustrated. I lost my head. I tried to explain I was being homophobically attacked. I felt I needed to say something and make a stand. Homophobia is not OK.

"It triggered me and I just lost it. I was trying to get the bouncer off of me and accidentally caught the bouncer with my hand."

The bouncer suffered a small cut on his right hand cheek – prompting the police to be called.

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Freddie was arrested at the scene for three common assaults, including – throwing a drink, pushing an alleged victim and scratching another.

He was taken to a local police station where he was quizzed by cops and ended up spending the night in cells before officers were able to review CCTV footage of the incident.

"I normally never flip like that, but I was attacked," Freddie said.
"I'm really shaken up.

"I feel really anxious and don't want to leave the house."

His assault charges have been thrown out, with no further action being taken.

The three other men involved in the altercation are now being interviewed by police investigating Freddie's allegations.

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"They saw the whole thing on CCTV and they said they believe it to be a homophobic attack. I was so pleased and relieved they understood my side of the story. I was so scared it would be made out to be something it wasn't and get twisted.

"I never thought I would spend the night in a cell. It has shaken me up.

"I hope they get punished in the appropriate way. It's 2022 and homophobia is still rife. People can't help the fact they're gay or transgender. It's not OK to victimise someone because you're different."

An Essex police statement said: "Based on the evidence currently available a decision has been made to refuse to charge you in respect of the above offence(s) because the evidence did not meet the evidential stage of the full code test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors."

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