Why Liar proves we mustn’t name men accused of rape – by ‘don’t get drunk’ judge
IT IS the latest TV drama to grip the nation. Millions watched last week as a dashing surgeon was accused of rape after a first date in ITV’s Liar.
At the end of the opening episode, teacher Laura Nielson, played by Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt, blackens the name of Andrew Earlham, played by Ioan Gruffudd, by publishing her accusation online.
Now a former judge who controversially warned women that drinking alcohol puts them at risk of being attacked says the show makes the case for giving rape defendants the same anonymity as their accusers.
Lindsey Kushner QC – whose comments about rape victims and alcohol ignited a furious row – said the show contained many real-life parallels from her 42 years at the Bar.
‘After the woman’s outburst on social media, his life is going to be increasingly difficult,’ Ms Kushner said. ‘That brought me to thinking about rape defendants and whether they should have the same anonymity as complainants.
‘I am personally in favour of anonymity to give parity to the accuser and the accused, especially as the man is subject to “no smoke without fire” comments.’ Ms Kushner said the stain of being publicly accused – especially online – could remain with a man for the rest of his life.
She added: ‘Even if he were charged, went to trial and acquitted in record time, the allegation would still be hanging around unless he somehow managed to remove it from the internet and Facebook.’
Viewers of the ITV drama do not know which of the two main characters is lying.
The second episode of the six-part series is on tomorrow night at 9pm.
WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH? Ioan Gruffudd and Joanne Froggatt in Liar