herald

Monday 18 December 2017

'I was willing to take the stand to defend friend Tulisa' - Louis

Louis Walsh has said he was willing to take the stand when former X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos was in court charged with drug offences.

The half-Irish star returned to the programme recently when she joined the boyband boss in Bermuda last month to film the judges' homes episode.

It was her first time back on the programme since being cleared in a London court of charges of supplying cocaine.

"I love her but I know her really well," said Louis. "I know the real Tulisa and she's had a really tough time and she was set up.

"When the truth comes out, I think people are going to be absolutely horrified about what happened to her. I think she'll come back stronger than ever."

He said he would happily have testified as a character witness for the brunette beauty and said he sympathised with her ordeal, given what he went through himself.

"Totally, I would and I'm helping her with the lawyer. The real story will come out and people will be horrified," he continued.

He was back in Dublin this week to help launch the Christmas panto Aladdin, co-starring his own band Hometown, alongside Linda Martin and Simon Delaney. And he's predicting a big future for Irish X Factor hopeful Janet Grogan who has been installed as an early favourite after wowing Simon Cowell.

"I love her. I never saw her, I never met her before. I thought she looked amazing. I know Simon said she had great eyes, she's got a great voice as well. I think this girl's going to go far," Louis said. Viewers saw him clash with Simon over contestant Paul Atkister, who Louis sent home last year but is wowing judges.

"He's the guy I didn't pick last year because he wasn't ready. So he went away, he lost a load of weight, he got himself a bit of personality and it's the vocals. He's brilliant," he said.

Now back on the show for the 11th year, Louis is in charge of the groups this year and reckons he'll "definitely" be in the final.

"It's my 11th year, it could be my last year. Ten years is a long time so 11 is great. I just want to be managing people, I want to break this band (Hometown) and work with Shane Filan."

hnews@herald.ie

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