Oritse Williams’ £3 million house may have just burned down under ‘suspicious circumstances’ but the former JLS star looked upbeat as he was pictured making his way to a small flat where it is thought he has been living in recent months.
Joined by his girlfriend, EastEnders star Preeya Kalidas, Oritse tried to ignore the photographers by keeping his hood up, sunglasses on and earbuds firmly in his ears but couldn’t help but give a smile for the camera.
It was the first time he had been pictured after his house burnt down in a suspected arson attack, a week after he was found not guilty of rape.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson confirmed that the blaze is being treated as suspicious as investigations get underway.
A statement given to Metro.co.uk read: ‘Police were called at 16:39hrs on Tuesday, 4 June following reports of a fire at a residential address in Spout Hill, Croydon.
‘Officers attended with London Fire Brigade. There were no reported injuries. There have been no arrests. At this stage, the incident is being treated as suspicious. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
‘Enquiries continue, led by the South Area Command Unit CID.’
The property, which as previously owned by comedian Ronnie Corbett, has been empty since it went on the market in January and no-one was hurt in the incident.
He was prepared to make a £1.25 million loss on the home he bought with his then-girlfriend AJ Azari for £3million, five years ago but allowed the house, which features a huge kitchen, a spacious living room and an outdoor swimming pool, to fall into disrepair.
The blaze came a week since a jury cleared the musician of raping a 20-year-old woman at a Wolverhampton hotel in December 2016.
Oritse, 32, pleaded not guilty while he was accused of behaving like a ‘sexual predator’ during the week-long trial.
He claimed a consensual sexual encounter had taken place with the complainant and argued that he was being ‘taken advantage of’ because of his boyband fame.
When he was cleared last Tuesday, Oritse’s bandmate Marvin Humes and his wife Rochelle were among the first stars to praise him for his conduct throughout ‘three years of hell’.
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