CORONATION Street star Michael Le Vell has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a schoolgirl, The Sun can reveal.
The married father of two, 46 — a long-time Corrie favourite as mechanic Kevin Webster — was quizzed by cops who swooped on his £750,000 home in Hale, Greater Manchester.
Last night a source said Le Vell, who vigorously denies a claim made by the teenage girl, is "going through hell".
Le Vell was questioned by police for EIGHT HOURS.
The actor's lawyer was present as he answered a formal complaint made to cops by the teenager.
Le Vell — who has played Weatherfield's love rat for 28 years — was taken to a police station after being arrested at his luxury home.
After the quiz he was freed on bail until next month while detectives continue their inquiries. The Sun understands he has gone into hiding to plan a vigorous defence with his legal team.
A source close to the case said Le Vell had been "hit for six" by the allegation. The source added:
Michael's world has fallen apart. He can't believe what is happening to him and is going through a private hell.
He is renowned for being a quiet family man and does not lead a celebrity lifestyle.
He has never been caught up in any real scandals and has led a pretty low-key life throughout his many years in Corrie.
This has come right out of the blue and he doesn't know what to think. He has been involved in all sorts of scandals in the show but couldn't be more different off set. He doesn't court publicity and has always been devoted to his family.
These accusations have sent his head spinning. He is determined to carry on working and clear his name. But at the moment his mind is scrambled.
Le Vell, an avid Manchester United fan, is married to his childhood sweetheart Janette Beverley, an actress who starred in top kids' TV show Children's Ward in the 1990s.
The couple live with their children.
Le Vell — real name Michael Turner — turned up as Kevin on Weatherfield's famous cobbles in 1983 and is one of the ITV soap's longest-serving actors. He has been involved in some of its most intense storylines — but has at times taken a moral stance over his role.
Two years ago, as Kevin had a passionate affair with Molly Dobbs, he stunned Corrie bosses by threatening to quit unless the romance was ended.
At the time Kevin's screen wife Sally was diagnosed with breast cancer. And Le Vell said: "If Sally's cancer doesn't end the affair and Kevin has no remorse towards her, then I'm leaving because I can't be putting up with it.
"If he carries on with Molly he doesn't deserve to be in the family unit. It's as simple as that." In 2008 Le Vell told how he felt "shocked" while looking at photos of actress Helen Flanagan, who plays his screen daughter Rosie, in raunchy underwear.
The star, whose niece Jackie Greene famously won £10million on the Lottery in 1996, said: "I couldn't believe it when I saw those pictures of Helen.
"In every paper she was staring back at you wearing that basque and knickers. I felt perverted looking at them. I've known her since she was a small child."
Police said last night: "A 46-year-old man from Hale has been arrested on suspicion of a historic sexual offence. He has been bailed pending inquiries." Source