JLS Oritse Williams: Three Years Of Struggle | Daily Feed

By Dan Strayer

6th January 2020

JLS Oritse Williams: Three Years of Struggle


JLS’ star Oritse Williams’ meteoric rise to stardom with the band has just as quickly fallen to several years of continuous struggle and hardship. So complete has been the controversy surrounding Williams in the latter half of this decade that even rare moments of triumph don’t last.

Both Williams, 32, and tour manager Jamien Nagadhana, 32, were cleared of rape charges in May 2019. Oritse’s fellow JLS bandmate Marvin Humes stated that his childhood friend had swerved through “three years of hell.” In an Instagram post, Humes wrote that Williams couldn’t wait to start his life.

Cleared..Not Guilty! Finally my brother @oritsemusic three years of hell is over! No-one will ever know or imagine what he’s been through..I’m just so proud of the way he conducted himself during what has been the most awful time..he is so strong and I know he can’t wait to start his life again now..We love you O ❤️

Williams thought his life would present new opportunities and a chance to start over. Instead, set back and wicked fate interceded on Williams’ life once again.

Williams finds success with JLS

Oritsé Williams (as well as his childhood friends in JLS) had everything working in his favour before the fateful night in 2016 that changed his life.

With friends Humes, Aston Merrygold, and JB Gill, Williams started JLS to pay for care for his mother, who was suffering from multiple sclerosis. So serious is her condition that Williams has been taking care of his mother since he was 12.

With the success of JLS, Williams and Co. were able to take care of her, and more, too:

  • They finished second to Alexandra Burke in the 2008 edition of The X Factor;
  • JLS has sold 10 million albums;
  • The band won two BRIT Awards;
  • The group could command up to £70,000 for a single hour private performance.

JLS disbands, Oritse and AJ move in

JLS disbanded in 2013 with a greatest hits album, with many members pursuing individual careers. Subsequently, JLS’ Oritse Williams did likewise with his private life.

Together with then-girlfriend Aime Jane “AJ” Azari, JLS Oritse Williams competed in the ITV dancing show Stepping Out. AJ and Oritse reached the final of the competition against Brian McFadden and his wife, Vogue. On September 28, 2013, Williams and Azari won the show.

More big plans awaited the couple. In August 2014, Williams bought and started renovating a £3 million sprawling mansion in Croydon, Surrey once owned by Ronnie Corbett. Along with a pregnant AJ, they would soon welcome Oritse’s son Omre into the world shortly thereafter.

An embarrassing trial

Then came a December 2016 concert in Wolverhampton, which would change the lives of both Oritse and AJ forever. And not immediately, either. Official charges in September 2018 for both Williams and Nagadhana:

  • Williams was charged with rape;
  • Nagadhana was charged with assault by penetration.

The charges marked nearly two years (21 months, in fact) after the alleged encounter.

Embarrassing details of the trial

JLS founder Oritsé Williams says he hasn't worked for three years due to the rape allegations levied against him

According to testimony in his trial for raping a woman, Williams and Nagadhana met the woman (who for legal reasons cannot be named) and two friends at a meet-and-greet event at a nearby nightclub.

Williams told the court that he got along “very, very well” with the woman. He also stated that she had started a “highly sexually charged” action in the VIP area of the venue.

AJ moves on

Despite his relationship with AJ Azari, Williams stated in court he and the woman then engaged in consensual sex in his hotel room, a Ramada Hotel in Wolverhampton. According to BBC News, testimony specified that the encounter ended in humiliation when he was “unable to perform” sexually.

The messy details proved too much for AJ. Once, Oritse had been hinting at marriage to the mother of his son Omre.

Verdict: Not Guilty of Raping

The jury didn’t buy the prosecution’s case alleging rape or assault by penetration. After two hours and 17 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned verdicts of not guilty for both Williams and Nadadhana.

JLS friends come to Oritse’s defence

JLS Oritse Williams, along with his fellow bandmates, in 2010
SOURCE: Wikipedia

Out of dock and free, getting back to regular life was the next task. JB Gill, also 32, spoke about Oritse’s struggles with being accused of raping someone. He spoke to Lorraine guest host Christine Lampard in an appearance after Williams’ acquittal in June.

He explained:

“It was a tough ordeal for him and that’s exactly what we did, we were there for him.

“We didn’t know the ins and outs of everything that happened and to be honest you have to respect that.

“Thankfully he’s come out the other end and he’s in a good mental space, which is the biggest thing.”

Both Williams and Nagadhana are free to go on with their lives. Yet JB goes on to tell Lampard’s audience that there was a mental block for Oritse. Mentally, he said, Oritse still has much to work through. JB stated:

“Something like that has a profound effect on everything and personally and professionally that’s really impacted him.

“This is now a time to build, so we are here for him, encouraging him with that and whatever he chooses to do next I’m sure will be a success.”

Andre and Humes offers his support

Entertainers from outside JLS also stood up for Oritse in the wake of the verdict. Musician Peter Andre, for one, took to Instagram with his support.

“NOT guilty. Proud of you brother @oritsemusic how You kept your head down in possibly the worst time imaginable.

“I hope you can rebuild your life now with your family and friends. When are we going to learn that a person is innocent until proven guilty and not guilty until proven innocent?

“It’s not fair. Obviously we cannot ignore any victims voices if there is evidence of truth but don’t plaster someone all over the media planting seeds into people’s minds of guilt only for them to have to rebuild their lives after they are found innocent.”

Rochelle lends support

Likewise, Marvin Humes’ wife, television presenter Rochelle Humes, posted her support for Williams on Instagram.

This here is our brother, one of the kindest, most gentle, thoughtful men I know. Today he was cleared NOT guilty after 3 years of absolute hell. I’m so proud of how you have conducted yourself throughout this time, I really don’t think I could have held myself in the same way. Reesh we love you so much and I’m writing this crying so many happy tears, it’s over ❤️

£3 million mansion goes up in flames

Literally, in flames.

Shortly after the not guilty verdict, Oritse sought to start over. As of June 2019, he had endured harrowing ordeals like:

  • Caring for an ailing mother since age 12.
  • The break up of JLS, which was announced during an episode of Alan Carr’s Chatty Man (in which Oritse broke down in tears on camera).
  • Next, a rape accusation.
  • Followed by an embarrassing trial.
  • Finally, the end of his relationship with AJ.

More was to come, and the full impact may not yet be felt. Williams’ £3 million home was further destroyed in a fire in early June.

Home in disrepair and potential foul play

Making the situation worse has been the wretched state the roofless mansion was in after Oritse and AJ split. Today, the garden swimming pool is green and half full of stagnant water. Uninhabited by Oritse or anyone else throughout the rape accusation ordeal, unused furniture and disrepair had become commonplace.

The property, according to neighbours, had clearly seen better days. The June blaze added insult to injury, leaving a significant crevice in the roof. One of those neighbours is a musician who had performed with Oritse, Tanya Gordon of girl band Fe-Nix.

Tanya Gordon told the Sun:

“I was walking past and there was so much smoke I was choking. I was nearly dying. The smoke was getting into my lungs. It is definitely suspicious. 

“It has been empty for about a year. 

“How does it get into that big blazing fire? It was really strong. It was blazing out of control. I was going to walk past with my kids and the fire brigade said ‘you have to walk through the forest because it is so dangerous’. 

“I used to work with him. We have performed together. I saw him about a year ago. He was coming out of the house with his hood on. 

“I think he was there on his own for a while. I would see him with his hood up.”

In the meantime, the blaze sought the help of more than 70 firefighters. Moreover, investigators still have not ruled out foul play in the fire.

Amidst all of this, where is JLS’ Oritse Williams right now?

Oritse is still attempting to rebuild his life amidst all of the loss.

He spoke with Good Morning Britain in September.

“It’s been horrific. I haven’t been able to work for three years.

“I had this accusation just hanging over my head every single day, from the time I wake up in the morning to the time I go to sleep at night.

“It just completely tormented me. But I had two choices – either I could let it drag me under and completely destroy me, or I could stay strong and hope that the truth would eventually come out, which ultimately it did.”

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