AN exclusive interview with former MSP, Tommy Sheridan – jailed earlier in the day for perjury, during a defamation case against the News of the World newspaper – was a key part of STV’s coverage of the courtroom drama that concluded with the ex leader of the Scottish Socialist Party handed a three-year sentence.
Conducted earlier in the week by STV’s political editor, the interview was the only one that Sheridan gave ahead of his sentencing.
When asked if he had any regrets, Sheridan replied: “Show me someone who has no regrets and I’ll show you someone who has never lived. Of course there are regrets. The biggest regret I have is being naive. I was naive in the way I trusted some people, I was naive in the way I thought the loyalty I showed to others would be reciprocated, I was naive to believe certain people. Was I naive to take on the News of the World? I don’t think so.”
He added: “The thing that upsets me most in some respects is that I am supposed to be punished, and quite rightly if you are found guilty of something you are punished, whether I maintain my innocence or not – as I do…the problem is the length of the sentence is going to punish [wife] Gail and [daughter] Gabrielle more than me.
“In the one sense I want to tell my daughter exactly what’s happened, but in the other sense I want to try to protect my daughter. And I am thinking that in the short term Gail and I will probably maintain that Daddy’s away to work. For how long that can be maintained I don’t know.”
Sheridan had successfully sued, five years ago, the News of the World, following the publication of allegations about his private life. But, just before Christmas, he was found guilty of lying under oath.