Boyzone founder Mark Walton has told a court he was left “emotionally broken” after falling in love with a fashion designer accused of murdering her French nanny.
Sabrina Kouider, 35, is accused of murdering Sophie Lionnet, 21, and burning her body in her back garden.
Kouider was “fixated” on Mr Walton and accused him of being a paedophile who was controlling Sophie using “black magic”, it was alleged.
But giving evidence at the Old Bailey, Mr Walton denied the allegations and said he had never heard of the nanny until she was killed.
(Image: Joe Alvarez)
He told the court Kouider had reported him to police at least six times and set up cameras in their flat in Queensway, central London.
She would suddenly burst into rages, including an occasion in Oxford Circus when she shouted: “Mr Boyzone has no money”, the court heard.
Jurors have heard Mr Walton lay at the heart of Kouider’s campaign of torture against Sophie.
Kouider and her partner Ouissem Medouni, 40, allegedly beat her into a so-called confession that she was in league with Mr Walton.
She was killed and her body thrown on to a bonfire in their garden in Wimbledon, south west London, in September last
Prosecutor Richard Horwell, QC, asked Mr Walton: “We have heard that your name was referred to by Sabrina Kouider before and after her arrest. Had you ever heard of Sophie Lionnet?”
Mr Walton said: “Never, ever.”
Mr Horwell asked: “Had you ever talked to her?”
He replied: “Never.”
(Image: Julia Quenzler / SWNS.com)
Mr Walton told jurors he created Boyzone in 1993 and was in the band for about a year.
The Irishman said he met Kouider in a NatWest bank in Notting Hill, west London, and hit it off straight away. He said: “I was in love. She was my life then so…”
The court heard they lived together for two years during which time she reported him to police for a string of claims including putting wooden toys in the bath, hitting their cat despite them not having a pet, hacking her emails and grabbing her by the throat.
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She also insisted he take a drug test after accusing him of being addicted to opiates.
He said: “It was turbulent, probably the most turbulent relationship I had ever been in.
“She would go from softly spoken French accent then she would flip, get very angry, very loud and just not care where we were. She would just go crazy over something trivial.”
The court heard he had written to her saying: “I will love you until the day I die.”
(Image: Joe Alvarez)
Mr Walton said: “I was emotionally broken so I guess at the time I did mean that I still loved her.
“She would shout if I disagreed with her. She is a very intelligent woman but she has a calculating streak.”
Mr Walton said he paid for Kouider’s nannies but she would fire them over accusations of stealing and of being interested in him.
He said she suddenly disappeared one day and he tried to rescue the relationship by paying for her to fly to LA.
In 2013, he paid £12,800 in rent on Kouider’s Wimbledon flat but stopped the financial support in February 2014, the court heard.
She went on to phone his mother accusing him of being a paedophile and repeated the claims on a Facebook page that was shared with one of his unnamed celebrity clients.
Mr Walton was questioned by police over her allegations in 2014 and denied them.
He was never charged and the court heard there was no evidence to substantiate the claims.
Cross examining for Medouni, Orlando Pownall QC said he would not be suggesting there was any truth in Kouider’s allegations.
Mr Pownall said: “You must have asked yourself many times where did it go wrong.”
A non-molestation order was awarded by the family court against Mr Walton in July 2014.
While he was giving evidence Kouider muttered and murmured to herself in the dock with her head bowed.
The trial continues.