08 November 2023

Tom Daley’s Oscar-winning husband cleared of assault as case is dismissed

08 November 2023

The assault case against Tom Daley’s Oscar-winning husband Dustin Lance Black has been dismissed mid-trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Black, who married the Olympic champion diver, 29, in 2017, was accused of assaulting Teddy Edwardes at the Freedom nightclub in Soho on August 18 last year.

He was at the venue with Daley when he had an altercation with Edwardes, prosecutor Adrita Ahmed told Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

He was alleged to have grabbed Edwardes’ wrist “very hard” and spilled her drink over her.

But District Judge Louisa Ciecora dismissed the charge, citing inconsistencies in Edwardes’ live evidence.

“(Edwardes) said in her evidence at one point that she could not remember a wrist grab,” the judge told the court.

“She then said that she was sure that it did happen – and that was an obvious contradiction.”

The judge said CCTV footage was “not clear” due to “the angle of the camera”.

Court cases can be thrown out at the close of the prosecution’s case if they are so weak that a jury, properly directed, could not properly convict.

In this case the jury was Judge Ciecora.

Her decision means Black and Daley did not have to take the stand.

It followed a submission from Helena Duong, defending, who said the prosecution failed to prove Black grabbed Edwardes’ wrist.

Instead, she said Black grabbed Edwardes’ drink and spilled it on the floor.

Ms Duong said it was Edwardes who had shown aggression.

It was an agreed fact in the case that Edwardes punched Black in the back of the head after their altercation.

She received a police caution for the punch, the court was told.

Speaking to the press after the hearing, Black, who won an Oscar for best original screenplay for 2008’s Milk, described the judge’s dismissal as a “moment of exoneration”.

He said: “This case has flown in the face of everything that I am.

“I am very grateful to the judge for exonerating me.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox