"The X Factor" U.K. 2012 winner James Arthur is the topic of another tabloid story about him being a playboy. On Sept. 15, 2013, the Sunday Mirror published an interview with 17-year-old Ayesha Gillespie, who claims that Arthur (who is 25) tried to seduce her on Twitter by requesting that she send him topless photos of herself.
In the United Kingdom, the minimum legal age of consent to have sex is 16. However, in the United Kingdom, the minimum legal age to pose for nude photos and do pornography is 18. It is unclear if Arthur knew that Gillespie was 17 when he allegedly asked her to send him naked pictures of herself.
Gillespie (who lives in Bournemouth, Dorset, England) claims her Twitter conversations with Arthur started out innocently when she and Arthur exchanged messages about music.
Gillespie told the Sunday Mirror: “I couldn’t believe that he’d got in touch like that. I was running round the house screaming and showing my phone to my mum and older sister. My mum thought that it was hilarious and my sister was dead jealous."
But then Arthur's talk turned raunchy when he allegedly asked Gillespie to get naked and send him topless photos of herself.
According to Gillespie: “He asked me where I was from and what I was up told I told him I was lying in the sun, relaxing. He then sent: ‘#showyourboobstojamesarthur.’It was a bit of a shock but I laughed it off to begin with. I sent him my ID so he could message back and he sent me a reply saying ‘You’re hot.'
“Obviously I was flattered. But I was a bit wary too. I knew his reputation for being a ladies’ man but I was only interested in talking about his music. I sent my Twitter profile picture, which is just of my face. He replied, ‘How about some more adult ones?’ Then he said, ‘I don’t give my number to everyone you know. Make it worth my while.’”
Gillespie than replied, “Sing me a song and I might consider it.” Arthur then sent her a 15-second audio file of him singing, "Ayesha, you are so fine, I just want to make you mine." According to Gillespie, he then sent the message “You naked now?”
She told the Sunday Mirror: “I was a bit flustered so I lied that we’d had a power cut and my phone was about to run out of battery so I couldn’t send any photos. I then got a really curt-sounding message from him saying, ‘You could do it quick.’ Then a few seconds later I got another one saying, ‘You could have done it by now.’ That was when it all changed for me. His tone seemed very different, as if he was annoyed. I knew then that he didn’t care about me as a fan of his music. He was just a sleaze after some dirty pictures.
"He still follows me but I’m not interested in him any more. It’s a shame because I still really like his music. I thought getting to talk to him like that was really cool.”
Gillespie says she has blocked Arthur from sending her messages, and she no longer follows him on Twitter.
A representative for Arthur told the Mirror: “We have no comment to make.”
Arthur's reputation for being a playboy has been fueled by tabloid reports that he likes to pick up women for short flings, and he does much of his trolling online.
He has denied claims that he paid £1,000 for two prostitutes at his West London home. Ria Vincent, one of the hookers, took her story to The Sun in May 2013. Vincent told The Sun: "I used to fancy James Arthur but now I just think the guy is a total loser. When you meet him in the flesh you realize he is just a bit of a geek who doesn’t really know what he is doing. He wouldn’t even take his socks off.”
But Arthur hit back on Twitter with these comments: “Apologies to those of my fans reading lies about me today… It’s pure slander so I fight back, sorry. Wow, I love you and your support is incredible. Seriously, I’m blown away here. I’m inundated with love. You will be repaid for your support ... I have f*cking great feet too!”
Arthur also denied that he had a one-night stand with Danielle Withey, an 18-year-old "beauty therapist," whom he allegedly met on Twitter. In March 2013, Withey gave an interview to The Sun in which she described in detail how she had a one-night stand with Arthur on Jan. 24, 2013. Withey described him as a cheap and tacky lover who ultimately disappointed her. Withey, just like Vincent, said that Arthur kept his socks on during sex. Withey also claimed that she sent racy photos of herself to Arthur before she met him in person.
As previously reported, Arthur ended his relationship with 18-year-old dance instructor Lucie Poole shortly after he found fame on "The X Factor." A source told the Sunday Mirror that Arthur's busy schedule was the main reason for the split. After the breakup, he was romantically linked to several women, including "Made in Chelsea" co-star Kimberley Garner, "The Xtra Factor" co-host Caroline Flack, former "Take Me Out" contestant Chanelle McCleary and bodybuilder Jodie Marsh.
McCleary told The Sun that she wants to be Arthur's girlfriend, but that relationship has essentially ended. For a while, Arthur was dating Garner and Flack around the same time. On Dec. 16, 2012, Arthur had dinner with Garner in London at Chinese restaurant Hakkasan, and they later headed to the nightclub Sketch. (The Daily Mail has published photos of the couple together on their date and holding hands.) Meanwhile, Arthur and Flack spent hours together on a date at the Groucho Club in London on Dec. 13, 2012, according to the Daily Mirror, and he has been seen on other dates with her since then too.
And although Arthur probably doesn't want any of his current or former lovers to give tabloid tell-all interviews, he has invited this kind of attention by talking about his sex life to the media. Arthur told Look magazine in a December 2012 interview: “I'm a great lover. Please print that. When I’ve got a girlfriend I like to be with them as much as possible and I’m very affectionate. It’s all about respect. I’m not going to treat a woman like a piece of meat. I’m very much a boyfriend type of guy. I’ve been in relationships since I was 16. Now is the longest I’ve been single. But I’m trying to behave myself at the moment and I haven’t got time to meet girls.
"I feel so positive, my attitude’s been rejuvenated. I’ve had fan mail but I haven’t had any knickers sent to me yet. I had some glamour models messaging me on Twitter and saying they think I’m hot but I’m being careful. I’m happy single, although I’d love to meet a woman to share everything with I’m going through."
In interviews, Arthur has also confessed his lust for celebrities such as Tulisa Contostavlos, Nicole Scherzinger (who was his mentor on "The X Factor" U.K.), Cheryl Cole, model Rosie Jones and Rihanna. He told the media that he wants to date them, even though some of them already have boyfriends.
Arthur told The Sun in a previous interview: “I’m not exactly Brad Pitt, but 'The X Factor' has got me a few birds [British slang for women]. I’m told by my management that I need quality control. I know I get attention from women I would’ve been punching above my weight with before. But if I bag a supermodel on the strength of my voice I’m not gonna complain. I’m under no illusion that I’m some kind of big shot or heartthrob but it’s nice to get female attention.”
Arthur's first post-"X Factor" single, a cover version of Shontelle's "Impossible," was a smash international hit. It reached the Top 5 in several countries. In the U.K., Arthur's "Impossible" debuted at No. 1 when it was released in December 2012 and it became one of the year's biggest-selling singles in the U.K. (A U.S. release date for Arthur's "Impossible" has not been announced.)
Arthur's next single is "You’re Nobody ’Til Somebody Loves You." His self-titled debut album on Syco Music is due out in November 2013.
UPDATE: Arthur has tweeted this apparent response to Gillespie's allegations: "You work hard all year doing positive things then people try to decimate your character! I am a decent person and I treat women with respect. I have 4 sisters and its disgusting they have to read such sh*t.. I won't be working with any publication who writes this kinda crap #LOVE."