Judy Finnigan has been branded "disgusting" by Twitter users for defending convicted rapist Ched Evans on today's episode of Loose Women.
Finnigan, 66, spoke out in support of Evans, saying the rape wasn't violent and that he'd "served his time".
She said: "He's served his time. The rape – and I'm not by any means minimising any kind of rape – but the rape was not violent. He didn't cause any bodily harm to the person."
She went on to draw attention to the fact that the victim had "had too much to drink".
Finnigan said public opinion would be different if Evans had been imprisoned for a crime other than rape.
She said: "Supposing it wasn't rape, which is so emotional and sort of complicated. We all have huge feelings about it. Women have huge feelings about it. Supposing he was in for...breaking and entering, or something like that, and he had served his time. What would you think then?
"It's worth thinking, isn't it, that he actually still denies his guilt. You can look at that from two ways. You could look at that and think, 'Right, well, he's not sorry, he hasn't admitted any remorse.' Or you could think he feels he didn't do it so he wants to become rehabilitated in his own way.
"I think everything depends basically, of course, on whether the club wants him back, but more importantly perhaps, whether the fans want him back. And I think he would have to brave, if he does go back, he would have to brave an awful lot of comments obviously from the fans who were there."
She concluded: "Someone's done a crime, they serve their time, and when they come out they shouldn't be punished for the rest of their lives."