Footballer Adam Johnson told police he knew it was wrong to kiss a schoolgirl of 15 when he was arrested for molesting her.
He said in a police statement read out at his trial: “She is a child and she ought to have been safe in my company.
“I accept the stupidity of my actions. I have no excuse. I was aware by then of her age,” the statement read.
Then, in the witness box, he accepted that the girl was blameless and because of her age could not consent to any sexual activity.
But he denied that the second of their two meetings in his Range Rover had gone beyond passionate kissing and touching.
He denied her claims that he had touched her intimately and taken part in a sex act with her.
Johnson said he had met the girl at his then club Sunderland FC, where she was a season ticket holder and would wait around for him to sign autographs and shirts after matches.
He accepted a friendship request from her on his Facebook page and later gave her his mobile phone number “to arrange how to get a signed shirt to her.”
His barrister Orlando Pownall asked him: “Were you contemplating any sexual encounter with her?”
Asked why he later searched the Internet for “the age of consent”, he said that was connected to a discussion with teammates about a TV programme, nothing to do with sexual activity with the girl.
The player also said that at the time of the alleged offences his relationship with his partner Stacey Flounders, who had just given birth to their daughter, was “not very good.”
He said he had been texting other women, in their 20s, and his partner was suspicious.
He said: “I”d been speaking to people that I shouldn”t have been and I hadn”t been a very good person to her and my daughter.”
His barrister asked Johnson to describe life as a professional footballer, to which the player replied: “It”s every young boy”s dream. You got put on a pedestal. You have people screaming your name. It”s the best feeling in the world.”
He said he had people doing almost every thing for him and accumulated much wealth.
He admitted it had made him arrogant and held up his maturity.
Johnson, 28, denies two charges of sexual activity with a child under 16.
He has admitted a similar charge and a charge of grooming.
The trial continues.