The easy solution would be to say that you didn't have a previous character.
Technically, it's poor IC/OOC Separation to ask such a thing, but at the same time, given how poor players tend to separate on their own, I see the reasoning. Its the catch 22 of our game. We tell people that their past lives are the past, but more often than not, while the character may change, the person behind the character has the same persona. :/