Scotland Yard Is Currently Investigating Allegations of Teen Sex Photos Against a BBC Star.
The BBC said Tuesday
that Scotland Yard had asked it to stop an internal investigation into allegations that one of the broadcaster’s famous hosts paid a teenager for sexual images in order to allow “the police to scope future work.”
The organization’s embattled Director General Tim Davie finally publicly addressed the most talked-about scandal in Britain. Last week, The Sun newspaper published allegations from a woman alleging one of the BBC’s male stars had paid their child tens of thousands in exchange for graphic photos which, if true, may constitute a crime. Since the claims were first made, the situation has only become more serious—and strange. For More Information…
In a statement Tuesday, the BBC said its corporate investigations team had a meeting with London’s Metropolitan Police a day earlier. “As a result of this meeting, the BBC has been asked to pause its investigations into the allegations while the Police scope future work.”
The national broadcaster also published a timeline saying it had first been contacted on May 18 by someone “who sought to make a complaint” about the behavior of a BBC host, and that unsuccessful attempts to contact the complainant were made in the days after.
Then last week, The Sun published its allegations in which a mother said a well-known BBC star had paid their child around $45,000 for sexual images and video calls, beginning in 2020 when the child, now 20, was just 17. She added that her child had used the money to fund a crack cocaine habit. The BBC says the claims in the tabloid’s article were “new allegations” which differed to the ones which it had been investigating since May.
On Monday, the BBC confirmed the host involved in the allegations had been suspended.
Since then, the saga was complicated by a lawyer representing the young person making a statement saying the mother’s claims are “rubbish” and that “nothing inappropriate or unlawful” had taken place between their client and the BBC host—even claiming that young person sent a denial to The Sun before it published its first story. The newspaper has stood by its reporting and said the story has always been “about concerned parents trying to stop payments to their vulnerable child which was funding a life-risking drug habit.”
Although 16 is the legal age of consent in England and Wales it is unlawful to create or own indecent photos of anybody who is younger than 18.
With pressure mounting on the publicly-funded broadcaster, BBC Director General Tim Davie appeared on BBC radio on Tuesday. During the interview, Davie insisted it was not “odd” that he had not spoken to the accused star and said he didn’t know “categorically” if the host was bankrolling the young person’s legal fees.
He added that the BBC is “often in the midst of quite painful and difficult affairs and storms, and these are clearly damaging to the BBC.” Davie also would not go into how the initial complaint received by the BBC in May differed from the allegations in The Sun, saying only that the first allegations were “clearly serious” because the corporate investigations team decided to begin a probe.
Sarah Montague, the radio host interviewing Davie, also remarked on “the very strange situation” in which the host “has not been named, but everyone in this building knows who it is.” She added that Davie had a “duty of care” to other male BBC hosts who have already had to publicly deny that the allegations are about them while the individual involved remains anonymous. “It is a very difficult and complex situation, and we’re trying to calmly and judiciously navigate our way through quite difficult circumstances,” Davie answered.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday was asked about a scenario in which a lawmaker could use parliamentary privilege—a right which protects British politicians from being sued—to name the mystery BBC host. “Obviously we support freedom of speech, but this is a sensitive issue which is being looked at carefully, and the relevant authorities need to be given the appropriate time to carry out that work,” the spokesperson said.