BBC presenter faces new allegations over explicit photos
An unnamed BBC moderator is facing new charges by the Sun paper after it claimed he paid a teenager for sexually explicit photos.
The star was pictured in his underwear “prepared for my kid to perform for him”, their mom told the paper.
It is unclear how old the young person was at the time, but the paper has claimed they were 17 when payments from the presenter started.
The BBC has said it takes any allegations very seriously.
The allegations, first reported by the Sun on Friday, are that the BBC presenter paid £35,000 for explicit photos over a three-year period.
The young person’s mother told the paper her child, now aged 20, had used the money from the presenter to fund a crack cocaine habit.
She said if the alleged payments continued her child would “wind up dead”, the paper reported on Saturday.
The Sun said the young person’s family complained to the BBC on 19 May.
The family is reported to have become frustrated that the star remained on air and approached the newspaper, but said they wanted no payment for the story.
A BBC spokesperson has already said: “We treat any allegations very seriously and have processes in place to proactively deal with them.
“As part of that, if we receive information that requires further investigation or examination we will take steps to do this. That includes actively attempting to speak to those who have contacted us in order to seek further detail and understanding of the situation.
“If we get no reply to our attempts or receive no further contact that can limit our ability to progress things, it does not mean our inquiries stop.
“If, at any point, new information comes to light or is provided – including via newspapers – this will be acted upon appropriately, in line with internal processes.”
But serious questions remain for the BBC about what investigations went on since the family says it alerted the corporation.
The BBC “has some serious questions to answer”, a senior Conservative MP said.
Caroline Dinenage, chair of the Culture, Media and Sport committee said: “It’s vital that TV companies have in place the right systems and processes to ensure their stars, who have disproportionate power and influence over the lives and careers of others, don’t abuse it.”
There is pressure on the corporation’s HR department to “investigate these latest claims quickly and explain what has happened since this story first came to light back in May”, she added.
Earlier former home secretary Priti Patel said the BBC’s response had been “derisory” and called for a “full and transparent investigation”, accusing the corporation of becoming a “faceless and unaccountable organization”.
The presenter is not due to be on air in the near future, but BBC News has not been told whether or not there has been a formal suspension.
But the BBC will need to answer if this should have happened sooner if the investigation should have been more thorough, and if it is fair to its other presenters unconnected to this who are finding themselves facing false rumors.
The Sun says there will be a probe by the head of corporate investigations team who has spoken to the family but the BBC has not confirmed this.
Following the first Sun report, BBC presenters took to social media to deny they were the star in question, including Rylan Clark, Jeremy Vine, Nicky Campbell, and Gary Lineker.
This is an alarming time for them when they have no involvement in the allegations.