BBC crisis escalates as staff member is accused of abuse by second person

BBC crisis escalates as staff member is accused of abuse by second person

The crisis at the BBC over the conduct of a senior staff member deepened on Tuesday after a second person came forward with an allegation that the unnamed male staff member had sent angry and abusive messages to the man via a dating app. .

The BBC reported that the young man, who it did not identify, felt threatened by “abusive, profanity-laden messages”, followed by unsuccessful attempts by a staff member to contact the man and possibly publicly name him. After the suggestion of the person about.

The same staff member was accused of paying thousands of pounds to a different young man in exchange for sexually explicit photographs. The BBC said it had stopped an investigation into the allegations at the request of the Metropolitan Police, which was also looking into the matter.

With allegations piling up, but many questions still unanswered, the BBC appears to be under siege. While on his way to a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said reports of payoffs by a staff member were “shocking and worrying” and called for a swift, vigorous investigation.

The BBC’s director general, Tim Davey, also faced mounting pressure to explain why the corporation waited seven weeks before confronting him or taking other action after an initial complaint about the broadcaster’s behavior was lodged in May Was. On Sunday, the BBC said it had suspended the staff member and called the police.

Mr Davey said the initial allegations made by the teenager’s mother that the candid photos had been paid for were taken very seriously by the BBC, although there was a question about whether any criminal conduct had taken place .

But the complaints were not delivered to him or other top BBC managers until late last week, he said, when they were about to be reported by the London tabloid, The Sun. He said he hasn’t spoken to the staff member yet.

The new allegation was reported by the BBC’s own journalists on Tuesday afternoon. He said he reviewed the messages on the man’s phone and verified they came from the staff member’s phone. The BBC said it had not been able to contact the staff member or her lawyer for comment.

Mr Davey acknowledged that the scandalous allegations have tarnished the reputation of the UK public broadcaster, which has already been embroiled in repeated political controversies over the actions and statements of its on-air personalities.

“These are clearly damaging to the BBC,” Mr Davey said in an interview with BBC Radio 4. “It’s not a good situation.”

The BBC described the suspended staff member as the equivalent of a news anchor, host of a news show or other on-air personality. Although the BBC has not revealed the identity of the man, this has not stopped widespread speculation online, which has prompted others at the BBC to deny on social media that they were the target of the allegations .

Questions swirling around the BBC also include the credibility of The Sun’s report that a staff member paid the teen more than £35,000, or about $45,000, for explicit images over a period of several years, which began when That person was 17 years old.

Under British law, the age of consent is 16, but it is an offense to take, make, share or possess indecent images of anyone under 18.

On Monday, the BBC reported that a lawyer for the teen said in a letter to the broadcaster Allegations in The Sun There were “nonsense” that suggested there was a rift between the teen and the teen’s parents.

According to the broadcaster, the teen’s lawyer said that “nothing improper or illegal has happened between our client and the BBC personality.” Its reporters did not identify the lawyer, and Mr Davey said on Tuesday he did not know whether the staff member was paying legal fees for the young man.

The Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch, stood by its story and accused the BBC of suggesting the teen’s parents were at fault for not understanding how long the process for dealing with complaints could be.

A spokeswoman for The Sun said on Monday: “The BBC did not act on her complaint.” “We have seen evidence that supports their concerns. Now its proper investigation is on BBC.

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