Noel Clarke has apologised in the wake of sexual harassment claims made against him and said he will be seeking professional help.
The actor and producer has said he is “deeply sorry” for his actions and stated it has become clear to him that some of his actions have affected people in ways he “did not intend or realise”.
However, he has “vehemently” denied sexual misconduct or criminal behaviour.
What did Noel Clarke say?
The actor’s statement comes after 20 women who knew Clarke in a professional capacity came forward and made allegations about him to The Guardian newspaper.
The women accused him of sexual harassment, unwanted touching or groping, talking and sharing sexually explicit pictures and videos without consent, and bullying, between 2004 and 2019.
Mr Clarke has offered an apology to those affected, but has vehemently denied the allegations in a statement to the newspaper.
In a statement, the actor said: “I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing.
“Recent reports however have made it clear to me that some of my actions have affected people in ways I did not intend or realise.
“To those individuals, I am deeply sorry.
“I will be seeking professional help to educate myself and change for the better.”
Broadcasters halt work
ITV pulled the concluding episode of its new drama Viewpoint, starring the 45-year-old, from schedules on Friday (30 April) evening following the accusations.
The five-part drama was broadcast throughout this week and was due to conclude on Friday night, but will instead be made available on ITV Hub for a limited time for any viewers who wish to see the conclusion.
Broadcaster Sky, which has aired three series of Clarke’s series Bulletproof, has said it is halting work with Clarke following the accusations.
Vertigo Films, the UK producers behind Bulletproof, said: “We are devastated to hear about these allegations and have launched an urgent investigation to find out if any apply to any Vertigo Films productions.
“Our immediate concern is for any cast or crew who may have had a negative experience on set.
“We have robust procedures in place for reporting incidents, including the ability to raise issues anonymously.
“And while no issues have been flagged to us, we stand ready to support anyone who has had a negative experience on the show and encourage you to come forward with confidence.
“Effective immediately, Noel Clarke is removed from any Vertigo Films production.”
Management and production company 42 M&P has also said it stopped representing Clarke earlier this month.
Bafta has also suspended Mr Clarke’s membership and his outstanding British contribution to cinema award, which he won earlier this month at the Royal Albert Hall, until further notice.
The academy said it made the decision “in light of the allegations of serious misconduct” published in The Guardian.
It has since sought to explain why it honoured Mr Clarke with the award earlier this month, after it had been informed of accusations of misconduct.
On Friday (30 April), The Guardian reported that Bafta spent two weeks deciding how to respond to the accusations in the run-up to the actor receiving his award.
The newspaper said by the night before the ceremony Bafta chairman Krishnendu Majumdar knew there could be as many as 12 women making accusations against Mr Clarke.
The Guardian also said Mr Majumdar told another industry figure they were “trying to do something about it” on the eve of the awards and that he feared “this will destroy us”.
He is also said to have commented on a Zoom call that Bafta faced a “desperately difficult situation” and the organisation “cannot act as judge and jury on this”.
In a letter to its membership, Bafta said it was not aware of allegations relating to Mr Clarke before announcing he would be given the award, and it was in the days following the announcement in March that the body received anonymous emails of second or third-hand accounts.
The letter said: “We want to reassure you that we have treated this matter with the utmost seriousness, care and proper process at every stage.
“The Bafta board of trustees has remained right across this matter, has met a number of times and are fully supportive of all actions taken.
“The allegations against Mr Clarke are extremely serious and the behaviour they allege are contrary to Bafta’s values and everything it stands for.
“But no matter how abhorrent these allegations are, they cannot be dealt with without due process.
“Bafta is an arts charity that is not in a position to properly investigate such matters.”
The academy said the emails it received were “either anonymous or second or third-hand accounts via intermediaries”.
It added: “No first-hand allegations were sent to us. No names, times, dates, productions or other details were ever provided.
“Had the victims gone on record as they have with The Guardian, the award would have been suspended immediately. Noel Clarke’s counsel received a legal notice to this effect.
“It was always very clear what our intentions would be.
“We asked for individuals to come forward with their accounts and identify themselves, as they have done with The Guardian, but due to the anonymous claims and the lack of first-hand specificity, we did not have sufficient grounds to take action.”
Bafta added that it put in place an “independent, appropriately qualified person” with whom alleged victims could discuss the issues.
The letter concluded: “We very much regret that women felt unable to provide us with the kind of first-hand testimony that has now appeared in The Guardian.
“Had we been in receipt of this, we would never have presented the award to Noel Clarke.”
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