Huw Edwards named by wife as BBC presenter at centre of sex scandal allegations.
Huw Edwards has been identified by his wife as the BBC presenter at the centre of an alleged sex scandal.
Vicky Flind released a statement revealing that her husband was currently being treated in hospital for “serious mental health issues”.
She said he would answer the allegations against him “once well enough to do so”.
Ms Flind also pointed out that Edwards’s bosses at the BBC only told him a complaint had been made six days ago – seven weeks after it had first been brought to the attention of the corporation.
Her statement came just 12 minutes after the Metropolitan Police announced that there was “no information to indicate that a criminal offence has been committed”.
The BBC will now come under pressure to justify its continued suspension of Edwards, a father-of-five, who was taken off the screen on Sunday.
Sources made clear the 61-year-old was not quitting as the BBC’s highest paid newsreader on a £435,000 salary after Sophie Raworth wrongly announced on the BBC News at Six that he had resigned.
Raworth also announced at the start of the bulletin that Edwards faced fresh allegations about his behaviour towards colleagues.
It was later reported that three BBC employees – two of them current staff – had come forward with claims, including an allegation that Edwards had sent one of them inappropriate and suggestive messages.
Only last September, Edwards was selected to announce on air to the nation the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
He led the BBC’s coverage of the late monarch’s funeral and took a prominent role in presenting the King’s Coronation.
Despite being widely named on Twitter, Edwards had not been identified in the mainstream media amid concerns about privacy and over fears he was seriously ill.
On Friday, The Sun first published allegations that he had given £35,000 to a young person in exchange for “sordid images”.
According to the newspaper, the first payments were made three years ago when the person, who reportedly has a crack cocaine addiction, was said to be just 17.
It is understood more complainants have since contacted The Sun and the newspaper is preparing a dossier to pass to the BBC, which is investigating.
On Tuesday, Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, had urged any other potential complainants to come forward.
Presenter in hospital
In her statement Ms Flind, who is a television journalist, said: “In light of the recent reporting regarding the ‘BBC presenter’ I am making this statement on behalf of my husband Huw Edwards, after what have been five extremely difficult days for our family. I am doing this primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children.
“Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues. As is well documented, he has been treated for severe depression in recent years.
“The events of the last few days have greatly worsened matters, he has suffered another serious episode and is now receiving in-patient hospital care where he’ll stay for the foreseeable future.
“Once well enough to do so, he intends to respond to the stories that have been published.”
She said her husband was only made aware of the claims being made by the family of the young person when he was contacted last week by the corporation’s bosses seeking to respond to the pending Sun story.
The family first approached the BBC on May 19. However, internal investigators did not contact Edwards. They sent only one email to the complainant and made one telephone call that “did not connect”.
Ms Flind said in her statement: “To be clear Huw was first told that there were allegations being made against him last Thursday.
“In the circumstances and given Huw’s condition I would like to ask that the privacy of my family and everyone else caught up in these upsetting events is respected. I know that Huw is deeply sorry that so many colleagues have been impacted by the recent media speculation. We hope this statement will bring that to an end.”
On Wednesday, Jeremy Vine pleaded with the then unnamed presenter to “come forward” because BBC colleagues including him were being falsely identified.
Vine said on his Channel 5 television show: “This presenter has to show some degree of concern for the people – and I’m one of them – who have been falsely accused.
“I was going to Bruce Springsteen at the weekend and my wife said: ‘Are you going to be safe there?’ That’s how serious this thing is. And she gave me a baseball cap and said you have to wear this. Imagine that situation – ridiculous.”
Vine added: “It’s his decision but he needs to come forward now. I know his survival instinct has kicked in and I know he saw what happened to Phillip Schofield but, my God, look at the damage to the BBC, look at the damage to his friends, to those falsely accused.”
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