Sunday 19 November 2017

BBC pulls St Stephen's Day drama after star accused of rape

The Gossip Girl star has denied the allegations.

Ed Westwick
Ed Westwick

By Francesca Gosling

The BBC has pulled Agatha Christie drama Ordeal By Innocence from Christmas schedules after two actresses accused star Ed Westwick of sexual assault.

His filming on BBC Two comedy series White Gold has also been halted.

Gossip Girl star Westwick, 30, has denied the two claims of assault.

The BBC said in a statement: “These are serious allegations which Ed Westwick has strenuously denied. The BBC is not making any judgment but until these matters are resolved we will not include Ordeal By Innocence in the schedules.

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Ed Westwick (left) and Lee Ross in White Gold

“The independent production company making White Gold has informed us that Ed Westwick has paused from filming while he deals with these allegations.”

Ordeal By Innocence, which also stars Bill Nighy and Eleanor Tomlinson and follows a line of BBC Christie adaptations aired as festive specials, was due to air on BBC One next month.

White Gold was expected to be broadcast next year.

Following the first claim of assault, in which an actress said Westwick had raped her, Westwick wrote on Twitter: “I do not know this woman.

“I have never forced myself in any manner, on any woman. I certainly have never committed rape.”

Police in Los Angeles said on Thursday they are investigating a sexual assault report filed against Westwick.

Another woman came forward shortly after with an allegation of assault.

Westwick wrote: “It is disheartening and sad to me that as a result of two unverified and provably untrue social media claims, there are some in this environment who could ever conclude I have had anything to do with such vile and horrific conduct.

“I have absolutely not, and I am cooperating with the authorities so that they can clear my name as soon as possible.”

Press Association

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