Tuesday 22 January 2019

Ed Westwick replaced in TV drama Ordeal By Innocence after sex assault claims

Christian Cooke will reshoot scenes in the BBC1 drama, which was pulled from the Christmas schedule after the accusations, that Westwick denies.

Ed Westwick has denied the claims (Ian West/PA)
Ed Westwick has denied the claims (Ian West/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

British actor Christian Cooke will replace Ed Westwick, who has been accused of sexual assault, in TV drama Ordeal By Innocence, producers have announced.

The BBC previously pulled the drama from its Christmas schedules after two actresses accused Westwick of sexual assault, claims which the Gossip Girl star denies.

Producers Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Ltd announced in a statement that they are to reshoot sections of the BBC1 programme later this month, with a transmission date yet to be announced.

Christian Cooke will reshoot Westwick's scenes (Ian West/PA)

In a statement they said: “The co-producers of Ordeal By Innocence, Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited, today announced that they are to reshoot sections of the BBC1 drama later this month.

“British actor Christian Cooke has been cast in the role of Mickey Argyll in Ordeal By Innocence and will join other cast members including Bill Nighy, Anna Chancellor, Matthew Goode, Eleanor Tomlinson, Anthony Boyle, Luke Treadaway, Morven Christie, Crystal Clarke, Ella Purnell and Alice Eve on location in Scotland.”

Cooke’s credits include The Art Of More, The Promise and Cemetery Junction.

Announcing that it was pulling the drama from its Christmas schedules, the BBC previously 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.

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

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.”

Filming on Westwick’s BBC2 comedy series White Gold was also halted.

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