Limitoo News

BBC presenter faces new claims about second young person

By Larissa Kennelly, Lucy Manning and Marie Jackson

Security guards patrol outside BBC Broadcasting House in central London on July 9, 2023 (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP)
Security guards on duty outside the BBC's Broadcasting House in London on 9 July 2023. Photo: AFP

A young person has told BBC News they felt threatened by the BBC presenter at the centre of a row over payment for sexually explicit photos.

The individual in their early 20s was first contacted anonymously by the male presenter on a dating app.

They say they were put under pressure to meet up but never did.

When the young person hinted online they might name the presenter, they were sent abusive, expletive-filled messages.

Speaking to BBC News, the young person - who has no connection to the person at the centre of the Sun's story about payments for photos - said they had been scared by the power the presenter held.

They said the threats made in the messages - which have been seen and verified by BBC News - had frightened them, and they remain scared.

The new allegations of menacing and bullying behaviour by the high-profile presenter raise fresh questions about his conduct.

BBC News has contacted the presenter directly and via his lawyer but has received no response to the latest allegations.

After the two had first connected on the dating app, the conversation moved to other platforms.

At this stage, the presenter revealed his identity and told the young person not to tell anyone.

Later, the young person alluded online to having contact with a BBC presenter, and implied they would name him at some point.

The presenter reacted by sending a number of threatening messages.

BBC News has been able to verify that the messages were sent from a phone number belonging to the presenter.

The young person's online post has also been seen by BBC News.

While the individual has spoken to BBC News, they have not made a complaint to the BBC corporate investigations unit which is looking into allegations.

Speaking to reporters in Lithuania, the prime minister's press secretary said she had not seen these new allegations but urged any victims to come forward to get support and have their claims investigated.

Claims about the unnamed BBC presenter first surfaced in the Sun newspaper on Friday night.

The paper quoted a mother as saying her child, now 20, had used the money paid for explicit photos to fund a crack cocaine habit, and worried they could "wind up dead".

A lawyer for the young person has since said the accusations were "rubbish" but the family are standing by the account.

The BBC has been defending the handling of its own investigation into the allegations.

At a press conference, BBC director general Tim Davie said the presenter was not spoken to until last Thursday - seven weeks after the first complaint was made to the corporation.

Two attempts had been made to contact the family involved, before the Sun approached them with new claims last week, the BBC said.

The BBC has now paused its own investigation into what happened while police examine the matter.

The presenter, who has been suspended, is not being named because of concerns about defamation and breaching his privacy.

- This story was first published by the BBC