BBC presenter scandal: Fresh allegations made against suspended celebrity | UK News

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BBC presenter scandal: Fresh allegations made against suspended celebrity | UK News

A 23-year-old has claimed that the unnamed host broke lockdown rules to meet them during a pandemic, while The Sun has published messages allegedly sent to a 17-year-old. Earlier on Tuesday, another complainant claimed they felt threatened.

By Connor Sephton and Samuel Osborne, news reporters

The BBC is facing increasing pressure after fresh allegations were made against an unnamed presenter.

The star was suspended over the weekend after The Sun claimed that he had paid tens of thousands of pounds to a young person in exchange for sexually explicit photographs.

But on Tuesday, three other allegations emerged, with BBC host Jeremy Vine saying that he believes the presenter involved “should now come forward publicly”.

BBC presenter latest: Star faces new set of claims

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COVID rule-breaking allegations

According to The Sun, a 23-year-old has now claimed that the celebrity broke lockdown rules to meet them during the pandemic in February 2021.

The star allegedly travelled to the person’s home at a time when COVID restrictions prevented people from meeting anyone outside their household or bubble.

The newspaper said it had seen messages suggesting the presenter sent cash and asked for a picture – and was sent a semi-naked photo.

“I was quite shocked that he broke the rules to come and meet me because of who he is. I was just a random person online,” the 23-year-old said.

Three payments were allegedly made to their PayPal account – £200 on the day of the visit, alongside two other transactions of £200 and £250.

Online impact of BBC allegations

Conversation ‘initiated on Instagram’

Separately, The Sun has also published messages that were allegedly sent to a 17-year-old after a conversation was initiated on Instagram in October 2018.

The paper said the messages contained love heart emojis and kisses.

The person, now 22, was quoted as saying: “Looking back now it does seem creepy because he was messaging me when I was still at school.”

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Complainant claims they felt ‘threatened’

Earlier on Tuesday, a person in their early 20s had become the second to come forward with a complaint about the presenter.

Speaking to BBC News, they said they had felt threatened by the unnamed star.

It is alleged that they were contacted anonymously by the man on a dating app – and were reportedly pressured to meet up but never did.

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

The broadcaster reported it had seen “a number of threatening messages” and had verified they had been sent from a phone number belonging to the presenter.

The complainant told the BBC they had been scared by the power the presenter held and the threats in the messages had frightened them.

BBC News said it had contacted the unnamed star via his lawyer but had received no response to these allegations.

PM: BBC allegations are ‘shocking’

BBC controversy deepens

The scandal at the broadcaster began when a mother and stepfather claimed that the presenter had paid £35,000 to their child, who reportedly used the money to fund a crack cocaine habit.

The claims apparently date back to 2020, when the young person was 17.

They are now 20 years old – and on Monday, their lawyer branded the claims as “rubbish” and insisted “nothing inappropriate” had happened with the presenter.

However, their parents said they stood by their account, and went on to claim “the presenter has got into their head”.

BBC boss ‘not spoken to accused presenter’

Police identified ‘no criminality’

Yesterday, the BBC admitted it did not put allegations about the first young person to the presenter until seven weeks after they were first raised.

Meanwhile, a police force said it was contacted by the parents of the teenager in April.

The force said “no criminality was identified” initially, however it has since met with the Metropolitan Police and the BBC.

A statement said: “As a result of recent developments, further inquiries are ongoing to establish whether there is evidence of a criminal offence.”

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A spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urged “anyone who has been a victim in the nature of these allegations” to “come forward to ensure that they are supported and their claims looked into”.

On Tuesday, the BBC released its own timeline of events in how allegations about the first young person were dealt with.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed it had asked the BBC to halt proceedings while officers assess whether a criminal act has been committed.

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