- London police have stated that there is no evidence of a crime committed by a BBC presenter who allegedly paid a teenager for sexually explicit photos.
- Metropolitan police made the decision after speaking with the alleged victim and their parents, who had previously lodged a complaint with The Sun newspaper.
- The parents claimed that the BBC allowed the presenter to remain on air despite being informed in May about the payments made to their child.
There’s no evidence a BBC presenter who allegedly paid a teenager for sexually explicit photos committed a crime, London police said Wednesday as the broadcaster’s wife publicly identified him for the first time as veteran news anchor Huw Edwards.
Metropolitan police said it made its decision after speaking with the alleged victim and that person’s parents. The parents had complained to The Sun newspaper last week that the BBC had allowed the presenter to remain on air after they told the broadcaster in May that he paid the youth $45,000 starting in 2020 when the person was 17.
As the scandal remained atop the news all week, colleagues at the BBC had called for the unnamed presenter to come forward.
It was only late Wednesday that his wife, Vicky Flind, issued a statement identifying Edwards. She said her husband was suffering from serious mental health issues and was hospitalized.
Flind said after “five extremely difficult days for our family” she was naming him “primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children.”
HEAT WAVE SWEEPS ACROSS SOUTHERN EUROPE AS SPAIN FACES SWELTERING TEMPERATURES
“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,” she said.
Edwards, 61, is one of Britain’s best-known and most authoritative news broadcasters, lead anchor on the BBC’s nighttime news and the face of its election coverage. He led BBC coverage of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in September. He’s among the broadcaster’s best-paid stars, with an annual salary of at least $565,000.
The U.K.’s publicly funded national broadcaster had not named Edwards, but said it had suspended a male star over the allegations. The BBC said it will continue its investigation into the matter.
A lawyer representing the young person in question, who was not named, told the BBC earlier this week that “nothing inappropriate or unlawful has taken place between our client and the BBC personality.” The lawyer said the allegations reported in The Sun were “rubbish.”
Though the age of sexual consent in Britain is 16, it is a crime to make or possess indecent images of anyone under 18.