BBC presenter scandal: Teen’s family ‘upset’ with BBC response to sex photo claims
The family of a teenager at the centre of sex photo controversy says they were ‘upset’ with the BBC’s response.
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The family of a teenager who allegedly received money from a popular BBC presenter in exchange for sexually explicit pictures is said to be ‘upset’ over the corporation’s response to the allegations.
They said ‘no one from the corporation rang them for a proper interview after the initial complaint’, which was done in May. This resulted in them approaching the Sun instead, but wanted no money for the story.
The presenter, whose identity remains unknown, was suspended on Sunday (July 9) as the BBC looked into the claims and consulted the Metropolitan Police to discuss the matter. The BBC said it was working as quickly as possible to establish the facts.
The Sun first reported on Friday night (July 7) that the presenter allegedly began paying the young person, who was then 17, over £35,000 over a three year-period. The mum told the newspaper the family first complained with the BBC in May, but became ‘frustrated’ that the star was still on air a month later.
The teen’s mum said how her child used the man’s alleged funds to feed a crack cocaine habit, and they had gone from a “happy-go-lucky youngster to a ghost-like crack addict’ in just three years.
In a statement on Sunday announcing a male member of staff had been suspended, the BBC said it was working as fast as possible "to establish the facts in order to properly inform appropriate next steps".
"The BBC first became aware of a complaint in May," it said. "New allegations were put to us on Thursday of a different nature and in addition to our own enquiries we have also been in touch with external authorities, in line with our protocols."
It added that the corporation expected to be in a position to provide a further update on the process in the coming days.
In the third report pertaining to the presenter published on Sunday, the paper claimed the BBC presenter made two "panicked calls" to the young person - who is now 20 - after the report came out.
The presenter allegedly asked the young person "what have you done?" and asked them to ring their mother to get her to "stop the investigation", the paper said.
BBC News said it has not been able to independently verify these claims.
The accusations against the host have rocked the public broadcasting service, with politicians coming together to condemn the behaviour and call for a transparent investigation.
A number of BBC presenters have taken to social media to deny they are the star in question. They include Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two star Rylan Clark, BBC Radio 2 host, Jeremy Vine, BBC sports broadcaster Gary Lineker and BBC Radio 5 Live host, Nicky Campbell.