Huw Edwards named as BBC presenter at centre of the explicit photo scandal
The 61-year-old’s wife Vicky Flind issued a statement (in full below) on Wednesday afternoon (3am Thursday AEST) on behalf of her husband, saying he is “suffering from serious mental health issues”.
Flind said: “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.”
Flind said Edwards would speak about the matter himself when he was back to health.
The identification of the mystery presenter came just moments after UK’s Metropolitan Police said there was no indication of a criminal offence in the case, after speaking with the parties involved.
Shortly after the Met Police issued their statement, the BBC vowed to carry on their internal investigations into the matter, releasing their own statement.
“We have seen the statement from the police confirming they have completed their assessment and are not taking further action,” it began.
“We’re grateful to them for completing this work at speed.
“The police had previously asked us to pause our fact finding investigations and we will now move forward with that work, ensuring due process and a thorough assessment of the facts, whilst continuing to be mindful of our duty of care to all involved.”
Edwards is a beloved news presenter and was the one person selected to officially announce the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death to the public.
The father-of-five, who is originally from Wales, has worked at the BBC for four decades and is one of the broadcaster’s highest paid personalities, after spending 20 years as the lead presenter of BBC’s flagship Ten O’Clock news.
The 61-year-old has previously spoken about his battle with depression.
After the allegations were initially made public on Friday, Edwards was suspended on-air and an investigation was launched by both the BBC and Met Police.
The allegations against him were first published by UK newspaper The Sun, with the young person’s mum and step-dad claiming the well-known personality paid their child £35,000 ($67,000) for photos starting in 2020 when the young person was 17.
They said the money was used to fund a crack cocaine addiction and their pleas to the network to investigate the star went unanswered.
However the young person involved hit out at the claims through their own lawyer, labelling their mother’s account as “rubbish”.
“Nothing inappropriate or unlawful has taken place between our client and the BBC personality,” the lawyers said.
The following day, a second young person came forward to make further claims related to the BBC presenter involved.
The second young person, aged in their 20s, claimed to have received “expletive-filled abuse” from the personality after the pair met on a dating app and this individual suggested they could publicly name the married presenter.
The BBC faces greater scrutiny than other broadcasters because of its status as a national institution funded through an annual licence fee of £159 ($306) paid by all households with a television.
It has been hit by several scandals involving its stars over the years, most notoriously when longtime children’s TV host Jimmy Savile was exposed after his death in 2011 as a pedophile who abused children and teens over several decades.
– Reported with Associated Press.
Vicky Flind’s statement in full
“In light of the recent reporting regarding the ‘BBC Presenter’ I am making this statement on behalf of my husband Huw Edwards, after what have been five extremely difficult days for our family.
“I am doing this primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children.
“Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues. As is well documented, he has been treated for severe depression in recent years.
“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.
“Once well enough to do so, he intends to respond to the stories that have been published.
“To be clear Huw was first told that there were allegations being made against him last Thursday.
“In the circumstances and given Huw’s condition I would like to ask that the privacy of my family and everyone else caught up in these upsetting events is respected.
“I know that Huw is deeply sorry that so many colleagues have been impacted by the recent media speculation. We hope this statement will bring that to an end.”