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Noel Clarke, a prolific actor, writer, and filmmaker in the U.K. who is perhaps best known for his work on Doctor Who, has been accused by 20 women of serial sexual predation. As reported in The Guardian, the women allege that Clarke has an established history of sexual harassment, bullying, unwanted groping and touching, verbal abuse, and professional misconduct dating back to 2004, in addition to a pattern of secretly filming the nude auditions of female actors. Among the detailed allegations against Clarke, whom The Guardian characterizes as a “serial abuser of women,” his victims claim his substantial power in the British film-and-television industry has made it easy for him to “prey on and harass female colleagues” regardless of their age or rank.
Several allegations share similar themes regarding what it was like for women to work on a Clarke production: He would target a woman with repeated sexual advances, sometimes physically, and if they refused, he would intimidate them into staying silent about his actions. “It was just constant, inappropriate comments,” one woman alleged. “He was always trying to steer the conversation towards sex.” Another woman claimed Clarke had pinned her to a dressing-room wall in hopes of a sexual encounter. “It made me very uncomfortable, and it was not acceptable,” she said. Crazy Rich Asians star Jing Lusi, who worked with Clarke on the 2020 film SAS: Red Notice, alleged that he had propositioned her for sex during a business dinner. When she shot down his advances, Lusi said, Clarke reacted in a “disturbing” way. “[He was] really laying it on thick and grossly and quite explicitly,” she recalled.
Clarke, who is married and has three children, has denied every allegation printed in The Guardian, except one: He admitted he once made “inappropriate comments” to a woman and apologized for them at the time. “In a 20-year career, I have put inclusivity and diversity at the forefront of my work and never had a complaint made against me. If anyone who has worked with me has ever felt uncomfortable or disrespected, I sincerely apologize,” Clarke said. “I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations.” Earlier this month, BAFTA gave Clarke an Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award. The Guardian claims BAFTA was aware of the allegations against him prior to the ceremony.
Updated Sunday, May 2: According to the Hollywood Reporter, London’s Metropolitan Police confirm someone made a report regarding sexual misconduct last month, but they have not opened an investigation. “On Wednesday, 21 April, police received a third-party report relating to allegations of sexual offenses allegedly committed by a male over a period of time,” they told the BBC. According to the outlet, a third-party report in the United Kingdom is anonymous and can’t be investigated directly, but “it can be used as intelligence, for example to see if it matches with other reports against the same person.”
On Friday, the New York Times reported Clarke’s membership and award were both suspended by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts “until further notice.” The organization confirmed they had received emails alerting to them to the allegations against Clarke, but noted that the communications “were either anonymous or second- or third-hand accounts via intermediaries.”
“No names, times, dates, productions or other details were ever provided,” a statement released by BAFTA said. “Had the victims gone on record as they have with The Guardian, the award would have been suspended immediately.”
“We very much regret that women felt unable to provide us with the kind of firsthand testimony that has now appeared in The Guardian,” it continued. “Had we been in receipt of this, we would never have presented the award to Noel Clarke.”
Additionally, on Friday ITV removed the final episode of Clarke’s drama Viewpoint from their scheduled programming, while the talent agency CAA reportedly dropped the actor as a client, according to Deadline.