BBC Star Embroiled in Alleged Sex Pics Scandal Resigns

Chris Jackson/Reuters
Chris Jackson/Reuters

Huw Edwards, the veteran BBC host suspended amid allegations that he’d paid a teenager for sexually explicit images, has resigned, the broadcaster said Monday.

Edwards has been off air since July in the wake of the bombshell reports which, at first, did not name him as the host at the heart of claims being made against a well-known employee of the national broadcaster. After days of frenzied speculation in Britain, Edwards’ wife revealed that her husband—the man the BBC chose to front major national events including the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II—was the person about whom the allegations had been made.

BBC Star in Alleged Teen Sex Pic Scandal Finally Named

“Huw Edwards has today resigned and left the BBC,” a BBC spokesman said Monday. “After 40 years of service, Huw has explained that his decision was made on the basis of medical advice from his doctors.” The spokesperson said the BBC had accepted Edwards’ resignation “which it believes will allow all parties to move forward.” “We don’t believe it appropriate to comment further,” they added.

The Sun initially reported claims that a “household name” in Britain had paid around $45,000 for explicit images beginning when the recipient was just 17 years old. The report was based on the mother of the young person—who has not been named—though a lawyer acting for the young person subsequently said the claims were “rubbish” and that “nothing inappropriate or unlawful” took place.

Amid the furore, Edwards’ wife Vicky Flind said in a statement that she was naming her husband as the host involved “primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children.” “Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues,” she continued, saying he had been treated for “severe depression in recent years” and that he would be “receiving in-patient hospital care where he’ll stay for the foreseeable future.”

She also said he would respond to the allegations when he is “well enough to do so” and said Edwards was “deeply sorry that so many colleagues have been impacted by the recent media speculation.”

As yet, 62-year-old Edwards has not publicly commented on the claims.

Before his suspension, Edwards was the highest-paid TV news anchor at the BBC, earning a salary of up to around $540,000 according to the broadcaster’s most recent annual report. He was still expected to be the most well-paid news host at the corporation in 2023/2024 too despite his suspension, The Times reported earlier this month.

The newspaper also claimed that Edwards was too unwell to take part in a BBC investigation into his alleged behavior. It’s unclear if he has since participated in the probe.

BBC staff typically receive their full pay while serving a suspension. The broadcaster—which is primarily funded by the British public through an annual $209 license fee charged to U.K. households—confirmed that Edwards would not receive a payoff as part of his departure from the organization.

Scotland Yard chose not to bring any charges against Edwards, saying it had received “no information to indicate that a criminal [offense] has been committed.”

In February, the BBC apologized to the family of the young person linked to the scandal, saying it had not “escalated quickly enough” the complaints brought against Edwards. An independent review of the corporation’s handling of the episode found that the BBC first became aware of allegations against its most famous news anchor on May 18, 2023, but it wasn’t until July 6, 2023 that senior executives were informed.

The review also found that the “potential wider significance of this issue for the BBC was not [recognized]” by the broadcaster’s corporate investigations team at the time it received the complaint.

As well as announcing the historic news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death to the world, Edwards had been trusted to front earlier significant occasions in British life including the royal weddings of both princes William and Harry. He also led the BBC’s coverage of the coronation of King Charles III.

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