The BBC has admitted to receiving bullying and sexual misconduct complaints about its longtime presenter and DJ Tim Westwood.
A new report by BBC News says the broader media corporation received six complaints about Westwood, who was employed by the BBC from 1994 through 2013, including one that was referred to the BBC by police. This is in contrast to earlier comments by Director General Tim Davie when the initial investigation into Westwood by BBC News and the Guardian was published in late April. At the time, Davie said, "we looked at our records and we've seen no evidence [of complaints]".
According to the Guardian, some of the complaints, including the one shared by the police, were found in BBC files, while others were made after the April story. The Guardian reports the larger BBC corporation told them that Davie "set out the position as he understood it at the time".
These new details have come to light since BBC News lodged a complaint against the BBC corporation about the way it handled the news arm's freedom of information (FoI) request while gathering information for the initial joint report. The corporation reportedly responded it could "neither confirm nor deny whether the BBC holds the requested information".
The BBC News story says the six complaints are about incidents that took place while Westwood was employed by BBC, though the corporation claims some of complaints are about his behavior from outside the job, including the case referred by police. "This is an historic case that the BBC has found in its files," a BBC spokesperson said in a statement to the Guardian. "We are establishing the facts around it. It did not relate to conduct at the BBC, BBC premises, or conduct towards a BBC staff member, nor was it an accusation of physical assault."
The original Guardian and BBC News investigation, published 26th April, reported the accounts of seven women who accused Westwood of sexual misconduct, predatory behavior and abuse of power from 1992 to 2017. Westwood has denied the allegations and not responded to requests for comment by the Guardian and BBC News.
If you have been affected by any of the issues discussed in this article, the following organisations may be able to provide help and advice:
In the UK
Provides help and information for anyone who has been affected by a crime, including a violent or sexual assault, or is wary about involving the police.
Helpline: 0845 30 30 900 (Seven days a week)
The Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre
Support and information for women and girls who have been raped or sexually abused, however long ago and whatever the circumstances.
Helpline: 0845 1221 331 (Seven days a week)
In North America
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization
The National Sexual Assault Hotline (24 hours, seven days a week):800.656.HOPE (4673), online.rainn.org, rainn.org/es
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is the leading nonprofit in providing information and tools to prevent and respond to sexual violence.
Directory of organizations: https://www.nsvrc.org/organizations