Huw Edwards was today named by his own wife as the BBC star accused of paying £35,000 to a vulnerable teenager in return for explicit photographs – minutes after Scotland Yard dropped their probe into the allegations.
Vicky Flind issued the shock statement and revealed her husband, 61, was ‘suffering from serious mental health issues’ following the claims that emerged in The Sun six days ago.
Ms Flind, who also works in TV, said the father-of-five is ‘now receiving in-patient hospital care where he will stay for the foreseeable future’ as she asked for privacy for her family, declaring: ‘I am doing this primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children’.
She added: ‘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. Once well enough to do so, he intends to respond to the stories that have been published’.
He is accused of sending cash to a teenager in return for sexual photographs over three years. The teen is alleged to have use it to fund a crack cocaine habit. Three more young people have since made allegations against the broadcaster.
And tonight, after he was named, a current BBC employee said that earlier this year they had received suggestive messages on social media from the presenter. Newsnight also claims another BBC worker and a former one have also told them they received what they perceived to be more inappropriate social media messages that made them feel uncomfortable.
The Metropolitan Police and South Wales Police both said this evening that no criminal offence had been committed by the presenter. The BBC had paused its internal probe into the claims Mr Edwards paid the teenager for explicit pictures – and that investigation will now continue.
Edwards was named after a number of BBC stars including Gary Lineker, Rylan, Nicky Campbell and Jeremy Vine were forced to publicly deny they were the household name at the centre of the scandal. Mr Vine had urged his colleague to name themselves to protect colleagues, and the BBC. Mr Campbell went to the police to report people who named him online and threatened to sue them.
Ms Flind’s statement was released at 6pm, however, there was confusion as the BBC first said Mr Edwards, who recently led coverage of the Queen’s death and King Charles’ Coronation, had resigned from his role as their top newsreader. But minutes later the corporation clarified that he had not quit. Sources close to the star have since stressed that he has not left his job.
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards has been named by his wife Vicky Flind as the BBC presenter facing allegations over payments for sexually explicit images
In a statement released by Mr Edward’s wife Vicky Flind, she said that he was receiving in-patient hospital care
The BBC’s top presenter is currently facing four separate allegations. These including paying a young person around £35,000 for sexually explicit photos over a three year period, breaking stay-at-home lockdown rules to meet another young person, sending messages to a 17-year-old with love hearts and kisses and sending threatening messages to a person in their early twenties who he met on a dating app.
It comes as the Metropolitan Police said this evening that no criminal offence has been committed by the BBC presenter facing allegations over payments for sexually explicit images.
Ms Flind said this evening: ‘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.’
She said that Mr Edwards was first told of the 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’, the presenter’s wife added.
‘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.’
It comes as a fourth young person came forward today to air allegations about the presenter.
Mr Edwards, 61, is one of the corporation’s most high-profile newsreaders, being paid over £430,000 on his current salary.
He was presented the flagship BBC News at Ten programme for more than 10 years, and continued to report more than a dozen times since the claims were allegedly first reported to the corporation on May 19.
Mr Edwards’ was facing increasing pressure from his colleagues to step forward, after BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine called on the presenter to identify himself to stop other BBC stars from being defamed.
Mr Vine said today: ‘He should now come forward publicly. These new allegations will result in yet more vitriol being thrown at perfectly innocent colleagues of his. And the BBC, which I’m sure he loves, is on its knees with this.’
Meanwhile former BBC presenter Jon Sopel weighed in on the row yesterday afternoon – before the fourth person made their allegations – to reveal the unnamed star is ‘extremely angry’ over how the claims had been covered.
The broadcaster, 61, announced the news for the BBC that the Queen had died in September 2022
Edwards, a married father-of-five, has worked at the BBC for four decades. He has spoken openly about his mental health and getting fitter in recent years
The presenter shared with BBC Radio Cymru that he had lost weight in 2019
The Met Police said in as statement this evening: ‘Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command have now concluded their assessment and have determined there is no information to indicate that a criminal offence has been committed.
‘In reaching this decision, they have spoken to a number of parties including the BBC and the alleged complainant and the alleged complainant’s family, both via another police force. There is no further police action. As such, the Met has advised the BBC it can continue with its internal investigation.
‘We are aware of media reporting of further allegations against the same individual.
‘No specific details or information about these allegations have been passed to us and therefore there is no police action at this time.
‘Should evidence of criminality or safeguarding issues be identified at any point we would expect matters to be referred to the relevant police force.’
A spokesperson for the BBC said: ‘We have seen the statement from the police confirming they have completed their assessment and are not taking further action. 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.’
South Wales Police confirmed it had also been looking at the case.
The force said in a statement: ‘South Wales Police has remained in contact with representatives of the Metropolitan Police and the BBC following a meeting on Monday.
‘Information was initially received by the force in April 2023 regarding the welfare of an adult. No criminality was identified.
‘Following recent events, further enquiries have been carried out and officers have spoken to a number of parties to establish whether any criminal allegations are being made.
‘At this time, there is no evidence that any criminal offences have been committed. There are no ongoing enquiries being carried out by South Wales Police.
‘However, should evidence of criminality or safeguarding issues be identified at any point in future then they will be investigated.’
Edwards, who was born in Bridgend and brought up in Llangennech, Carmarthenshire, joined the BBC as a trainee in 1984. Pictured on the six o’clock news in 1999
The BBC star at the centre of the sex pictures scandal is now facing claims from four separate young people
Mr Edwards is facing claims from four separate young people.
The details of the vulnerable teenager alleged to be addicted to crack appeared in The Sun on Thursday night.
Since then, three more people have made allegations against the broadcaster, as fellow stars pile pressure on him to come forward and address the claims publicly.
Claims first emerged on Friday night that one of the BBC’s top stars paid a vulnerable teenager £35,000 for sexual pictures that the youngster used to buy crack cocaine.
The well-known presenter allegedly began paying the teenager when they were 17, and sent them the money which they used to fund a drug addiction.
The child’s mother, who first made the shocking allegations in May, told the Sun she feels ‘sick’ whenever she sees the man on TV, as questions began to grow over why it took so long for the corporation to act.
The star was said to have requested ‘performances’ from the individual, who told their mother they would then ‘get their bits out’.
A formal complaint was made to the BBC by the family two months ago, begging bosses to stop the behaviour towards their child, now 20.
The young person at the centre of the controversy said on Monday via a lawyer, according to BBC News At Six, that nothing inappropriate or unlawful happened with the unnamed presenter.
However, their mother told The Sun they stand by the claims and a spokesperson for the newspaper said it is ‘now for the BBC to properly investigate’.
On Tuesday afternoon, a bombshell second claim emerged when the same presenter was accused of sending abusive and menacing messages to a person in their 20s.
The new individual claims to have been contacted anonymously by the male presenter on a dating app.
They claim they were put under pressure to meet with the star but never did, the BBC reported.
When they hinted online that they might name them, they allege they were sent abusive messages that were filled with expletives.
According to the BBC, the conversation between the person in their 20s and the presenter moved onto other platforms after beginning on a dating app.
The presenter then revealed his identity and asked the young person not to tell anyone.
The young person later posted online alluding to having had contact with a BBC presenter and hinting they might name him.
The presenter then sent a number of ‘threatening messages’ which the BBC says it has seen and confirmed came from a phone number belonging to the presenter.
The BBC said the young person felt ‘threatened’ by the messages and ‘remains scared’.
Just hours later, the star was then branded a ‘complete hypocrite’ for allegedly breaking Covid rules to meet a 23-year-old stranger from a dating site.
The unnamed presenter was accused of defying the third national lockdown for an encounter with a young person in 2021 while the BBC was at the same time telling millions of people to follow the rules as part of its coverage of the pandemic.
The third person said they met up after months of interactions, and that the presenter sent them £650 in cash and asked them for a picture, The Sun reports.
A mocked up version of a reported Instagram message exchange between the unnamed BBC star and a teenager
They claimed the presenter travelled into a different county to meet them at their flat in February 2021 when rules included a stay at home order and mixing only between household bubbles.
The person claimed at the meeting, which came months after they started talking on the dating site in November 2020, ‘he came round for an hour…. We just chatted. He was obsessed with me making him a cup of tea.’
In an interview with the newspaper, the person claims they met on account that didn’t have a picture of the presenter but they ‘put two and two together’ when the BBC star told him his name and what he did for a living.
They said that the host was eager to meet face-to-face, and was asking to do this even when the restrictions ‘kept getting stricter’ as the pandemic continued.
However, when they turned down chances to meet the BBC presenter, he allegedly sent ‘a barrage of messages’ saying he ‘felt unwanted’.
The 23-year-old claims that when they did meet he ‘came round for an hour’.
Last night, fresh claims emerged from a fourth young person who says the star sent them ‘creepy’ Instagram messages when they were 17.
The youngster said they were contacted by the presenter ‘out of the blue’ and sent messages including love hearts and kisses. It is not clear if the BBC star knew the follower’s age.
The individual, who is now 22, told The Sun that the man sent them a love heart emoji in October 2018 without having spoken to him before.
‘Ahahaha sweet. How it’s going at the BBC?’ the follower is said to have replied.
‘All good thanks x. You ok?’ the star allegedly wrote, followed by a love heart.
‘Aha yeah why?’ the follower said, to which the star replied, ‘Just being polite’.
This was followed by sporadic messages between the pair, with the star even advising them to take part in a BBC school scheme when given the opportunity.
The youngster said: ‘Looking back now it does seem creepy because he was messaging me when I was still at school.’
They added: ‘Knowing what I know now, I feel I was a bit naive.’
At one point the individual appeared to grow frustrated when the BBC star did not reply, writing: ‘No reply then.’
In their later conversations, including when school was mentioned, the presenter stopped using love hearts and emojis. The youngster added: ‘In light of what I know now, it feels as though when he realised I was not flirtatious back, he changed in the way he would reply.’