BBC should have further explored sex misconduct claims against Tim Westwood, review finds

Entertainment

The BBC should have further explored issues that were being raised about DJ Tim Westwood, an internal review into allegations of sexual misconduct has found.

A review by the BBC has documented several accusations against Westwood, as well as complaints of alleged use of sexualised comments while on air and that he created a “toxic atmosphere”.

BBC Board senior independent director Nick Serota said: “In light of the BBC’s internal review, I believe that there may have been occasions in the past when the BBC should have further explored issues that were being raised.

“It now appears there are allegations against Tim Westwood dating to before, during and after his employment with the BBC and also elsewhere. The BBC is willing to work with any other employers in order to fully establish what happened.”

The BBC says it has contacted the Metropolitan Police to assist with the transfer of appropriate information to law enforcement.

Westwood has publicly denied all allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

In an update on the review published on Thursday, the BBC said two reports of sexual misconduct by Westwood were received in 2012.

One was an allegation made to the BBC in October 2012 that in 2007 Westwood “made inappropriate sexual remarks to a 15-year-old female at a non-BBC event.”

This allegation was passed to the police in October 2012, who in May 2013 indicated they would take no further action in
relation to it, the report said.

Read more: Tim Westwood sex crime claims being investigated by police go back 40 years, Sky News understands

The review also found that two sets of internal complaints were made regarding allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Westwood in the workplace.

One set of complaints was made in 2011 and repeated in 2012 and concerned the “alleged use of sexualised and inappropriate comments” by Westwood whilst on air and a complaint about his conduct generally.

Lengthening list of complaints against DJ

In April, following a joint BBC and Guardian investigation, Westwood “strongly denied” several allegations of sexual misconduct by women who say he abused his position to take advantage of them. All the women are black and worked in the music industry.

Three of the women accused the former Radio 1 DJ of opportunistic and predatory sexual behaviour, while four others claimed they were groped by him at events, between 1992 and 2017. Their stories were featured in a BBC Three documentary, Tim Westwood: Abuse of Power.

After the documentary aired, Westwood stepped down from his Capital Xtra radio show “until further notice”.

In early July, the BBC revealed it had received six complaints against the former Radio 1 DJ – one of which was referred to police – despite earlier claims it had seen “no evidence of complaints” from his time at the corporation.

The DJ was an early champion of hip-hop in the UK and hosted the first nationally broadcast rap show on UK radio from 1994.

He left Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra in 2013 after nearly 20 years, joining Capital Xtra to host a regular show on Saturday nights, where he was referred to as “The Big Dawg”.

In a statement in April, a spokesperson for Westwood said: “Tim Westwood strongly denies all allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

“In a career that has spanned 40 years, there have never been any complaints made against him officially or unofficially.

“Tim Westwood strongly rejects all allegations of wrongdoing.”

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