The BBC has revealed it received complaints against Tim Westwood – including one that was referred to the police – despite previously insisting it was unaware of any concerns about the DJ’s behaviour.
The corporation now says it is reviewing six complaints relating to Westwood, including some that are in the past, raising serious questions about what it said in public after the Guardian and BBC published a joint investigation オン 26 4月.
The story set out allegations of sexual misconduct by the former Radio 1 DJ, 彼はそれを否定した, prompting statements by the director general, Tim Davie.
The day after the story broke Davie said he had “seen no evidence of complaints” – but the BBC has now confirmed it received six, which it is assessing as part of a review it launched into Westwood’s 19-year career at the corporation.
As well as a matter that was referred to police, インクルード BBC confirmed Westwood was spoken to in relation to another complaint.
The Guardian understands some of these complaints were in the past and were found in BBC files – including the one referred to the police. Others were made after the publication of the story.
The BBC said the complaint it referred to the police did not relate to an allegation of physical assault, adding that it would be in a position to say more when its investigation had concluded. The police declined to comment on whether they had received or how they had handled any referral.
In a statement to the Guardian, the BBC said Davie had “set out the position as he understood it at the time”.
4月中, the Guardian published testimony from seven women who made allegations of sexual misconduct against Westwood. They claimed he misused his position in the music industry to take advantage of them.
The DJ has consistently denied all the allegations against him, with a spokesperson for him saying there had never been any complaints against him “officially or unofficially”.
The new details emerged after BBC News complained about the corporation’s response to a freedom of information (そうだった) request, as part of the Guardian/BBC joint investigation.
The BBC has now confirmed it received six complaints about Westwood’s conduct relating to the period 1994-2013 when he was employed at the BBC.
The BBC said the complaints related to allegations of bullying and sexual misconduct and some related to Westwood’s conduct outside the BBC. The corporation did not say whether any of the complaints had been upheld. “We are aware that one of these complaints was referred to police and Mr Westwood was spoken to in relation to another complaint,” the BBC confirmed.
“We are not aware what further action was taken at this stage. As a result of this, we are looking into what action was taken at the time.”
Asked to elaborate, a BBC spokesperson said the internal inquiry was ongoing.
“As we have said, if people have things that they want to raise with the BBC, then they should do so. People have now done so and we will continue to investigate. We also said that we would dig into what happened in the past. We are doing that with great care. All of that work hasn’t concluded and is ongoing. We said we would take this seriously, and we are. When that work has concluded, we will say more.”
Regarding the issue that was referred to the police, the spokesperson added: “This is an historic case that the BBC has found in its files. 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.” It did not give further details and it is unclear whether Westwood was made aware of the referral.
The BBC volunteered the new information following a challenge by the BBC News journalist Chi Chi Izundu regarding the corporation’s handling of an initial FoI request last year.
その時点で, the corporation declined to say anything about Westwood, refusing to confirm or deny whether it held any information regarding Westwood’s conduct.
The response stated that its stance had changed after the publication of the investigation in April, which included the broadcast of the BBC Three programme Tim Westwood: Abuse of Power.
In a statement after the Guardian/BBC investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct made against Westwood in April, the BBC said it was “shocked”.
A spokesperson had said: “The BBC is against all forms of inappropriate behaviour and we are shocked to hear of these allegations. The BBC has strict codes of conduct for all those engaged by the BBC, including on-air presenters.”
Davie, who was head of radio output at the BBC when Westwood was the voice of rap and hip-hop on Radio 1, called the allegations “shocking” the day after the allegations were made, but said he had seen no evidence of complaints being made against the DJ at the BBC. He described sexual misconduct claims made against Westwood as “appalling” and urged anyone with evidence to come forward.
Following the original allegations, Davie said: “It is shocking and the testimony of the women is powerful and appalling. I credit the BBC and Guardian teams for going after the story.”
Asked whether the BBC had any records of formal complaints about Westwood, 彼は言った: “I’ve seen no evidence of complaints. I’ve asked and we looked at our records and we’ve seen no evidence.
“Every complaint has to be taken seriously. If anything comes up we will investigate it fully. If people have evidence where things weren’t followed up or they have concern in this area bring it to us … we will follow up anything and we will dig and dig and dig. If people have got evidence of wrongdoing we need to bring it forward.”
A spokesperson for Westwood said the allegations were completely false and denied them in their entirety when the investigation was published in April.
Lawyers acting for him said he was a well-respected and highly successful DJ: “Any suggestion that he acts, or has acted, in the way described would be false and seriously defamatory.” They said he wanted to make clear he did not behave in the manner described.
After publication a spokesperson for Westwood added: “Tim Westwood strongly denies all allegations of inappropriate behaviour. In a career that has spanned 40 年, there have never been any complaints made against him officially or unofficially. Tim Westwood strongly rejects all allegations of wrongdoing.”
Westwood did not respond to a request for comment for this story.