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Update 2: The British Broadcasting Corporation reportedly fired top news anchor Huw Edwards following allegations that he paid a 17-year-old boy $45,000 USD for explicit pictures.

The allegations were made by the unnamed boy’s mother who said the money fueled her son’s crack cocaine addiction.

The scandal rocked the BBC and shocked the United Kingdom. The company faces accusations that it protected Edwards by not taking action sooner.

Edwards was employed by the BBC for 40 years. He anchored the BBC’s flagship News at Ten program for 20 years. He was the first to announce the death of Queen Elizabeth II last year.

The BBC defended its decision not to name Edwards because the case was “under investigation by police.”

However, the Metropolitan Police said there is not enough evidence to bring charges against the 61-year-old anchor who remains in a hospital receiving treatment for depression.

The BBC further muddied the waters by describing Edwards as a “TV presenter” and “TV host” rather than a BBC news anchor.

UK defamation law protects individuals “from the massive harm caused by lies,” the BBC said on Wednesday.

The company added: “So the decision not to name Edwards for so long rested on the high legal risk of a case being brought under privacy or defamation laws – or even a combination of these.”

The BBC said denials from the first boy involved further increased the risk of a defamation lawsuit if Edwards’ name was released to the public.

However, three more young men have come forward accusing Edwards of improper conduct when they were boys.

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Update, July 12, 2023 at 2:15 PM: The BBC confirmed Huw Edwards is the TV host who allegedly paid a teenage boy for explicit pictures.

Edwards was identified by his wife Vicky Flind on his behalf as he is hospitalized for “serious mental health issues.”

“I am making this statement on behalf of my husband Huw Edwards, after what have been five extremely difficult days for our family,” Flind said in a statement on Wednesday.

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.”

She continued:

“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.”

The veteran TV presenter is accused of paying about $45,000 USD to a teenage boy in exchange for explicit pictures. The payments began when the boy was 17, according to his mother.

The boy’s mother filed a complaint with the BBC in May, but her complaint went unanswered until The Sun newspaper contacted the BBC for comment.

Since The Sun first broke the news, three more boys have come forward with allegations of misconduct against Edwards.

On Tuesday, a second boy said he met Edwards on a dating app before being “pressured” to meet with him. He said Edwards sent him “menacing” and “abusive” messages when the boy suggested naming him online.

BBC News viewed the text messages and verified the phone number belonged to Edwards.

A third youngster contact The Sun and claimed Edwards broke COVID lockdown laws to meet with him.

A fourth boy told The Sun he received “creepy” messages from Edwards.

The Metropolitan Police said there is not enough evidence to bring charges against Edwards.

Edwards has been employed by the BBC for 40 years.
Originally published on: July 11, 2023 at 08:21 a.m.

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Male BBC television hosts are flocking to Twitter to deny allegations that they paid a teenage boy for explicit photos.

The British Broadcasting Corporation suspended the unnamed staffer after the boy’s mum complained that the well-known TV host paid her son about $44,934 for explicit photos. She also complained that the lad used the money to support his crack cocaine addiction.

“All I want is for this man to stop paying my child for sexual pictures and stop him funding my child’s drug habit,” she told U.K. tabloid The Sun on Friday. She added that the man paid her son for “performances” that started when he was only 17.

She said her son went from a “happy-go-lucky youngster to a ghost-like crack addict”.

The boy’s mother initially made her complaint to the BBC on May 19, but the star continued to send money and remained on air. The TV host also attended awards shows and partied with BBC bosses after the complaint was filed.

The scandal has rocked the BBC and sent other male TV hosts rushing to Twitter to clear their names.

While gossip boards play guessing games, popular BBC TV hosts Jeremy Vine, Rylan Clark and Gary Linekar all took to Twitter to say it isn’t them. Nicky Campbell also tweeted that he reported an account for accusing him of requesting the photos.

However, UK newspaper The Independent ran Rylan Clark’s photo under a headline about the scandal on Facebook.

Clark politely asked the outlet to edit or remove his photo from the Facebook post. “Frankly, the comments are disgusting,” he wrote.

The BBC released a statement on Sunday, saying it “takes any allegations seriously and we have robust internal processes in place to proactively deal with such allegations.”

The BBC was criticized for not naming the TV presenter who allegedly solicited indecent images from a minor.

In an internal email to BBC staff, director general Tim Davie insisted everyone is taking the allegations “incredibly seriously” and he added that “individuals are entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy, which is making this situation more complex.”