Huw Edwards: the face of BBC who announced queen's death accused of paying for explicit images

Vicky Flind said in a statement that her husband was "suffering from serious mental health issues" and was now "receiving in-patient hospital care where he will stay for the foreseeable future."
BBC journalist Huw Edwards speaks in front of a camera in Downing Street in central London on September 5, 2022. (Photo | AFP)
BBC journalist Huw Edwards speaks in front of a camera in Downing Street in central London on September 5, 2022. (Photo | AFP)

LONDON: Veteran news anchor Huw Edwards was on Wednesday revealed by his wife as the BBC presenter accused of paying for explicit images but police said no criminal offence had been committed.

Vicky Flind said in a statement that her husband was "suffering from serious mental health issues" and was now "receiving in-patient hospital care where he will stay for the foreseeable future".

At the same time, Metropolitan Police issued a statement saying that there was "no information to indicate that a criminal offence has been committed".

The furore has been frontpage news and the lead story on radio and television news bulletins for six successive days, with frenzied speculation on social media about the star's identity until the confirmation.

It comes after the BBC -- whose brand is built on public trust -- was rocked in recent years by scandals which saw some of their biggest names revealed as serial sex offenders.

Edwards, 61, is one of the most recognisable faces on UK television, and was the man entrusted with telling the world that Queen Elizabeth II had died.

The BBC has been under the spotlight since allegations emerged last week in The Sun newspaper from the parents of a young adult, who said that the presenter had paid for explicit images of their child.

The young adult, however, called the claims "rubbish".

The tabloid newspaper did not name the presenter, but accused the BBC of failing to properly investigate the claims, sparking another crisis at the national broadcaster.

Edward's wife said she was revealing his identity "after what have been five extremely difficult days for our family" and was doing so "primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children".

"Once well enough to do so, he intends to respond to the stories that have been published," she added, saying that he only learned of the allegations on Thursday.

Further claims have since been made against the presenter, as three more people came forward with complaints over the last two days.

The BBC itself reported on Tuesday that another person in their 20s had come forward to say they received threatening messages from the presenter while The Sun reported that he also broke Covid lockdown rules to meet another young person he met on a dating site.

'Creepy' messages
The alleged pandemic breach has a particular resonance in the UK as the BBC was at the time reporting on the country's third lockdown and how it was being enforced.

Covid rule-breaking in Downing Street also led to the long-running "Partygate" scandal that contributed to the downfall of former prime minister Boris Johnson.

A fourth person also told The Sun the star sent messages containing love hearts and kisses on Instagram when they were aged 17.

The first claims emerged in an article published Friday, in which the parents said the presenter had paid a total of £35,000 ($45,000) for the pictures.

The family said their child had used the money to fuel a crack cocaine addiction, prompting lawyers acting for the young person to deny the claims.

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