Gossip Girl and White Gold star Ed Westwick’s role in the BBC’s Agatha Christie drama Ordeal By Innocence is to be recast.
The three-part drama, based on Christie’s murder mystery novel of the same name, was pulled from the BBC’s Christmas schedules after allegations of sexual assault were made against the actor by two women.
Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited have now announced that Westwick’s character, Mickey Argyll, will be played by English actor Christian Cooke, according to The Hollywood Reporter. They will re-shoot Westwick’s scenes with Cooke and announce a new transmission date in due course.
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Westwick has strenuously denied the allegations made against him. “It is disheartening and sad to me that as a result of two unverified and provably untrue social media claims, there are some in this environment who could ever conclude that I have had anything to do with such vile and horrific conduct,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter in November.
He added, “I have absolutely not, and I am cooperating with the authorities so that they can clear my name as soon as possible.”
“These are serious allegations which Ed Westwick has strenuously denied,” a BBC spokesperson said when news of the drama’s removal from the schedules was announced. “The BBC is not making any judgement but until these matters are resolved we will not include Ordeal by Innocence in the schedules.”
The BBC had also confirmed that filming with Westwick on the BBC comedy White Gold had been “paused”.
“The independent production company making White Gold has informed us that Ed Westwick has paused from filming while he deals with these allegations,” a spokesperson said.