Ordeal by Innocence, the BBC’s major Christmas drama this year, will not currently be included in the schedules following sexual assault allegations against one of its stars, Ed Westwick.
The actor, who was set to star in BBC1’s three-part Agatha Christie adaptation, has been accused of rape by two women. He denies both allegations.
However, the BBC has taken the decision to remove Ordeal by Innocence from the schedules, and will not broadcast the drama until the allegations have been resolved.
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“These are serious allegations which Ed Westwick has strenuously denied,” a BBC spokesperson said. “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 also confirmed that filming with Westwick on the BBC comedy White Gold has 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.
Actor Westwick has strenuously denied the allegations from two women, writing in a statement on Twitter, “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 added, “I have absolutely not, and I am cooperating with the authorities so that they can clear my name as soon as possible.”
Two women, former actress Aurélie Wynn and actress Kristina Cohen, have accused the actor of rape.According to US publication Deadline, Cohen has filed a report with Los Angeles police.
Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child star Anthony Boyle and Bill Nighy were all set to star in the three-part BBC1 series, written by Sarah Phelps and based on the Agatha Christie novel.
Ordeal by Innocence was set to be the first of seven new Agatha Christie adaptations, following the success of And Then There Were None and The Witness for the Prosecution.