Noel Clarke’s Bulletproof co-star Ashley Walters has broken his silence to admit he’s shocked and “saddened” by the misconduct claims against his colleague.
The actor has had his Bafta membership suspended along with his recent Outstanding Contribution award after 20 women accused him of sexual harassment and bullying – which Clarke vehemently denies.
Following publication of the Guardian’s piece yesterday, Clarke has also lost his Sky show Bulletproof in which he starred alongside Walters.
Sky bosses have confirmed they’ve halted production on the latest series of the drama.
Now Walters has spoken out to express his shock over the claims his co-star is facing.
In a statement, Walters said: “My thoughts are with the women who have come forward and told their awful stories. I’m in shock and deeply saddened by what I have heard on a multitude of levels.
“I could never condone behaviour of this nature neither in nor out of the workplace, and whilst Noel has been a friend and colleague for several years, I cannot stand by and ignore these allegations.
“Sexual harassment, abuse and bullying have no place in our industry.
“Every woman has the right to a safe workplace and moving forward I pledge my dedication to this.”
BAFTA also suspended Noel’s recent Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award.
In a statement shared on Thursday evening, BAFTA said: “In light of the allegations of serious misconduct regarding Noel Clarke in The Guardian this evening, BAFTA has taken the decision to suspend his membership and the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award immediately and until further notice.”
Clarke has denied the allegations made by 20 women through his lawyer.
Speaking to the publication, Clarke said: “In a 20-year career, I have put inclusivity and diversity at the forefront of my work and never had a complaint made against me.
“If anyone who has worked with me has ever felt uncomfortable or disrespected, I sincerely apologise.
“I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations.”
According to the report, the women knew Clarke in a “professional capacity” and they have variously accused him of sexual harassment, unwanted touching or groping, sexually inappropriate behaviour and comments on set, professional misconduct, taking and sharing sexually explicit pictures and videos without consent, and bullying between 2004 and 2019.
The actor’s lawyers presented a 29-page letter in which he categorically denied the allegations except one, which said that he once made inappropriate comments about one woman, for which he later apologised.
The article alsoalleged that BAFTA received “anonymous emails and reports of allegations via intermediaries, but no evidence was provided” ahead of Clarke winning his award.
BAFTA had reportedly said that they didn’t have a duty to investigate Clarke as they weren’t given any information which would enable them to do so and were never in a position in which they could begin to consider investigating.