The BBC has pulled an Agatha Christie drama from the Christmas schedule after one of its stars was accused of rape and sexual assault.
Ordeal by Innocence was due to air this Boxing Day, but has been put on hold in the midst of an investigation surrounding actor Ed Westwick.
A spokesperson for the BBC said in a statement: “These are serious allegations which Ed Westwick has strenuously denied. The BBC is not making any judgement but until these matters are resolved we will not include Ordeal by Innocence in the schedules”.
In addition, Westwick is no longer filming the BBC Two comedy series, White Gold.
The BBC said: “The independent production company making White Gold has informed us that Ed Westwick has paused from filming while he deals with these allegations.” Filming will continue without him.
Westwick was accused of rape by two women – Aurélie Wynn and Kristina Cohen – in November. Cohen, writing in a lengthy Facebook post, alleged that she was assaulted at Westwick’s house in 2014.
“I was paralysed, terrified,” she said. “I couldn’t speak, I could no longer move. He held me down and raped me.”
Westwick, responding to the accusation via his own social media accounts, stated: “I do not know this woman. I have never forced myself in any manner, on any woman. I certainly have never committed rape.”
Cohen went on to file a police report and the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) are investigating the allegations.
The BBC had tweeted a teaser for Ordeal By Innocence on 7 November, just hours after the first accusation against him was made public. The tweet was swiftly deleted.
As the show was the BBC’s major Christmas offering this year, they have had to refill the slot quickly. The broadcaster’s much anticipated adaptation of Little Women will be airing over Christmas, as well as The Miniaturist.
In the meantime, Ordeal by Innocence – the third of seven planned Agatha Christie adaptations – will be pulled until further notice.
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