The story about a BBC presenter who was alleged to have paid for sexually explicit photographs of a teenager has been thrown into doubt by a statement from the young person’s lawyer. What does this latest revelation change about the story?
On Friday the Sun published a story which claimed that an unnamed BBC star allegedly paid a teenager for sexually explicit photos over three years.
The source was the young person’s mother, but her child’s lawyer has dismissed the claims as “rubbish”.
In a letter to the BBC they say the young person also sent the Sun a WhatsApp message on Friday night saying the statement their mother made to the newspaper was “totally wrong and there was no truth to it”.
Until this point the BBC has been under pressure to answer questions about what it knew about the allegations and when. Now the Sun has questions to answer too.
The mother told the paper that the star paid her child £35,000 for photos over the course of three years, starting when they were 17 years old.
Producing, distributing and possessing sexually explicit images of children under 18 is a criminal offence.
The mother said that her child used the money to buy crack cocaine.
She said she first complained to the BBC about the presenter more than a month ago.
The Sun reported that she then approached the paper when he continued to send money to her child.
On Sunday the presenter was suspended by the BBC after it said “new allegations, of a different nature” came to light a few days ago.
But the claims made by the young person’s lawyer might explain why the BBC acted in the way that it did and why the Sun, which has led on this exclusive for several days, hasn’t yet named the presenter.
Up until now its stories have been based on a single source – the mother – and we now know that her child told the paper that it was untrue.
It is for the Sun to explain why it still published the story. One reason might be that her claims were made in an affidavit – a written declaration or sworn statement.
The paper also says it has seen evidence to support her claims.
The mother and stepfather say they “stand by” their account.
The Metropolitan Police met the BBC on Monday and said further investigations were needed. It may be that the police, not the Sun or the BBC, hold the key to us finally understanding what’s happened in this case.