Doctor Who star Noel Clarke has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by 20 different women. In a report published by The Guardian, all 20 women, who worked with the actor in a professional capacity allege Clarke is guilty of unwanted touching or groping, sexually inappropriate behavior and comments on set, professional misconduct, taking and sharing sexually explicit pictures and videos without consent, and bullying between 2004 and 2019.
One woman, Gina Powell, who worked closely with Clarke as a producer between September 2014 and March 2017, says Clarke would constantly harass her claiming he once shared how he originally planned "to f— her and fire her" before he chose to continue working with her. She also alleges the actor held numerous naked auditions that he secretly filmed and stored on his personal hard drive. She went on to talk about one such audition tape from actress Jahannah James, who starred in the duo's production Brotherhood.
James recalls Clarke persuaded her to do the nude audition, promising that the scene wouldn't be recorded. "I was told 100% it was not going to be on camera," she said. At the time, James says she was just 23 years old, and freshly out of acting school. She didn't want her first major scenes to show her nude body. "I was so upset," James remembers. "Now, years later, I still cry when I talk about it."
"I want people to know because I hate the idea that he can secretly film young actresses – who have no idea that they're not supposed to be getting naked in auditions – and go on to get a Bafta," James says, explaining why she decided to speak out.
Following the number of allegations, Clarke went on to collect a BAFTA award, which prompted a response from the accusers. The Guardian confirms the organization was made aware of the accusations of verbal abuse, bullying, and sexual harassment leveled against Clarke at least 13 days prior to his award presentation. BAFTA does not deny receiving reports of allegations but says it wasn't given enough information to investigate.
Clarke denies all of the accusations. "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," he said in a statement. "If anyone who has worked with me has ever felt uncomfortable or disrespected, I sincerely apologize. I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations."
BAFTA first responded to the allegations saying, "we take this matter extremely seriously," in a statement. "We encouraged the people who contacted us to report the matter to the appropriate authorities and also engaged an independent victim support expert to provide them with professional advice, and that support remains in place. We will continue to review this matter, and should any allegations be substantiated we will take appropriate action," the statement continued.
Following the report, BAFTA updated their stance, no longer backing the actor. "In light of the Guardian's piece, which for Bafta provided for the first time detailed accounts outlining serious allegations regarding Noel Clarke's conduct, we have immediately suspended the award and Noel Clarke's membership of Bafta until further notice."