The number of allegations against a prominent BBC presenter, who stands accused of paying a teenager for sexually explicit pictures, increased significantly on Wednesday as three additional individuals came forward with similar complaints.
Jeremy Vine, a fellow BBC star, has appealed to the presenter in question to publicly reveal their identity in order to prevent any further harm to the broadcaster’s reputation and to safeguard others from false accusations.
“I know his survival instinct has kicked in… but my God look at the damage to the BBC, look at the damage to his friends, to those falsely accused –- and the longer he leaves it the worse it will be for him,” the radio show host said Wednesday.
Jon Sopel, the former BBC North America editor, commented on the situation, stating that the suspect of the scandal was “extremely angry” about the way the story had unfolded.
“It is fair to say that the presenter at the heart of this is also extremely angry over a lot of The Sun coverage and is convinced they’re trying to dig and find new dirt,” Sopel said on LBC Radio’s The News Agents podcast.
In the report published by the BBC on Tuesday, it was revealed that another individual in their 20s had stepped forward, disclosing that they had received “threatening messages from the unnamed high-profile figure”.
The Sun daily said in a report Wednesday it had seen messages that “suggest that as well as visiting the 23-year-old’s home the star sent cash and asked for a picture”.
The tabloid also received information from a fourth individual who disclosed that the star had sent them “creepy” messages on Instagram, including love hearts and kisses, when they were 17 years old.
The allegations initially surfaced in an article published on Friday by The Sun, where the alleged victim’s family claimed that the presenter had paid a sum of £35,000 ($45,000) in total for the explicit pictures.
The family asserted that their child had used the money to sustain a crack cocaine addiction, which led lawyers representing the young individual to refute the allegations.
Latest situation surfaced in the aftermath of a series of scandals that shook the BBC in recent years, as several prominent figures within the organization were exposed as serial sex offenders, posing a significant challenge to the broadcaster’s reputation, which relies heavily on public trust.