(CTN News) – On Sunday, a member of staff from British broadcaster BBC was suspended following allegations that he paid a teenage girl thousands of pounds to pose for sexually explicit pictures, which were taken when the girl was 17 years old.
It was reported that the broadcaster had been made aware of a complaint in May, but after receiving new allegations of a different nature on Thursday, the broadcaster informed “external authorities” of the situation. According to BBC News, it has been understood that it refers to the police in this case.
BBC said in a statement that “this is a complex and fast moving set of circumstances, and the BBC is working as quickly as possible to establish the facts in order to properly inform appropriate next steps in this case,” it said.
In addition, we are able to confirm that a male employee has been suspended from his duties.”
A statement said that it was important that the claims are handled fairly and with care, but did not go into detail on how they were being handled.
This was the first time the allegations were reported in the Sun newspaper, which cited the young person’s mother as saying the unnamed male presenter had paid the teenager more than 35,000 pounds ($45,000) over the course of three years.
According to the mother, the teenager used the money to support his crack cocaine habit, he was said to have spent the cash on crack cocaine.
On May 19, the family complained to the broadcaster, but the presenter was not immediately taken off the air, as reported in the Sun, which said the family had not requested payment for the broadcast of their story.
It was reported earlier on Sunday that Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer held urgent talks with the broadcaster’s director general, Tim Davie, in regards to the allegations, which she described as “deeply concerning”.
It is my understanding that (Davie) has assured me that the BBC is investigating this case swiftly and sensitively,” she wrote on Twitter.
Due to the nature of the allegations, I believe that it is essential that the BBC is now given the opportunity to conduct its own investigation, ascertain the facts, and take appropriate action in light of them.”
According to the BBC, which is funded by television license fees paid by every household in the world, it takes the allegations seriously and has “robust internal processes in place to deal with such allegations in a proactive manner”.
In a statement, the company said, “We have been clear throughout that if we become aware of new information or if it is disclosed to us in any way, we will take appropriate action and actively pursue it,” it added.