Actor Noel Clarke is suing BAFTA for defamation, following the Academy’s decision to suspend his membership following allegations of his sexual harassment and bullying.
In response to his lawsuit, a BAFTA spokesman said:
“A year ago, BAFTA was transparent about what led to Mr Clarke’s award and membership being suspended following serious accusations of groping, harassment and bullying by 20 women published by The Guardian”
“We stand by our decision and are very surprised by the news he now wishes to sue the arts charity. If proceedings are served, we will of course defend ourselves.”
Clarke is also suing The Guardian Media Group, and Condé Nast, the owner of GQ magazine, which ran an interview with the two journalists who broke the story.
BAFTA suspended the actors membership in April last year along with his recently awarded Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award following numerous sexual harassment and bullying allegations made in a Guardian which claimed to have spoken with 20 women, who have lodged a number of allegations against the “Bulletproof” actor. They include: sexual harassment, unwanted touching or groping, sexually inappropriate behaviour and comments on set, professional misconduct, taking and sharing sexually explicit pictures and videos without consent, and bullying between 2004 and 2019.
BAFTA have since launched a review of their Special Awards procedures.
His lawsuit comes after the Metropolitan Police’s decision last month to suspend their investigation into the allegations, saying they had “determined the information would not meet the threshold for a criminal investigation.”
The fallout from this has had a severe impact on Clarke’s career. Following the allegations Sky announced they would no longer work with Clarke on his TV show ‘Bulletproof’ which also aired on The CW network in the US. Additionally ITV chose not to air the final episode of Viewpoint; a week-long drama series starring Clarke that already aired episodes 1-4. In August he was officially been removed from his production company, Unstoppable Film and TV which has since seen its operations taken over by its parent company. Clarke’s former agent Gary O’Sullivan was also dropped by UK management firm ’42’.
A documentary chronicling the experiences of Clarke is reported to be in the works at Channel 4.