Allegations that a BBC presenter paid a teenager tens of thousands of pounds for sexually explicit images are to be put to the head of the corporation.
A male employee of the BBC has been placed on administrative leave after The Sun claimed that he paid a minor, starting at the age of 17, about £35,000 over the course of three years for sexual photos.
The scandal will take up most of Director-General Tim Davie’s scheduled conference with the media on Tuesday when the corporation’s annual report is released.
The report, which was prepared before the allegations surfaced, is an evaluation of how the BBC has performed over the previous 12 months.
The highest paid employees of the company are normally disclosed, and Mr. Davie is also obliged to respond to inquiries concerning celebrities’ salaries.
The teen at the focus of the dispute insists that nothing improper or illegal occurred with the presenter who should remain nameless, but their mother apparently supports the claims.
For the avoidance of doubt, nothing improper or illegal has occurred between our client and the BBC celebrity, and the charges reported in The Sun newspaper are “rubbish,” the young person claimed in a letter obtained by BBC News At Six.
The young person reportedly notified The Sun on Friday evening that there was “no truth to it” before the newspaper published the article, according to the legal representation, the BBC said.
According to the lawyer, who claimed in the letter that the mother and the young person are estranged, the story on the main page was “inappropriate” and she termed it such.
The letter was written by a large law company, according to BBC News, which added that it does not know the identify of the young person and has not spoken to them personally.
After BBC representatives visited with detectives on Monday morning, police announced that they are conducting additional investigations to see whether any crimes have been committed.
A spokesperson for The Sun said: “We have reported a story about two very concerned parents who made a complaint to the BBC about the behaviour of a presenter and the welfare of their child. Their complaint was not acted upon by the BBC.
“We have seen evidence that supports their concerns. It’s now for the BBC to properly investigate.”
According to The Sun, the young person’s mother and stepfather stood by their allegation and questioned how their youngster could pay the attorney.
The newspaper alleged that the mother said: “It is sad but we stand by our account and we hope they get the help they need.
“We did this to help – and the presenter has got into their head. How did they afford a lawyer?”
The mother earlier told the newspaper she saw a picture of the presenter on her child’s phone “sitting on a sofa in his house in his underwear”.
It appeared as though he was “getting ready for my child to perform for him,” according to what she was told was “a picture from some kind of video call,” she claimed.
The family allegedly complained to the BBC on May 19 but grew impatient because the celebrity continued to air.
Following the claims, the presenter is accused of making “panicked” calls to the young person, asking them, “What have you done?” and pleading with them to urge their mother to stop the probe.
According to the BBC, new allegations of a “different nature” were brought to it on Thursday. The BBC claimed it has been looking into a complaint since May.
The BBC is in contact with the police, doing its own investigations, and speaking with the young person’s family.