Huw Edwards in hospital with 'mental health issues', wife says, as he is named as BBC star in explicit photos claims

12 July 2023, 18:07 | Updated: 13 July 2023, 07:18

Huw Edwards
Huw Edwards. Picture: Alamy

By Kieran Kelly and Kit Heren

Huw Edwards is in hospital with "serious mental health issues", his wife has said, as she named him as the BBC presenter at the centre of allegations over sending sexually explicit pictures to a teenager in return for cash.

Following days of intense speculation as to the identity of the BBC presenter at the centre of the allegations, Vicky Flind said in a statement that she was speaking out on her husband's behalf.

Police said on Wednesday evening that there was no indication Mr Edwards had committed a criminal offence. The teenager themselves denies the claims, made by their parents - who stand by the story.

Meanwhile after Ms Flind spoke out on Wednesday evening, fresh allegations emerged that Mr Edwards had acted inappropriately with three junior colleagues.

Ms Flind said of her husband that he was "suffering from serious mental health issues" and receiving "in-patient hospital care".

"In light of the recent reporting regarding the 'BBC Presenter' I am making this statement on behalf of my husband Huw Edwards, after what have been five extremely difficult days for our family," Ms Flind said.

"I am doing this primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children."

"Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues. As is well documented, he has been treated for severe depression in recent years," his wife continued.

"The events of the last few days have greatly worsened matters, he has suffered another serious episode and is now receiving in-patient hospital care where he'll stay for the foreseeable future.

"Once well enough to do so, he intends to respond to the stories that have been published.

"To be clear Huw was first told that there were allegations being made against him last Thursday.

"In the circumstances and given Huw's condition I would like to ask that the privacy of my family and everyone else caught up in these upsetting events is respected.

"I know that Huw is deeply sorry that so many colleagues have been impacted by the recent media speculation. We hope this statement will bring that to an end."

Ex-Ofcom exec says he'd be surprised to see Huw Edwards read the news again

Mr Edwards is accused of paying £35,000 to a young person in exchange for explicit photos, in a story originally reported by the Sun. The young person's mother told the newspaper that they were using the money from the then-anonymous presenter to buy crack cocaine.

A lawyer for the young person said the claims were "rubbish". More allegations of inappropriate behaviour emerged against Mr Edwards in the days that followed. He has not responded to any of the claims yet.

BBC HQ
BBC HQ. Picture: Getty

Read More: No information to indicate that a criminal offence has been committed by BBC presenter, Met Police says

Read More: Met Police asks BBC to pause presenter investigation as they 'continue assessment'

A spokesperson for the Met Police said: "Detectives from the Met's Specialist Crime Command have now concluded their assessment and have determined there is no information to indicate that a criminal offence has been committed.

"In reaching this decision, they have spoken to a number of parties including the BBC and the alleged complainant and the alleged complainant’s family, both via another police force.

"There is no further police action. As such, the Met has advised the BBC it can continue with its internal investigation.

"We are aware of media reporting of further allegations against the same individual."

A BBC spokesperson said in response: "We have seen the statement from the police confirming they have completed their assessment and are not taking further action. We're grateful to them for completing this work at speed.

"The police had previously asked us to pause our fact-finding investigations and we will now move forward with that work, ensuring due process and a thorough assessment of the facts, whilst continuing to be mindful of our duty of care to all involved."

Fresh allegations have emerged against Mr Edwards on Wednesday evening.

Three current and former staff members said they had received discomforting messages from him, the BBC reported.

But all three said they had not previously complained to the corporation about the alleged conduct of Mr Edwards.

Revealing the latest claims, a correspondent for the corporation said on Wednesday evening: "A current BBC employee said this year they had received suggestive messages on social media from the presenter.

"They believe the messages were inappropriate especially as the presenter was a much more senior colleague. BBC News has seen the messages which refer to the BBC staff member’s appearance and they are flirtatious.

"The BBC employee wants managers to be more proactive specifically towards younger staff who work with the presenter and to address who senior and junior members of staff interact."

"They haven’t yet put in a formal complaint because of a desire to remain anonymous but might consider it.

The reporter added that "another BBC worker and a former one have also told Newsnight they received what they perceived to be more inappropriate social media messages from the presenter that made them feel uncomfortable".

Who is Huw Edwards?

Huw Edwards
Huw Edwards. Picture: Getty

Huw Edwards is one of the most recognisable faces on British television, anchoring coverage of major national events and presenting the BBC's News At Ten.

The 61-year-old has fronted the flagship nightly news programme for the last 20 years, earning a reputation as a respected veteran broadcaster.

In four decades at the corporation, he has been among the broadcasting teams leading coverage of historical events including the late Queen's funeral in 2022 and most recently the coronation of the King in May this year.

Edwards, a married father-of-five, announced the late Queen's death on the BBC last September.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised by this article, for confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.

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