Call for evidence about Tim Westwood’s conduct at BBC extended
A call for evidence about what was known about Tim Westwood’s conduct during his time at the BBC has been extended in a bid to encourage more people to come forward.
The broadcaster has also appointed an independent safeguarding expert, Jahnine Davis, to assist with the review.
Gemma White, the barrister leading the investigation into the former hip hop DJ, who has been accused of a string of sexual assaults against women, was appointed by the BBC Board in August.
Her independent review comes after an internal investigation found the corporation should have further explored issues raised at the time.
The 65-year-old has “strongly” denied any wrongdoing.
Announcing the extension to Friday December 2, she said: “It has been just over a month since the BBC published my call for evidence for the review and I want to thank everyone who has come forward with information.
“Some of you have told me how difficult it has been for you to take the decision to contact me. I understand that speaking about sensitive matters can be painful and there are many things that you have needed to consider before doing so.
“Others who have written or spoken to me have wondered whether the information they have to contribute is relevant, or sufficiently important – and my answer to that is, simply, yes. I have been, and remain, keen to hear from everyone who has anything to say to me. It is important to me that I hear from everyone who wishes to speak and I have therefore decided to extend the period for people to get in touch.”
Westwood, who left the BBC in 2013 after nearly two decades, also stepped down from his show on Capital Xtra in April after the initial claims came to light.
Ms White said Ms Davis had been appointed “to assist me with aspects of the review”.
She described her as a “respected and experienced expert in her field” who is “available to join me for conversations or meetings”.
“To anyone who sees this who may have something to share, please feel free to contact me directly and if you would like Jahnine to be involved, please just let me know,” she added.
The investigation, announced in August, is intended to be completed in six months and the BBC has said it is willing to work with Westwood’s other employers, which include MTV and Capital Xtra-owner Global, to establish what happened.
In July, the BBC said it had received six complaints against Westwood, including one that was referred to police, despite director-general Tim Davie previously saying he had seen “no evidence of complaints”.
Mr Davie launched an internal audit, reporting to the BBC board’s senior independent director, Sir Nicholas Serota.
A statement from a representative of Westwood to the PA news agency in April said: “Tim Westwood strongly denies all allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
“In a career that has spanned 40 years, there have never been any complaints made against him officially or unofficially.
“Tim Westwood strongly rejects all allegations of wrongdoing.”
His representatives have been contacted for further comment.
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