The wife of BBC News anchor Huw Edwards released a statement Wednesday naming her husband as the mystery man accused of paying a teen for sexually explicit photos — a scandal that has engrossed the British press over the past week.
“Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues,” Vicky Flind said in the statement, which was given to the Press Association.
“As is well documented, he has been treated for severe depression in recent years. 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,” she said.
Edwards, 61, has been reporting the news for the BBC since 1984, covering many of the most transformational moments in recent British history as host of “The News at Ten.” He received praise in September for the professional manner in which he delivered the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
Edwards has also spoken openly about his mental health struggles, saying in a 2021 documentary that since 2002, his depression has at times left him “bedridden.”
The Sun, a British tabloid, reported Friday that a BBC presenter had given an unnamed young person “more than £35,000” (about $45,000) in exchange for sexual images, but did not name the presenter or even divulge the youth’s gender. The paper only referred to the presenter as “a powerful household name, handsomely salaried” with taxpayer funds, which led to speculation about the BBC’s top-billed hosts. Several publicly denied involvement.
When the alleged exchanges began in 2020, the young person was 17, according to The Sun, raising questions about possible criminal charges.
But London’s Metropolitan Police said shortly before Flind released her statement that detectives looked into the matter and found “no information to indicate that a criminal offence has been committed,” according to The Guardian. The BBC responded to say it would continue with its own internal investigation.
Edwards is expected to address the claims himself “once well enough to do so,” Flind said.
She made the statement on her husband’s behalf “primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children” after “five extremely difficult days for our family.” The couple have five kids together.
“To be clear Huw was first told that there were allegations being made against him last Thursday,” Flind said.
She concluded: “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.”
According to The Sun, the young person’s mother had complained to the BBC about Edwards in May out of concern for the health and well-being of her child, who was allegedly using the money to fund a drug habit. A lawyer for the now 20-year-old said the entire story was “rubbish,” The Guardian reported.
The BBC announced that “a male member of staff” had been suspended in the wake of the Sun’s report, but did not identify him.
(This story has not been checked by JK Mega and is auto-generated from other sources)