Noel Clarke: Actor 'deeply sorry' for actions but denies sexual harassment claims

ITV News reporter Sejal Karia looks at the fallout from the explosive allegations

Actor Noel Clarke has said he will be seeking professional help and has apologised “deeply” for his actions, but has “vehemently” denied sexual misconduct or criminal behaviour, following a string of allegations from 20 women.

The actor and producer said it has become clear to him that “some of my actions have affected people in ways I did not intend or realise”, and offered an apology to those affected.

His statement comes after 20 women who knew Clarke in a professional capacity came forward and made allegations about him to The Guardian newspaper.

A statement from the 45-year-old released on Friday evening said: “I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing.

“Recent reports however have made it clear to me that some of my actions have affected people in ways I did not intend or realise.

“To those individuals, I am deeply sorry. I will be seeking professional help to educate myself and change for the better.”

His statement came as ITV announced it will not broadcast the final episode of Viewpoint on its main channel on Friday.

Clarke stars as the lead in ITV's thriller drama Viewpoint that had been scheduled to conclude on the channel on Friday. Credit: Tiger Aspect Productions/ITV

ITV became the latest broadcaster to distance itself from the actor, who has vehemently denied the allegations revealed in a Guardian report on Thursday.

In a statement, ITV said: "In light of the very serious nature of the allegations against Noel Clarke raised by 20 women in the Guardian’s report, ITV has decided it is no longer appropriate to broadcast the final episode of the drama Viewpoint on ITV main channel this evening."

The broadcaster said the episode would still be available on the ITV Hub, saying "some of our viewers have already invested four hours of their time over the past four nights in following this thriller which was due to conclude this evening, and they have yet to see the final episode".

Earlier on Friday, Sky and the producers of TV show Bulletproof broke ties with Clarke following the allegations.

Clarke has starred in three series of the Sky Original production Bulletproof.

His co-star on the series, Ashley Walters, has also spoken out, saying he is "in shock and deeply saddened" by the news.

In a statement posted on social media on Friday, Walters said: "My thoughts are with the women who have come forward and told their awful stories, I am in shock and deeply saddened by what I have heard on a multitude of levels.

"I could never condone behaviour of this nature neither in nor out of the workplace, and whilst Noel has been a friend and colleague for several years, I cannot standby and ignore these allegations.

"Sexual harassment, abuse and bullying have no place in our industry. Every woman has the right to a safe workplace and moving forward I pledge my dedication to this."

Actor Noel Clarke has denied the allegations. Credit: AP

A spokesperson for Sky on Friday said the broadcaster "stands against all forms of sexual harassment and bullying and takes any allegations of this nature extremely seriously" adding it had halted Clarke’s involvement in any future productions.

Vertigo Films, the UK producers behind Bulletproof, said it was "devastated" by the allegations and have launched an investigation "to find out if any apply to any Vertigo Films productions."

It continued: "Our immediate concern is for any cast or crew who may have had a negative experience on set. We have robust procedures in place for reporting incidents, including the ability to raise issues anonymously.

"And while no issues have been flagged to us, we stand ready to support anyone who has had a negative experience on the show and encourage you to come forward with confidence.

Clarke made a moving speech after receiving the Bafta award

The reaction of Sky and Vertigo Films follows further explanation from Bafta as to why Clarke was awarded the gong for outstanding British contribution to cinema earlier this month.

The film awards said it "did not know about any allegations" prior to the announcement on March 29 that Clarke had won the award.

Updating its members on Friday, the organisation said in a letter: "In the days following the announcement, Bafta received anonymous emails of allegations in relation to Noel Clarke.

"These were either anonymous or second or third-hand accounts via intermediaries. No first-hand allegations were sent to us. No names, times, dates, productions or other details were ever provided.

"Had the victims gone on record as they have with The Guardian, the award would have been suspended immediately. Noel Clarke’s counsel received a legal notice to this effect. It was always very clear what our intentions would be."

The lengthy memo added: "We acted as quickly and supportively as we could, even though we had only received the most generic of claims and no actual first-hand information to investigate allegations which were potentially of a criminal nature.

"Having received the same anonymous emails, Noel Clarke contacted Bafta, urgently requesting a conversation and sending numerous texts to do. We confronted him with the anonymous allegations, which he strongly denied."

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Clarke, who wrote and starred in the acclaimed film trilogy Kidulthood, Adulthood and Brotherhood, has denied the allegations.

The actor said in a statement: "In a 20-year career, I have put inclusivity and diversity at the forefront of my work and never had a complaint made against me.

"If anyone who has worked with me has ever felt uncomfortable or disrespected, I sincerely apologise.

"I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations."

Management and production company 42 M&P said it stopped representing Clarke earlier this month.

A spokesman said: "Noel Clarke was a client of 42 M&P until April this year but the company no longer represents him."