Major BBC drama featuring Ed Westwick pulled from Christmas schedule following rape allegations
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BBC bosses have pulled a highly anticipated Agatha Christie drama from its Christmas schedule after rape allegations were made against cast member Ed Westwick.
The three-part drama Ordeal by Innocence was due to be broadcast over the festive period.
It had been billed as a “major adaptation” of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name with an all-star cast headed by Bill Nighy and Catherine Keener.
Actor Ed Westwick was due to star as Mickey Argyll in the adaptation, however, broadcast has been put on hold after two women came forward this week to separately accuse him of rape.
Over this past week, Kristina Cohen and Aurélie Wynn have made Facebook statuses detailing their alleged rape at the hands of Westwick while they were guests at his house. They have also filed reports of their assaults to the Los Angeles Police Department.
On Twitter, 30-year-old Westwick who is best known for his role as Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl called these “two unverified and probably untrue social media claims” and denied even knowing one of the accusers, Kristina Cohen.
A BBC spokesperson said: "These are serious allegations which Ed Westwick has strenuously denied. The BBC is not making any judgement but until these matters are resolved we will not include Ordeal by Innocence in the schedules.”
Westwick has also been filming a second season of comedy White Gold for the BBC - this filming has been halted.
“The independent production company making White Gold has informed us that Ed Westwick has paused from filming while he deals with these allegations," the BBC spokesperson confirmed.
Ordeal by Innocence was set to be one of the BBC’s main festive dramas and follows previous successful Christie adaptations The Witness for the Prosecution and And Then There Were None.
For help, advice or more information regarding sexual assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website.