The BBC has suspended an unnamed male presenter over claims he paid a teenager almost $AU70,000 across three years for sexually explicit photos.
It’s alleged the presenter paid the person when they were between the ages of 17 and 20.
The family of the young person, who is now 20, says the money was used to fund illicit substance use.
The allegations were first made public on Friday by British tabloid newspaper The Sun.
The Sun claims the young person’s family complained to the BBC in May, asking them to stop the presenter from sending money.
The BBC confirmed they first became aware of the allegations in May, but said they learned of claims of a “different nature” on Thursday (a day before The Sun’s story came out). On Sunday, the BBC confirmed the presenter had been suspended.
Who is the BBC presenter?
The Sun did not name the presenter. They described him as a “top BBC star” and a “familiar face who is known to millions”.
Naming the presenter could carry a legal risk, such as defamation (the act of damaging one’s reputation).
The BBC said another legal question is whether the presenter “has a ‘reasonable expectation’ of privacy in relation to the facts of the story”.
What’s the crime risk?
No charges against the presenter have been laid, and the claims are still under investigation. However, if charges are laid, the presenter could face serious penalties.
There’s a maximum 10-year prison sentence in the UK for the possession of sexually explicit images of people under 18.