The BBC has confirmed that Ordeal by Innocence, the Agatha Christie adaptation starring Ed Westwick, has been dropped from the Christmas schedule after the Gossip Girl actor was accused of rape and sexual assault.
The three part drama was set to air on Boxing Day, but the BBC has announced that it will be postponed until further notice.
‘These are serious allegations which Ed Westwick has strenuously denied. The BBC is not making any judgment but until these matters are resolved we will not include Ordeal by Innocence in the schedules,’ the BBC said in a statement on Friday.
With regard to White Gold, the BBC Two drama in which Westwick also stars, they added: ‘The independent production company making White Gold has informed us that Ed Westwick has paused from filming while he deals with these allegations.’
Earlier this week, actress Kristina Cohen alleged in a Facebook post that Westwick raped her in 2014. Her claims were then echoed in a new allegation by another actress, Aurelie Wynn.
On Thursday, Westwick released a statement on his social media accounts denying the allegations, writing: ‘It is disheartening and sad to me that as a result of two unverified and provably untrue social media claims, there are some in this environment who could ever conclude I have had anything to do with such vile and horrific conduct.’
‘I absolutely have not, and I am cooperating with the authorities so that they can clear my name as soon as possible,’ he added.
Ordeal by Innocence’s extensive cast also featured Bill Nighy, Matthew Goode, Ella Purnell, Anna Chancellor and Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson. The BBC tweeted initial publicity shots featuring Westwick and Tomlinson shortly after the allegations against Westwick appeared online; they have since deleted the posts in question amid considerable comment on social media.