Vicky Flind, the wife of newsreader Huw Edwards, has named him as the BBC presenter facing allegations over payments for sexually explicit images in a statement issued on his behalf.
In the statement, the wife of the presenter said her husband was “suffering from serious mental health issues” and is now “receiving in-patient hospital care where he will stay for the foreseeable future” as she asked for privacy for her family.
It comes following days of intense speculation as to who the identity of the BBC presenter at the centre of the allegations was, after The Sun newspaper reported an unnamed star has been accused of paying a teenager more than £35,000 in exchange for sexual images.
Neither the individual or the teenager, who was said to be 17 when the payments began, was identified.
The Sun said the teen’s family complained to the BBC on May 19.
Presenter Edwards has worked for the BBC for four decades, including two decades as the lead presenter on the BBC’s flagship Ten O’Clock news programme.
A recently released list found him to be one of the BBC’s highest paid employees, earning between £435,000 and £439,999 for 2022/23.
In a statement, Ms Flind said: “In light of the recent reporting regarding the ‘BBC Presenter’ I am making this statement on behalf of my husband Huw Edwards, after what have been five extremely difficult days for our family. I am doing this primarily out of concern for his mental wellbeing and to protect our children.
“Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues. 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.
“Once well enough to do so, he intends to respond to the stories that have been published. To be clear Huw was first told that there were allegations being made against him last Thursday.
“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.”
The statement comes as the Metropolitan Police said no criminal offence had been committed by the presenter.
A full statement from the Met Police read: “Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command have now concluded their assessment and have determined there is no information to indicate that a criminal offence has been committed.
“In reaching this decision, they have spoken to a number of parties including the BBC and the alleged complainant and the alleged complainant’s family, both via another police force. There is no further police action. As such, the Met has advised the BBC it can continue with its internal investigation.
“We are aware of media reporting of further allegations against the same individual. No specific details or information about these allegations have been passed to us and therefore there is no police action at this time.
“Should evidence of criminality or safeguarding issues be identified at any point we would expect matters to be referred to the relevant police force.”
The BBC has responded to the Met Police’s decision not to take any further action, and says it will now “move forward” with its own investigation into the matter.
A spokesperson for the broadcaster said: “We have seen the statement from the police confirming they have completed their assessment and are not taking further action. We’re grateful to them for completing this work at speed.
“The police had previously asked us to pause our fact-finding investigations and we will now move forward with that work, ensuring due process and a thorough assessment of the facts, whilst continuing to be mindful of our duty of care to all involved.”
Reaction has come in to the news from across the BBC.
BBC presenter John Simpson says: “I feel so sorry for everyone involved in this: for the Edwards family, for the complainants, and for Huw himself.”
Jon Sopel, a former BBC journalist who has been North America editor, a political correspondent and presenter, tweeted: “This is an awful and shocking episode, where there was no criminality, but perhaps a complicated private life. That doesn’t feel very private now. I hope that will give some cause to reflect. They really need to. I wish @thehuwedwards well.”
The BBC’s director-general Tim Davie has said this will “no doubt be a difficult time for many after a challenging few days” and added: “I want to reassure you that our immediate concern is our duty of care to all involved.”
In a note sent to staff, Mr Davie said: “I wanted to write following this evening’s statements from the family of Huw Edwards and the police.
“Many of you will have read the words of Vicky Flind, Huw’s wife. It is a reminder that the last few days have seen personal lives played out in public. At the heart of this are people and their families.
“This will no doubt be a difficult time for many after a challenging few days. I want to reassure you that our immediate concern is our duty of care to all involved.
“Also this afternoon, the Metropolitan Police and South Wales Police confirmed they would be taking no further action following an assessment of information provided to them.
“As you know, we were asked to pause our fact finding investigations until that assessment had been concluded. It is important we now continue with this work. I want to be clear that in doing so we will follow due process.
“This remains a very complex set of circumstances. As we have done throughout, our aim must be to navigate through this with care and consideration, in line with the BBC values.”
The Sun has no plans to publish further allegations about Edwards and will co-operate with the BBC’s internal investigation process, a spokesperson for the newspaper said.