In an article published by The Guardian last April 29th, 20 women alleged Doctor Who alum Noel Clarke of groping, sexual harassment, and bullying. Though the exposé has already led British broadcasters ITV, Sky, and BBC to cut ties with Clarke, with talent agency CAA reportedly dropping him as a client, the scandal is far from over, as more women came forward in a new The Guardian story released on May 7th, all claiming that Clarke sexually harassed or inappropriately touched them on the set or at a promotional event for Doctor Who.
Doctor Who costume assistant Joanne Hayes told The Guardian that Clarke, who portrayed Mickey Smith on the cult sci-fi series from 2005 and 2010, sexually harassed her in his trailer, referencing how he “liked girls with long hair, as it gave him something to hold on to when doing them from behind.” Hayes had very long hair back in 2004 when they were shooting the first season of the newly revived Doctor Who. Clarke’s lawyers denied Hayes’ allegations, saying that it did not take place.
An unnamed runner and driver on Doctor Who also revealed to The Guardian that Clarke touched her inappropriately while she was driving him to and from the set. She also claimed that the actor repeatedly asked her to go to his hotel room for sex. But when the runner-driver complained about it to an assistant director, she was simply put on different duties. Clarke denied the accusations, with his lawyers pointing out that the actor was not aware of any complaint made against him at any time.
A former runner on the show also accused Clarke of sexually harassing her and another female co-worker at a hotel bar. When the two women turned down his advances, the actor reportedly became “rude” and “aggressive,” and later began spreading false rumors about them on set. Clarke denied the accusations, with his legal team saying that he wouldn’t have had any reason to be in the hotel bar because he doesn’t drink.
In addition to the above-mentioned women’s testimonies against Clarke, the May 7th The Guardian article also mentioned his co-star John Barrowman, who has been accused of “exposing himself repeatedly” on the set of Doctor Who and its spinoff Torchwood. But unlike Clarke’s alleged sexual advances, Barrowman’s indecent behaviors on set were described by many witnesses as “inappropriate pranks” rather than predatory conduct.
Former Doctor Who executive producer Julie Gardner confirmed to The Guardian that she received a complaint and “reprimanded” Barrowman, but was not aware of any misconduct by Clarke. “I am saddened and shocked by the accusations raised,” she said. “If I had known of them there would have been prompt action taken. I am grateful that people are coming forward to speak up and support them wholeheartedly.”
A rep for BBC told The Hollywood Reporter that the broadcaster was “against all forms of inappropriate behavior” and “shocked” to find out all the allegations against Clarke and Barrowman.
“To be absolutely clear, we will investigate any specific allegations made by individuals to the BBC — and if anyone has been subjected to or witnessed inappropriate behavior of any kind we would encourage them to raise it with us directly,” said the spokesperson. “We have a zero-tolerance approach and robust processes are in place — which are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect best practice — to ensure any complaints or concerns are handled with the utmost seriousness and care.”
The latest The Guardian exposé about Clarke came just a day after 900 members of the U.K.’s entertainment industry signed an open letter calling for an end to the culture of sexual harassment.