After initially postponing the premiere of its TV special Ordeal by Innocence, the BBC has announced that they will be replacing Ed Westwick in the Agatha Christie adaptation and reshooting his scenes with actor Christian Cooke. This move comes after three women have come forward to accuse the actor of sexual assault. Westwick has denied the allegations and is cooperating with authorities.
"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," he wrote in a note on his social medias, addressing accusations from Aurélie Wynn and Kristin Cohen. "I have absolutely not, and I am cooperating with the authorities so that they can clear my name as soon as possible."
"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. The independent production company making White Gold has informed us that Ed Westwick has paused from filming while he deals with these allegations."
The special was originally set to air over the holiday, but now co-producers Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited say a new date is still being decided. Co stars Bill Nighy, Anna Chancellor, Anthony Boyle, and Alice Eve will also be returning to reshoot.
This is the second time in recent months that a production has had to recast and reshoot after the original actor was accused of sexual assault. All The Money In The World secretly reshot all of Kevin Spacey's scenes with actor Christopher Plummer after Spacey was accused of sexual assault. Netflix also cut ties with the actor, making the decision to bring back House Of Cards with Robin Wright as the only lead.
Refinery29 has reached out to Mammoth Screen and Westwick for comment.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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