Noel Clarke drops legal action against BAFTA over sexual harassment allegations

Noel Clarke has apparently dropped his claims against BAFTA, Conde Nast and the Guardian writers, who have reported at least 20 allegations of harassment and bullying against the actor and director.

Last May, journalists Sirin Kale and Lucy Osborne published a lengthy article detailing numerous allegations against Clarke. It was released just weeks after Clarke received a BAFTA award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.

The dispute was quick and wide, with the award and his BAFTA membership suspended, while ITV pulled the season finale of primetime drama Viewpoint, which Clarke was starring in at the time.

In April this year, exactly 12 months after the article was published, Clarke filed a lawsuit for defamation in the High Court in London. He listed 12 defendants including BAFTA, The Guardian, Kale and Osbourne, as well as one of his accusers, Jahannah James, who claimed he secretly filmed her naked.

However, according to the latest court filings, all of those defendants – with the exception of Guardian News & Media Ltd – have been dismissed from the case. A source told Variety that at least one of those defendants was never served.

Now that it has been more than four months since he filed his defamation lawsuit, Clarke is now off duty.

In addition to the defendants listed above, the accused also included BAFTA Chairman Krishnendu Majumdar, then-BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry, performing arts union Equity, which issued a strongly worded statement about the seriousness of the allegations, and Clarke’s “bulletproof” co-star Christina Chong, who tweeted the Guardian story along with a comment saying it was true and that Clarke was a “sexual predator”, his “Kidulthood” co-star Adam Deacon saying he stands Clarke’s accusers, and Conde Nast, who owns GQ magazine. GQ did an interview with Kale and Osborne after the Guardian story.

BAFTA, Majumdar and Berry were included as defendants in the defamation lawsuit over a statement they sent to members following the allegations, saying they only became aware of them after Clarke was announced as the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution Award had been. “The allegations against Mr Clarke are extremely serious and the conduct they allege is contrary to the values ​​of BAFTA and everything it stands for,” Majumdar and Berry’s statement said. “But no matter how heinous these allegations are, they cannot be dealt with without due process. BAFTA is an arts charity that is unable to properly investigate such matters.”

It is unclear if Clarke intends to proceed with his lawsuit against Guardian News & Media Ltd, who remains the only defendant not yet dismissed from the case. It is possible to apply for an order to extend the time for service of a Claim Form on a Defendant. The Guardian didn’t answer diversity at the time of going to press. Clarke’s attorneys declined to comment.

In March, the Metropolitan Police confirmed they would not investigate the allegations. In recent months, Clarke has returned to social media, claiming he intends to write a screenplay about “all this shit,” in what many took to be his experience of being accused of sexual harassment and bullying.

https://variety.com/2022/film/global/noel-clarke-libel-claims-bafta-guardian-1235362965/ Noel Clarke drops legal action against BAFTA over sexual harassment allegations

Charles Jones

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