Noel Clarke Drops Legal Action Against BAFTA Over Sexual Harassment Claims, Academy Stands By Membership Suspension
British actor and producer Noel Clarke has dropped legal proceedings against the British Academy, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Clarke — best known in the U.K. for the Kidulthood and Adulthood films, but also for appearances on such shows as Doctor Who — initially filed the defamation suit against BAFTA at London’s High Court in May after it suspended both his membership and an honorary award following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and bullying, first reported in The Guardian.
“We note that Noel Clarke has dropped his legal action against BAFTA,” the Academy said in a statement. “The serious misconduct alleged in first-hand testimonies and published in The Guardian newspaper is contrary to the standards expected of a BAFTA member and the values we uphold as an arts charity and Academy. We stand by our decision to suspend his honorary award and membership as soon as the detailed allegations came to light.”
In a major exposé in The Guardian in May 2021, 20 women who had worked with him came forward with allegations of sexual harassment, unwanted touching, groping and unprofessional conduct between 2004 and 2019. He denied every allegation, but said he was seeking professional help. The ensuing fallout, in which more allegations came to light, saw Clarke forced to resign from his All3Media-owned production company Unstoppable Film and TV, with his shows, such as Bulletproof on Sky, pulled from schedules and canceled. The British Academy suspended him from his membership (he had controversially received an outstanding British contribution to cinema award from BAFTA just days before the exposé broke), and CAA dropped him as a client.
In March of this year, it was reported that Clarke would not face a criminal investigation, with London’s Metropolitan Police saying that “following a thorough assessment by specialist detectives,” it had decided not to launch a formal investigation into the claims.
THR understands that Clarke — who had four months to confirm he was proceeding with his legal case against BAFTA after first filing it in May — is still pursuing legal action against The Guardian.