A top BBC presenter has been accused of paying a teenager tens of thousands of pounds for explicit photos.
The mother of the alleged victim said the money – allegedly amounting to more than £35,000 – was used to fund a cocaine addiction which “destroyed” her child’s life.
The family complained to the BBC about the behaviour on 19 May and begged the broadcaster to make the presenter “stop sending the cash,” according to The Sun.
Neither the individual or the teenager, who was said to be 17 when the payments began, was identified.
The BBC said it takes “any allegations very seriously”. The star is currently not scheduled to be on air, it has been reported.
As speculation grew about the identity of the presenter, two high profile figures came out to deny any involvement.
Writing on Twitter, TV presenter Rylan Clark said: “Not sure why my names floating about but re that story in the sun- that ain’t me babe. I’m Currently filming a show in Italy for the bbc, so take my name out ya mouths.”
Shortly afterwards, radio star Jeremy Vine also responded to the story, telling his Twitter followers: “It certainly ain’t me”.
Addressing more baseless speculation, he wrote: “Just to say I’m very much looking forward to hosting my radio show on Monday — whoever the “BBC Presenter” in the news is, I have the same message for you as Rylan did earlier: it certainly ain’t me.”
While Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker did not mention the allegations specifically, he wrote on Twitter: “Hate to disappoint the haters but it’s not me.”
Speaking about the allegations, the mother of the victim told The Sun how her child, now 20, had gone from a “happy-go-lucky youngster to a ghost-like crack addict” in three years.
She said: “When I see him on telly, I feel sick.
“I blame this BBC man for destroying my child’s life.
“Taking my child’s innocence and handing over the money for crack cocaine that could kill my child.”
In response to the report, a BBC spokesperson said: “We treat any allegations very seriously and we have processes in place to proactively deal with them.
“As part of that, if we receive information that requires further investigation or examination we will take steps to do this.
“That includes actively attempting to speak to those who have contacted us in order to seek further detail and understanding of the situation.
“If we get no reply to our attempts or receive no further contact, that can limit our ability to progress things but it does not mean our enquiries stop.
“If, at any point, new information comes to light or is provided – including via newspapers – this will be acted upon appropriately, in line with internal processes.”
The BBC’s own culture editor Katie Razzall said the BBC’s statement appears to suggest its initial investigation may have been hampered by a lack of response from the family.