Ed Westwick has been removed from BBC’s Agatha Christie special Ordeal by Innocence amid sexual assault allegations made against him. He has been replaced by actor Christian Cooke, the network announced in a post on Friday, January 5.
Following two separate rape allegations against Westwick, 30, BBC told Variety in November that the TV drama would no longer air on its Christmas lineup. It is now understood that the scenes — which featured the Gossip Girl alum — will be reshot with Cooke as Mickey Argyll.
“These are serious allegations which Ed Westwick has strenuously denied. The BBC is not making any judgment, but until these matters are resolved we will not include Ordeal by Innocence in the schedules,” the network said in a statement to Variety at the time. “The independent production company making White Gold has informed us that Ed Westwick has paused from filming while he deals with these allegations.”
As previously reported, actress Kristina Cohen first made a claim against the actor in a lengthy November 6 Facebook post. She alleged that she had been raped by Westwick three years ago and later filed a police report against him with the Los Angeles Police Department. Westwick responded to the allegations a day later in an Instagram post, which read: “I do not know this woman. I have never forced myself in any manner, on any woman. I certainly have never committed rape.”
On November 8, actress Aurélie Wynn detailed an alleged encounter she had with the actor in 2014. “I said no and he pushed me face down and was powerless under his weight,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “I was wearing a one piece bathing suit that he ripped, I was in complete shock, I am also very tiny. When it was over I got my cellphone and found that the girl that had invited me had left or got kicked out.”
Westwick also denied these claims. “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 via Instagram on November 9. “I have absolutely not, and I am cooperating with the authorities so that they can clear my name as soon as possible.”
A third woman — Rachel Eck — told BuzzFeed in a story posted online on Tuesday, November 14, that Westwick assaulted her the night before the Academy Awards in 2014.
BBC has yet to confirm a new broadcast date for the three-part series.