Noel Clark appears to have dropped his allegations against BAFTA writers, Conde Nast and The Guardian, who have reported at least 20 allegations of harassment and bullying against the actor and director.
Last May, journalists Siren Calley and Lucy Osborne published a long article detailing several allegations against Clarke. It was published just weeks after Clarke received the BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.
The fallout was swift and widespread, with the award and his BAFTA membership suspended, while ITV pulled the season finale of the prime-time drama “A Viewpoint,” in which Clarke was starring at the time.
In April of this year, exactly 12 months after the article was published, Clarke filed a defamation suit with the High Court in London. He lists 12 defendants including BAFTA, The Guardian, Keel and Osborne as well as one of his accusers, Johanna James, who allegedly secretly photographed her nude.
According to the latest court filings, all the defendants – bar Guardian News & Media Ltd – have been removed from the lawsuit. A source tells Variety that at least one of those accused was never brought forward.
Since more than four months have now passed since he filed the defamation suit, Clark’s time for service is over.
In addition to the aforementioned defendants, the defendants also included BAFTA President Krishnido Majumdar, then BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry, and the performing arts union Equity, which issued a strongly worded statement about the seriousness of the allegations, Clark co-star in Bulletproof Christina Chung who tweeted The Guardian story with a caption saying it was true and that Clarke was a “sexual predator,” his “Kidulthood” co-star Adam Deacon, who said he sided with Clarke’s accusers, and Condé Nast, who owns GQ magazine. GQ interviewed Kale and Osborne in the wake of the Guardian story.
BAFTA, Majumdar and Berry were included as defendants in the defamation suit due to a statement they sent to members after the allegations, which they said they only became aware of after Clark was announced as a recipient of the Distinguished Contribution Award. “The allegations against Mr. Clarke are extremely serious, and the behavior they are making goes against BAFTA’s values and everything they stand for,” Majumdar and Perry’s statement read. But however repugnant these allegations may be, they cannot be dealt with without due process of law. BAFTA is a technical charity that is not in a position to properly investigate such matters.”
It is not clear if Clarke intends to proceed with his lawsuit against Guardian News & Media Ltd, which remains the only defendant not yet removed from the lawsuit. It is possible to apply for an order to extend the time period for filing a claim form to the respondent. The Guardian did not respond to diverse By press time. Clark’s lawyers declined to comment.
In March, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that it would not investigate the allegations. In recent months, Clarke has returned to social media, claiming he intended to write a script about “all that bullshit,” which many took to imply his experience being accused of sexual harassment and bullying.