A man who ran Castle Howard, the stately home made famous in two major TV series, has been charged with child sex offences.
Simon Howard, 65, who now lives near Malton, North Yorkshire, ran the estate, which featured in Brideshead Revisited and the Netflix show Bridgerton, for more than 30 years.
He is accused of two child sex offences and will appear at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
A family statement said he strongly denies the charges, which are said to date back to 1984.
It read: “Simon Howard’s whole family are shocked by these allegations and are fully supportive of SH’s confidence that he is innocent of all charges – which he denies in the strongest possible terms.”
The family said the charges are indecent assault and incitement to commit an act of gross indecency, and result from a single alleged incident.
In a statement, the estate said: “Simon Howard is no longer involved with Castle Howard, having stepped down as a director and shareholder five years ago.”