Michaela Coel 'stands with' the women who have made allegations against Noel Clarke

File photo dated 11/04/17 of Michaela Coel, whose TV drama I May Destroy You was one of the must see shows that united the nation around the virtual water cooler, as the public found themselves with nowhere to go for large parts of the year. Issue date: Friday March 19, 2021.
Michaela Coel (PA)

I May Destroy You star Michaela Coel has said she stands with the women who have made allegations against Noel Clarke.

The Guardian reported this week that 20 women who knew the actor and producer in a professional capacity had accused him of verbal abuse, bullying and sexual harassment.

Clarke – who has “vehemently” denied the misconduct accusations – was then suspended by Bafta.

Read more: Noel Clarke suspended by Bafta after sexual misconduct allegations

Coel, who played someone who had been raped in drama series I May Destroy You – has now tweeted a statement in response to the story.

Noel Clarke attending the after show party for the EE British Academy Film Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in central London.
Noel Clarke (PA)

She wrote: “I am here to offer great support for the 20 brave women who have come forward; those who have shared their identities with us, but also those who have preferred to use an alias; the mental hurdles a black woman must overcome to do such a thing as reveal their identity within a narrative of rape abuse or bullying at the hands of someone within our own community can sometimes be too much.

“Speaking out about these incidents takes a lot of strength because some call them ‘grey areas.’ They are however far from grey.

"These behaviours are unprofessional, violent and can destroy a person’s perception of themselves, their place in the world and their career irreparably.

"I have shared to show solidarity, to express my belief in them and to stand with them in their indignation.”

Watch: Sky halts Noel Clarke's involvement in any future productions following allegations

Clarke has denied the claims against him, saying in a statement: “In a 20-year career, I have put inclusivity and diversity at the forefront of my work and never had a complaint made against me.

Michaela Coel attends the Prince's Trust And TK Maxx & Homesense Awards at London Palladium. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Michaela Coel at an awards ceremony in London (Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

“If anyone who has worked with me has ever felt uncomfortable or disrespected, I sincerely apologise.

“I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations.”