Tim Westwood steps down from Capital Xtra radio as BBC chief calls sexual misconduct allegations ‘appalling’

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Tim Westwood (Dave Benett/Getty)
Tim Westwood (Dave Benett/Getty)

Tim Westwood has stepped down from his Capital Xtra radio show “until further notice”, following accusations of sexual misconduct by multiple women, which he denies.

A Global Radio (Capital Xtra’s parent company) spokesperson told press outlets: “Following the claims that have recently come to light, Tim Westwood has stepped down from his show until further notice.”

The hip hop DJ has held a Saturday night slot on Capital since his exit from BBC Radio in 2013. On Wednesday (27 April), BBC director general Tim Davie called the claims made against Westwood, “appalling”.

Davie, who was head of radio output at the BBC during Westwood’s tenure there said he had seen no evidence of complaints being made against the DJ. The BBC head said: “Every complaint has to be taken seriously. If anything comes up we will investigate it fully.

“If people have evidence where things weren’t followed up or they have concern in this area bring it to us… we will follow up anything and we will dig and dig and dig. If people have got evidence of wrongdoing we need to bring it forward.”

Westwood, 64, is accused of predatory and unwanted sexual behaviour and touching, during incidents alleged to have taken place between 1992 and 2017.

The allegations were published in a joint investigation by the BBC and The Guardian. The seven women, who are all Black, gave detailed accounts in the aftermath of anonymous allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Westwood, which were circulated on social media in June 2020.

Wiley, Tim Westwood and Naughty Boy in 2017 (Paul Hampartsoumian/Shutterstock)
Wiley, Tim Westwood and Naughty Boy in 2017 (Paul Hampartsoumian/Shutterstock)

In a statement at the time, Westwood denied any wrongdoing and said the allegations were fabricated, false and without foundation.

“In a career that has spanned 40 years, there have never been any complaints made against him officially or unofficially. Tim Westwood strongly rejects all allegations of wrongdoing,” a statement issued on behalf of the presenter said this week.

One of Westwood’s accusers alleged she was 17 and in an R&B group when Westwood, then in his mid-thirties, subjected her to unwanted oral sex.

“He could make or break your career,” the woman, calling herself Tamara, said. “If you wanted to get any kind of exposure, you would try to get your demo to him and pray that he would play it. He had absolute power.

“Within the recording industry and the black community, despite him being a white man, he had absolute power.”

Some of the new accusers claimed the DJ, who was an early supporter of hip-hop in the UK, used his position in the music industry to exploit women.

They share their accounts in a new BBC Three documentary, Tim Westwood: Abuse of Power, which is available now on BBC iPlayer.

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