Ricky Gervais says he’s ‘shocked and appalled to learn of’ sexual misconduct accusations against longtime producer Charlie Hanson
- Hanson is accused of sexual assault in a letter written by 11 women
- Gervais, 59, said he is ‘confident the matter is being handled thoroughly’
- Hanson’s worked with Gervais on After Life, Extras and Cemetery Junction
- Hanson’s membership in BAFTA has been suspended and he was dropped by Netflix
- One woman claims she woke up to find Hanson naked on top of her in a bed
- The producer denied all the claims and said that he would assist a formal probe
Ricky Gervais says he’s ‘shocked and appalled’ after learning about the sexual misconduct accusations against his longtime producer and collaborator Charlie Hanson.
In a statement Saturday, the After Life star, 59, reacted to the recent spate of accusations raised against Hanson, 68, by multiple women; Hanson has subsequently been removed from After Life, while his membership in BAFTA has been suspended pending further investigation.
‘I am shocked and appalled to learn of the historical allegations made by a number of women against Charlie Hanson,’ he said. ‘The decision was made to immediately remove him from production and I am confident the matter is being handled thoroughly.’
The latest: Ricky Gervais, 59, says he’s ‘shocked and appalled’ after learning about the sexual misconduct accusations against his longtime producer and collaborator Charlie Hanson, 68. Gervais was snapped last year in London
An accuser anonymously sent an email to Netflix and BAFTA alleging Hanson’s years of misconduct, according to Times of London, which reported that 11 women in total have made claims against Hanson, who has worked with Gervais on other projects such as the comedy show Extras and the movie Cemetery Junction.
The alleged victims wrote a letter to Netflix and Bafta about incidents between 2008 and 2015 including claims of unwanted sexual advances.
Hanson, a star TV producer behind some of Britain’s biggest comedy shows, has denied the accusations against him. In a statement released by his lawyer, Hanson said he has ‘not had one complaint in decades of work in the media industry.’
He said he rejects any notion of wrongdoing on his part, ‘will do what is necessary to protect and/or restore my reputation’ and ‘will also cooperate with any formal inquiries.’
Collaborators: Gervais and Hanson were snapped in 2016 in London
Amma Asante, who was previously married to producer Charlie Hanson, called the allegations against him ‘devastating’, adding that she stood ‘wholeheartedly’ with the victims
Ricky Gervais, with whom Hanson has worked on After Life and Extras, said he was ‘shocked and appalled’ to learn of the historical allegations
In an email from one of Hanson’s accusers published by The Times, Hanson was described as ‘a predator who uses his reputation, connections and standing in order to groom far younger, impressionable and sometimes vulnerable women into trusting him.
‘At times he will promise them a starry career under his wing, and then exploits that trust in creepy and illegal ways,’ the woman said. ‘He then tries to diminish the seriousness of what he’s done by telling these young women – us – that it wasn’t as bad as it seemed, that it was somehow blameless. He does his best to convince himself – and others – that this method of operating is fine. But we know it is not fine.’
Ten of the women have also spoken to Channel 4 News, claiming Hanson had a ‘conveyor belt of young women’ he would groom with promises of career progress before sexually assaulting them.
One woman, named as Emma, says Hanson acted as a ‘mentor’ when she was starting out and gained her trust over years, but after going for a drink one night her memory became hazy shortly before Hanson walked her home.
She said: ‘He does gain your trust, and it’s only when you have a moment of vulnerability that he abuses that, and that’s why it comes as quite a shock.
‘My memory is very blurry, I remember he took my clothes off and I pushed him away or tried to push him but he persisted and said ‘Shhh, it’s ok.’ It was like I was blacking out and every time I woke up he was engaging in sexual activity with me.’
Another woman, Jemma, was a performer working on the acting circuit and says Hanson would introduce her to industry figures.
‘At the time I didn’t think anything of staying on his sofa, I kind of considered this person a friend’, she said. ‘He specifically said to ‘come and share the bed, it’s more comfortable you know, you can trust nothing is going to happen’.
‘I was on the edge of the bed, he came over right behind, put his arm around me that felt very uncomfortable. It was a really horrible experience because everything that I had believed up until then came crashing down at that moment.
The 68-year-old Golden Globe winner (pictured with Ricky Gervais in 2017) is in the spotlight after 11 women wrote to Netflix and Bafta about incidents between 2008 and 2015
Gervais said, ‘The decision was made to immediately remove him from production and I am confident the matter is being handled thoroughly’
Jemma still fears speaking out with the allegation due to Hanson’s power in the industry.
‘He seems to have a conveyor belt of young women who he does the same thing to, he’ll offer to develop projects for them, give the impression that he’s going to help them with their career.’
The producer has denied all the claims made against him and said he would assist any formal probe into his behavior.
A spokesman for BAFTA said: ‘We have been presented with a number of very serious detailed allegations about an individual and while we are not their employer we immediately took the decision to suspend their membership.
‘BAFTA is an arts charity and does not have the power to investigate historic claims of abuse therefore we have referred the matter to the police.
‘The behavior that these accounts allege is abhorrent, in complete opposition to BAFTA values and has no place in our industry.’
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