Michaela Coel sends “great support” to women accusing Noel Clarke of harassment

A report published yesterday saw 20 women accuse Clarke of sexual harassment and bullying

I May Destroy You creator Michaela Coel has shared her support for the 20 women who have accused actor Noel Clarke of sexual harassment and bullying.

Yesterday (April 29), a report was published in the Guardian that saw a number of women accuse Clarke of a variety of wrongdoings – from alleged bullying to sexual harassment and unwanted sexual contact.

Clarke has denied all claims through his lawyers except for one, accepting that he once made inappropriate comments about one woman for which he later apologised.

Taking to social media, Coel shared the Guardian article accusing Clarke and shared her own statement on the accusations.

She wrote: “I am here to offer great support for the 20 brave woman 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.

“I applaud the Guardian and its journalists for investigating and publishing this story.”

Among the allegations aimed at Clarke is a claim that Clarke secretly filmed an actress who posed naked as part of an audition. Gina Powell, who worked for Clarke as a producer between September 2014 and March 2017 on Brotherhood, has alleged that Clarke once showed her a covertly recorded clip of actress Jahannah James performing without her clothes on.

In a 29-page letter sent to the newspaper, Clarke’s lawyers wrote that he categorically denies all allegations – from all 20 women – and in some cases questions their credibility. Clarke’s lawyers also deny that their client is a serial sexual predator.

Noel Clarke BAFTAs
Noel Clarke at the 2019 BAFTAs CREDIT: Getty Images

Clarke, who has been suspended by BAFTA following the allegations, said in a statement to The Guardian: “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.

“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.”

ITV have also faced pressure to axe the final episode of Clarke’s current show Viewpoint, which is airing on the network each night this week, with its finale set to be screened tonight (April 30).