DJ Tim Westwood accused of sexual misconduct by a number of girls | Tim Westwood

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The famend DJ Tim Westwood has been accused of sexual misconduct by a number of girls who declare he misused his place within the music business to make the most of them.

Three girls have accused the DJ of opportunistic and predatory sexual behaviour, whereas 4 others allege they had been groped by him at occasions.

The ladies, who had been of their late teenagers or early 20s once they say the incidents occurred, described their experiences to the Guardian and BBC Information as a part of a joint investigation into the previous BBC Radio 1 DJ.

The earliest alleged incident happened in 1992; the latest in 2017.

One of many girls mentioned: “Somebody making the most of my naivety and insecurity isn’t one thing that I ought to have to hold with disgrace.”

Westwood has strenuously denied all of the allegations. A spokesperson mentioned they had been fully false and denied of their entirety.

Tim Westwood accused of sexual misconduct – video

In response to the allegations on Tuesday the BBC mentioned it was “shocked”. A spokesperson mentioned: “The BBC is in opposition to all types of inappropriate behaviour and we’re shocked to listen to of those allegations. The BBC has strict codes of conduct for all these engaged by the BBC, together with on-air presenters.”

The ladies, who’re all black, determined to inform their tales within the aftermath of nameless allegations of inappropriate behaviour about Westwood circulating on social media in June 2020.

In an announcement on the time, Westwood denied any wrongdoing, saying the allegations on-line had been fabricated, false and with out basis.

The Guardian and BBC, which has launched a documentary on BBC Three concerning the story, have since spoken to seven girls who make a variety of separate allegations concerning the DJ’s conduct.

Westwood in 1999.
Tim Westwood in 1999. The veteran DJ stays a key determine in hip-hop music within the UK. {Photograph}: Andy Corridor/The Observer

Among the girls say they felt unable to speak about their experiences earlier than. They feared their accounts wouldn’t be taken severely as a result of they had been so younger on the time the alleged incidents occurred – and that racial discrimination would additionally lead folks to minimise, dismiss or ignore their claims.

Three of the ladies have accused Westwood of opportunistic and predatory sexual behaviour once they agreed to fulfill him, considering they’d be discussing the music business or their very own work. They had been 17, 19 and 20 on the time of the alleged incidents.

An additional 4 girls declare the DJ groped them whereas they had been having an image taken with him after one among his nightclub performances.

The Guardian and BBC know the identities of all the ladies, who will not be recognized to one another and have by no means spoken. Not one of the girls had reported their interactions to the police; all have requested to stay nameless.

Now 64, Westwood has been one of many best-known names in hip-hop and rap within the UK for the previous 40 years. He turned the style’s unmistakable voice when he began internet hosting BBC Radio 1’s first Rap Present in 1994, credited with giving contemporary expertise an unparalleled platform whereas attractive the largest rappers on the earth – from Public Enemy to Jay-Z – onto his present.

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Westwood has all the time courted a level of controversy, usually enjoying to a bad-boy picture with on-mic banter that may be provocative and sexually express. In 1999, he was injured in a drive-by taking pictures, with one bullet going by means of the seat of the automotive he was in and one other by means of his arm.

He turned a key determine in black music within the UK and was named finest DJ on the Mobo (Music of Black Origin) awards a number of instances.

After 20 years, the self-styled Large Dawg, left Radio 1, as a part of a shake-up of its Saturday evening schedule, and now hosts a present on Capital Xtra in addition to common membership nights.

A supply on the BBC mentioned the allegations had been “appalling and disturbing” and mentioned the company was not “sitting on” any data that might assist an investigation into the previous Radio 1 DJ.

Legal professionals performing for Westwood mentioned he was a well-respected and extremely profitable DJ. They mentioned he strenuously denied of their entirety the intense allegations being made in opposition to him.

“Any suggestion that he acts, or has acted, in the way in which described could be false and severely defamatory.” They mentioned he wished to clarify that he didn’t behave within the method described.

The Guardian has approached World, the mum or dad firm of Capital Xtra, the place Westwood is at the moment employed, for remark.

The girls

Silhouette of a woman
Isabel: ‘I didn’t have any form of guard up for that state of affairs.’ {Photograph}: Equipped by BBC

Isabel

Isabel* was 19 when she says she was the sufferer of Westwood’s alleged predatory behaviour in 2010. He was 53 on the time. The college graduate described eager to pursue a profession in music – she grew up within the Midlands, singing gospel and writing her personal songs.

When she found Westwood was DJing at a nightclub in her house city in 2010, she says she hoped to get her music into his palms. “At that second, he was the principle gatekeeper for entry to what I wanted to do,” she says.

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She described to the Guardian and BBC placing collectively a demo CD, together with her contact particulars inside, and says she went to the nightclub, supported by her finest buddy and stepmother.

Isabel says they managed to present the CD to the DJ, who, to her pleasure, referred to as her the subsequent day and advised assembly in London. “We had been considering that this can be a actually good lead at this level,” she says. “He needs to behave on this shortly.”

She says a couple of days later she took the practice to London for a day assembly and met Westwood at Oxford Circus, the place he picked her up in his automotive. Isabel says her “full assumption” was that they had been going someplace to speak about her music. “The telephone name was the one interplay we’d had earlier than that,” she says. “There was nothing flirtatious or romantic concerning the nature of the dialog.”

However she says that when the journey lasted longer than she anticipated and her environment turned unfamiliar, she began to turn out to be anxious. “We acquired within the automotive. He made essentially the most minimal quantity of small discuss. I may inform that he wasn’t notably within the music factor,” she says.

Isabel says she was wanting away from him however then turned to search out Westwood had undone his trousers and was exposing himself.

“I didn’t really see him undo his trousers. What alerted me to the truth that he was exposing himself was the truth that he really tapped me to show round to look. I’ve appeared and I’ve seen and I’m like, ‘Oh, no, oh no, like, oh my God’,” she says.

Isabel says she felt scared however unable to get herself out of the state of affairs. She says they arrived at a flat, which she believes was his, the place he provided her a drink – which she refused.

It was on this flat, which Isabel says was strewn with information, that she claims she was the sufferer of a second episode of opportunistic and predatory sexual behaviour.

She claims that when Westwood got here again from getting himself a drink in one other room, he was bare.

“That’s once I seen that he’s acquired a condom and he’s eliminated it [from the packet] and began placing it on,” she says, including that she recognised the condom from a marketing campaign Westwood had carried out with the model Durex – which he promoted at occasions.

“I keep in mind the packet as a result of they’d this slogan on it. They’d his face on the opposite aspect,” she says. “I keep in mind him throwing it down. I keep in mind the truth that it was yellow. Like, I keep in mind that very vividly as a result of I keep in mind that was type of when my mind additionally began to close down.”

She says Westwood initiated intercourse, and though she didn’t vocalise her misgivings, she was “frozen”.

“I didn’t have any form of guard up for that state of affairs,” she says. “It’s all very reactive … as a result of it’s simply occurring. And the shock issue of it’s so overwhelming that it type of disorientates the remainder of the way in which you assume. It’s such as you’re shocked.”

Isabel says Westwood then left the room. When he returned she had her bag on her lap to point she wished to depart, and he took her to a practice station.

She says that as he dropped her off he tried to present her one among his combine CDs however she refused.

Isabel says she felt “silly” on the practice journey house. “I simply keep in mind feeling so deflated. So unhappy. Feeling actually ashamed of myself and unhealthy.”

She says she remembers getting a textual content message from her buddy who had been ready to listen to how the assembly had gone.

“I didn’t say what occurred however I despatched a textual content to let her know like we didn’t hear, it didn’t occur. We didn’t hearken to my music … it’s not gone down like that.”

Isabel’s stepmother advised the BBC and Guardian the entire household had been enthusiastic about Isabel assembly the DJ, hoping for a breakthrough in her profession. However she knew instinctively that one thing “was incorrect” when her stepdaughter wouldn’t discuss concerning the assembly.

However she says after she heard Isabel’s story, she felt responsible for not chaperoning her – and says she cried when Isabel disclosed that her silence was partly as a consequence of fears that her household could be upset in her.

Like others the Guardian and BBC spoke to, Isabel says she turned conscious in 2020 of allegations being made by girls on social media alleging misconduct by Westwood.

Isabel says she is telling her story now as a result of she felt what had occurred to her was an abuse of the DJ’s place.

“It’s a privilege to have the ability to do what you’re keen on as a job and it’s a privilege to be given a platform to do it on,” she says. “So it’s an enormous violation while you abuse that.”

Westwood has strenuously denied performing within the method described by Isabel.

Pamela

Pamela’s* story shares similarities with Isabel’s. Now in her 40s, Pamela was 20 when she says she first met the DJ by means of associates. It was 2000 and she or he was energetic within the youth rap scene, working with aspiring younger musicians. The DJ – then in his 40s – wished to attach with a youthful viewers and requested her to do work expertise with him, she says.

She says he reassured her mom on the telephone, and Pamela travelled to London to fulfill him for work expertise. However when Westwood picked her up from King’s Cross practice station in a big American-style automotive he quickly started touching her leg and face whereas he was driving, she alleges.

She says whereas she was batting his hand away he was not concentrating on the highway and was driving erratically. A police officer on a bike pulled up alongside the automotive and knocked on the passenger window. Pamela says she sat in silence as Westwood apologised and was advised to maintain his eyes on the highway.

Pamela says she had anticipated to remain on her personal in a lodge, though this had not been mentioned, and as a substitute she says he drove her to what she understood to be his flat. “If you happen to’re going to do an internship someplace, you’re not anticipating for that individual to take you to their home. That’s unprofessional,” she says.

After some hours, the DJ sat subsequent to her and tried to kiss her neck and take away objects of her clothes, she says, including that she moved away, making an attempt to switch them. “I didn’t give him any type of come-on. There was no flirtation,” she says.

She says when Westwood initiated intercourse, she remembers considering she couldn’t get out of the state of affairs. “I’m in London alone with this man. Now if I attempt to get out of this, who’s to say how he’s going to react. So I simply undergo it.”

She says she has not spoken concerning the encounterin its entirety, till now. “Folks like me don’t ever get believed once we talk about stuff like this, so we don’t,” she says, including that she discovered the encounter “traumatic”.

“It was disgusting and I felt like shit afterwards, actually disgusting,” she says.

She says the work expertise he provided by no means occurred, and she or he went house as quickly as she may.

Pamela later spoke to a buddy who works within the music business and so they inspired her to speak about her expertise on this investigation.

Tamara

Tamara* says she first met Westwood when she was a 17-year-old member of a British R&B group and he was in his mid-30s and the “No 1 hip-hop DJ on the time”.

She says when he requested if she wished to “hang around”, she thought it was to speak about her profession. “He may make or break your profession,” she says. “If you happen to wished to get any type of publicity, you’ll attempt to get your demo to him and pray that he would play it. He had absolute energy.

“Throughout the recording business and the black group, regardless of him being a white man, he had absolute energy.”

Silhouette of a woman in a video camera viewfinder
Tamara: ‘He had absolute energy.’ {Photograph}: Equipped by BBC

However Tamara says that when they had been in a flat she believes was his, with out saying something he pulled down her trousers and underwear. She claims he then started performing oral intercourse on her.

“There was no speaking. There was no type of communication about that. It was simply earlier than I knew it, that’s what was occurring,” she says.

Tamara says she was bowled over and at first tried to push his head and shoulders away. “After which I realised that, you already know what? I’m ready the place it’s already gone too far,” she says.

“I’m already removed from house. I wouldn’t even know depart this specific place. I wouldn’t know get house from right here … Then he finishes and it’s as if that hadn’t occurred.”

The lady says they then had informal intercourse two or thrice over a interval of three years.

Wanting again at these encounters, Tamara says she was so younger she lacked “the power and braveness” to say: “‘No … I don’t really feel proper about this’, as a result of I didn’t really feel proper about it.”

Now with a daughter in her 20s, Tamara says she has determined to share her expertise for the primary time after her daughter confirmed her the web allegations about Westwood that surfaced in 2020, including that she was involved his ongoing common membership nights meant he was usually in touch with younger girls.

In 2021, Tamara watched the BBC documentary Music’s Soiled Secrets and techniques and contacted the producers asking them to analyze the DJ.

Farah

The Guardian and BBC additionally spoke to 4 different girls who declare they had been groped by Westwood once they posed for an image with him, after he had carried out DJ units.

The Guardian and BBC have seen the Snapchat footage and the photographs the ladies say had been taken throughout the encounters.

The earliest dates to 2000, when Farah* was 19 and dealing with a promotional avenue crew throughout Bristol carnival.

Afterwards she says she met Westwood, then in his mid-40s, at an afterparty and recollects him asking about her work.

She says when the occasion had completed, the road crew gathered to take {a photograph} with the DJ, however because it was being taken he put his hand inside her T-shirt and grabbed her breast.

“Simply the considered any individual doing that – I felt chilly. And I felt soiled. I felt humiliated, embarrassed. That I’d carried out one thing incorrect,” she says.

Claire

Two girls allege they had been groped in 2009, when the DJ was in his early 50s.

In the summertime, Claire*, then 20, went to a nightclub in Ayia Napa – the DJ had been enjoying and she or he says she queued to take {a photograph} with him after his set. However as her buddy was taking the image, she claims Westwood mentioned “lemme seize some ass” and put his hand down the again of her denim shorts.

“As I used to be shocked, I froze and felt very intimidated,” she says. “He then began asking if I used to be taken with going again to the place he was staying to ‘chill’, as I used to be stood, nonetheless mentally making an attempt to course of what simply occurred.” She says she turned down the provide.

Loretta

Silhouette of a woman in front of neon lights
Loretta says she was a young person when Westwood allegedly groped her in an Essex nightclub. {Photograph}: Equipped by BBC

Later within the 12 months, earlier than Christmas, Loretta* says she additionally posed for {a photograph} with the DJ after he had carried out at a nightclub in Essex. The then 19-year-old says she felt the DJ’s hand go down her again and seize her backside, earlier than resting on her neck.

“In that second, I used to be type of frozen and I didn’t actually know react,” she says. “I imply, I understand how I’d react now as a grown lady, however as a young person, I actually didn’t.”

Nyla

Nyla* says she met Westwood 9 years later, in 2017, when she was 22 and he was 59 and DJing at a New 12 months’s Day occasion in London.

She says he acquired his safety to ask her on stage, and when she did he used the microphone to declare her “the pengest lady within the rave”.

On the finish of the evening she says her buddy wished a video of the DJ. Whereas the pair posed, Nyla says Westwood moved his hand down her again and up the again of her skirt.

“I couldn’t actually do something to cease it or forestall it. So it felt like that had been taken out of my palms,” she says.

Silhouette of a woman in front of neon lights
Nyla: ‘I couldn’t actually do something to cease it or forestall it.’ {Photograph}: Equipped by BBC

Nyla says Westwood referred to as her the subsequent day on Snapchat – she thinks after getting her quantity from a visitor checklist – “asking if I need to hang around and stuff” and telling her she didn’t have to come back alone and will deliver associates. She says earlier than lengthy she ended the dialog and blocked his quantity.

“Generally I simply really feel like his persona or his type of stage character, folks take that actually evenly and see it as one thing that’s form of satirical when really it’s probably not humorous,” she says.

“I didn’t have an opportunity to voice my very own opinion in that second. I didn’t actually really feel like a human. I simply felt objectified.”

*Names have been modified.

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