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Noel Clarke drops legal action against BAFTA over membership suspension

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Noel Clarke has dropped legal proceedings against BAFTA, who have said they stand by their decision to suspend the actor’s membership.

Clarke filed a defamation lawsuit against BAFTA in May this year, after the British Academy suspended his membership and revoked an honorary award following allegations of sexual harassment and bullying made by 20 women. He has previously strenuously denied any sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing.

After having four months to confirm whether he was proceeding with his legal case after it was filed in May, the Academy announced the lawsuit has now been dropped.

In a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter), a BAFTA spokesperson said: “We note that Noel Clarke has dropped his legal action against BAFTA. The serious misconduct alleged in first-hand testimonies and published in The Guardian newspaper is contrary to the standards expected of a BAFTA member and the values we uphold as an arts charity and Academy.

“We stand by our decision to suspend his honorary award and membership as soon as the detailed allegations came to light.”

Noel Clarke
Noel Clarke. CREDIT: Dave Benett/Getty Images

It’s believed that Clarke, however, is still pursuing legal action against the Guardian. NME has reached out to Clarke’s reps for comment.

In March this year, London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed Clarke would not face a criminal investigation into the allegations. “Following a thorough assessment by specialist detectives it was determined the information would not meet the threshold for a criminal investigation,” a statement read.

After the Guardian report was published in April last year, Clarke denied all of the allegations except one, accepting that he once made inappropriate comments about one woman, for which he later apologised.

In a statement released at the time, Clarke said: “Recent reports however have made it clear to me that some of my actions have affected people in ways I did not intend or realise.

“To those individuals, I am deeply sorry. I will be seeking professional help to educate myself and change for the better.”

After the allegations surfaced, ITV made the decision to pull the finale of Clarke’s series Viewpoint. Sky, meanwhile, dropped Clarke and suspended production on the new season of Bulletproof until further notice.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

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