Noel Clarke says he was suicidal following sexual misconduct allegations: ‘I lost everything’

Clarke was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by 20 women last year

Annabel Nugent
Sunday 29 May 2022 11:45
Noel Clarke reflects on his Bafta rising star win

Noel Clarke has said that he was suicidal after he was accused of sexual misconduct last year.

In April 2021, The Guardian published allegations of misconduct from 20 women who knew Clarke, 46, in a professional capacity.

The claims spanned sexual harassment, unwanted touching or groping, sexually inappropriate comments, taking and sharing sexually explicit pictures and videos without consent, and bullying.

In a statement at the time, the Doctor Who star “vehemently” denied “any sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing”.

The actor, however, added that he was “deeply sorry” if some of his actions had affected people “in ways I did not intend or realise”. He vowed to get professional help “to educate myself and change for the better”.

Speaking out for the first time since, Clarke said that he considered suicide in the aftermath of the allegations but reconsidered after having a conversation with his 11-year-old son.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, he said: “Up to that [conversation], I had been waiting for the right moment to kill myself. I was out of here. Done. I didn’t care about anything. My mind was destroyed.”

“I lost everything,” said Clarke. “The company I built from the ground up, my TV shows, my movies, my book deals, the industry respect I had. In my heart and my head, it has damaged me in a way I cannot articulate.”

Actor Noel Clarke has been accused by 20 women of sexual misconduct

Elsewhere in the interview, he compared his experience to “modern McCarthyism” and divulged that he is suing The Guardian.

“There has been no arrest, no charges, no trial, no verdict but I have been criminalised. This is a form of modern McCarthyism,” said Clarke.

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In March, police confirmed that no criminal investigation will be launched regarding the sexual offence allegations.

The Metropolitan Police said it conducted a “thorough assessment” and concluded that the information received “would not meet the threshold for a criminal investigation”.

“If we don’t need police and judges and juries any more, if we only need social media and the broadcasters, then what world do we live in? At what point did the broadcasters in this country become the judges, juries and executioners of people?” said Clarke.

“At what point did Bafta decide they were no longer about films, but they were about judging people’s lives? This is not about me, it’s bigger, it’s about due process. Yes, people have said these things about me – but if I say you’re a donkey, it doesn’t make you a donkey, does it?”

Clarke is now suing Bafta and the Guardian for defamation. He is also suing magazine publisher Conde Nast, which ran a piece about the controversy in its GQ magazine.

As a result of the accusations, the actor’s TV show Bulletproof was cancelled and he was removed from his production company, Unstoppable Film and TV.

Last year, Clarke received the special prize for Outstanding Contribution to Cinema at the 2021 film awards.

While Bafta has since suspended Clarke, it was claimed in the original Guardian report that the awards body had been informed of the allegations before the show and had continued to reward Clarke for his work anyway.

Bafta did not dispute that it had received “anonymous emails and reports of allegations via intermediaries”, but said that “no evidence was provided” that would allow an investigation to take place at the time.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.

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