Joe Clarke expresses ‘embarrassment and shame’ over part in Whatsapp group

Clarke engaged in discussions of a degrading game of sexual conquests alongside Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Alex Hepburn in 2017

Rory Dollard
Tuesday 24 May 2022 13:06
Comments
Joe Clarke has expressed ’embarrassment’ and ‘shame’ (Mike Egerton/PA)
Joe Clarke has expressed ’embarrassment’ and ‘shame’ (Mike Egerton/PA)

Nottinghamshire batter Joe Clarke has spoken of his “embarrassment and shame” over his past involvement in a vulgar Whatsapp group with convicted rapist Alex Hepburn.

In 2017, Clarke used the messaging app to engage in discussions of a degrading game of sexual conquests alongside then Worcestershire team-mates Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Hepburn.

The latter was sentenced to five years in jail after raping a woman who had earlier engaged in consensual sex with Clarke.

Clarke was not accused of any wrongdoing on the night in question, but recent talk of an England call-up has met with fierce criticism from those who feel his past sexist actions, and scarce public contrition, make him an unsuitable candidate for the national side.

Now, in a new interview with the Daily Telegraph, the 25-year-old has confronted his past behaviour.

“I have done a lot of reflecting. It is a feeling of embarrassment really. Regretful for being part of it,” he said.

“It is embarrassment and shame that I was involved in what was a terrible thing. It upsets me seeing it now so I completely understand why people get upset looking at it. It was completely wrong.

“It is not something I have forgotten about at all. Although I’ve not talked about it publicly I have had a lot of conversations in private with the club here and my family, with women that I am friends with. I’m happy I have the chance now and say how sorry I am for the involvement in all of it.”

Of the victim, who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, he said: “I feel like I let her down. She was ultimately in my company and relied on me for her safety and I did not provide that. I feel like I let her down and I hope that she has found happiness that she deserves now and has managed to move on.”

This is not about playing for England. This is about owning what I did, that I made a mistake and what I did was wrong

Joe Clarke

Generally considered one of the most talented uncapped players on the county circuit, Clarke appeared to move a step closer to England honours when director of men’s cricket Rob Key suggested he would be considered for selection on his watch.

But Clarke added: “This is not about playing for England. This is about owning what I did, that I made a mistake and what I did was wrong.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in