Lorraine: John Barrowman talks about sexual harassment claims
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John Barrowman, 54, addressed his “silly behaviour” on the set of Doctor Who, after he was accused of repeatedly exposing himself on the set of the BBC series and its sister show, Torchwood. But the actor insisted the 15-year-old claims have been “exaggerated” and denied any sexual harassment.
I think that if it was now it would be crossing the line
In his first TV interview since the allegations arose, the former I’m A Celebrity star shut down suggestions the “tomfoolery” was ever intended or interpreted as sexual in nature.
The star appeared as Captain Jack Harkness in the sci-fi series between 2005 and 2010, while featuring in later episodes in 2020 and 2021.
He also reprised his role in Torchwood from 2006 to 2011.
He told ITV’s Lorraine Kelly that if it happened now, it would be “crossing the line”, while admitting he was feeling “extremely nervous” about addressing the situation.
“I think that if it was now it would be crossing the line,” he explained.
“I think that something that happened 15 years ago – it was bawdy behaviour, silly behaviour.
“It was being done in the confines of the set and we were like a family working together.”
He continued: “The fact that it was stories that I’ve already told, I’ve been telling them for years. I haven’t hidden anything.
“They have been exaggerated and they have tried to turn them into sexual harassment, which it absolutely is not.”
Barrowman went on to explain the things have been taken out of context by people who weren’t there at the time, while stating he wouldn’t do it now.
He said: “The one thing that for me, all the people that are making the fuss about it, they weren’t there.
“They don’t know the context of things that were done.
“Like I said, I would never do it now.”
The actor also made a subtle link to cancel culture, stressing the importance of “allowing people to learn to adapt and to change”.
He continued to tell Lorraine: “What we’re not allowing people and myself to do with the continued bashing in the press and everything that is going on just to sell the newspapers, we’re not allowing people to learn to adapt and to change.
“And that’s the most important thing.”
The claims arose earlier this year, after a resurfaced video filmed at a sci-fi convention in 2014, Doctor Who actors Noel Clarke, Annette Badland, and Camille Coduri spoke about Barrowman allegedly exposing himself on-set.
In the clip, Clarke says: “Barrowman was there taking his d**k out every five seconds.”
At the time, representatives for the Fisherman’s Friends actor, who played Mickey Smith in the series, described the video as a “good-humoured conversation”, he himself has since faced a number of sexual harassment claims.
In April, a report published by The Guardian cited allegations against Clarke from more than 20 women.
The claims the women made about Clarke involved sexual harassment, unwanted touching or groping, sexually inappropriate comments, taking and sharing sexually explicit pictures and video without consent, and bullying.
After the article was published, Clark apologised for “some of my actions”, which had “affected people in ways I did not intend or realise” and said he would seek professional help.
However, he also “vehemently” denied all allegations of criminal behaviour or sexual misconduct.
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