Three separate women have accused actor Ed Westwick of sexual assault, two of which were serious allegations of rape. The actor has vehemently denied these claims which came to light back in November and has brought his career to a screeching halt.
Westwick had already filmed the BBC series Ordeal by Innocence, which was set to premiere on December 26 of last year but was put on hold in early November as reported by Entertainment Weekly. The three-episode miniseries is based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name and has re-cast Ed Westwick’s role.
Westwick will be replaced with English actor Christian Cooke of Witches of East End fame. Fellow actors Bill Nighy, Alice Eve, Anthony Boyle and Anna Chancellor will have to return for re-shoots for scenes with Cooke’s character, Mickey Argyll.
Production on Westwick’s other BBC series, White Gold, has also been suspended, but there has been no official word on his removal from that project. The Telegraph noted Ordeal by Innocence and White Gold are produced by different production companies, explaining why he has not been removed from the BBC2 program.
In early November, actress Kristina Cohen made the first accusation against Westwick, claiming the Gossip Girl actor had raped her. Allegations followed from Aurelie Wynn and Rachel Eck within several days, the former also accusing him of rape, and the latter claiming sexual assault.
Westwick took to social media to deny all three allegations and has not returned to any platform since. According to Deadline, The LAPD began investigating the claims back in November, but have not released any findings and Westwick has not been arrested.
News of Westwick’s replacement sounds familiar, as it was an expensive move director Ridley Scott made with his recent film All the Money in the World. The film originally starred Kevin Spacey, who was replaced with Christopher Plummer after allegations of Spacey’s misconduct arose. Plummer re-shot all of Spacey’s scenes and has since been nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance.
The BBC has not announced a new release date for Ordeal by Innocence, and re-shoots are set to begin at the end of the month.