In Brief

Jimmy Savile report: 'abusers could still be lurking in the BBC'

Leaked draft attacks 'deferential culture, untouchable stars and above the law' managers

A leaked draft of the report into BBC culture during Jimmy Savile's time there attacks the organisation's culture and practices and claims that sexual predators could still be hidden within the organisation. 

The damning report, led by retired judge Dame Janet Smith and obtained by Exaro News, also details the extent of the assaults carried out by the paedophile.

For decades, the presenter sexually abused hundreds of women and young girls at hospitals, children's homes and the BBC. Many of the allegations only began to emerge after he died in 2011.

In response, the BBC commissioned the independent review in 2012, to evaluate its practices during the time it employed Savile.

The 500-page draft alleges the corporation treated celebrities with "kid gloves" and that staff were too scared to report Savile to their managers, says Exaro. It is also said to highlight a "deferential culture", "untouchable stars" and executives who were "above the law".

Dame Smith goes on to outline numerous rapes and sexual assaults on underage girls by Savile, some even committed on camera.

She highlighted a case where Savile sexually abused a young girl on the set of Top of the Pops in 1969. When the victim reported it to a crew member, she was escorted off the premises.

"I heard of incidents that took place in virtually every one of the BBC premises in which he worked," Dame Smith wrote. "Savile would seize the opportunity for sexual contact even in public places such as corridors, staircases and canteens."

In the afterword, she concludes: "Finally, I wish to consider whether it is possible that a predatory child abuser could be lurking undiscovered in the BBC even today. The answer is that I think it is possible."

Resdoning to the leaked documents, BBC Director General Tony Hall described the Savile scandal as a "dark chapter in the history of the BBC" and said the final report would be "invaluable in helping us understand what happened". 

However, he said the copy leaked to the media was "an early draft which has changed considerably, so while I am impatient to learn those lessons the responsible thing must be to act on the final report which we have not received." 

The final report is due to be published within six weeks.

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