Police are speaking to a number of Chris Evans’ former coworkers following a string of allegations about the former “Top Gear” presenter’s sexual behaviour on the 1990s Channel 4 TV show “The Big Breakfast.”
A source tells Business Insider that, as part of enquiries into a complaint of sexual assault made against the presenter, Metropolitan Police officers have spoken to at least one TV producer who worked with Evans on the iconic breakfast show.
The original complaint was made by an unnamed female TV executive on May 23 and police have since made telephone contact with other former colleagues of Evans.
The alleged victim, a former coworker of Evans, told Heat Street, the News Corp-owned right-wing news website: “He often said I was crap at my job and he would sometimes grab my breasts. I became totally desensitised to his behaviour. He would scream and shout and swear at me if I told him something simple such as reminding him he was due on air in 10 minutes’ time.”
The woman, who spoke to Heat Street under a condition of anonymity, said Evans would also expose himself to her regularly and that she made a statement about the events to a lawyer five years ago.
The Metropolitan Police declined to comment on the individuals in the case or their additional lines of enquiry. A spokesman referred Business Insider to a statement released on Monday:
“An allegation of non-recent sexual assault was made to police on Monday, 23 May,” the statement said. “The allegation was made by a woman against a man. It relates to incidents in Tower Hamlets in the 1990s. There has been no arrest and no person has been interviewed under caution. Enquiries continue.”
Evans’ agent, Michael Foster, has yet to respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. A Channel 4 spokesman declined to comment. The BBC — where Evans is currently employed as a Radio 2 host — also declined to comment.
“There was a working bathtub in the Big Breakfast house so it was very easy for him to be naked”
A source told Business Insider that they had been questioned directly by officers at Bethnal Green Police Station in London about Evans’ behaviour on “The Big Breakfast,” which he hosted between 1992 and 1994.
The television executive, who wished to remain anonymous, added that they expect to be asked to make a formal statement, which could be used as evidence if the investigation progresses.
The source said Evans would regularly parade around “The Big Breakfast” house naked, often after using the bathroom, which was part of the show’s set.
“There was a working bathtub in the Big Breakfast house so it was very easy for him to be naked. His behaviour was really unusual and quite shocking, particularly if you were a young woman working on the show,” the source said.
Heat Street has also reported on other more lurid allegations about Evans behaviour, and on Sunday claimed that he will be informally questioned by police in the “near future”.
The original Heat Street story reported on a conversation between Evans’ former colleagues on Facebook, where they swapped stories, including claims that the host would drop his towel in front of them after washing. One said it was part of his early morning “ritual”.
Friends of Evans have claimed that accusations of bullying and assault made against him were part of a “witch hunt” since he took over the BBC’s “Top Gear,” but the presenter has admitted to exposing himself during meetings at his company Ginger Group Media before.
He is reported to have told The Sunday Times newspaper in 2005: “I haven’t done it for a while, but I will do it again … If you get your willy out, it’s the funniest thing in the world.”
Evans’ resignation from “Top Gear” is not related to the police enquiries, BBC sources told Business Insider. The presenter announced he was stepping down on Monday, claiming that he had given the BBC2 motoring programme his “best shot”.
He will continue to present his Radio 2 breakfast programme, which he today dedicated to the “Top Gear” production team.
Evans said on the show that his slogan for the day was: “Breathe in, breathe out, move on.”
Sources have suggested to Business Insider that Evans decided to resign because he was being “overwhelmed” by his workload and had tired of the critical press stories that have dogged him since taking the “Top Gear” job in June last year.