Veteran British DJ and radio host Tim Westwood, best known for being BBC Radio 1’s premiere Hip Hop DJ for almost 20 years until his departure in 2013, is facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
Three women have come forward accusing Westwood of “opportunistic and predatory sexual behaviour” during what they believed were meetings about opportunities in the music industry. A further four women claim he groped them while they were having a picture taken with him after nightclub performances.
All the victims are Black and were in their late teens or early 20s when the alleged incidents happened. The allegations span Westwood’s long-running and high-profile career, with the earliest incident occurring in 1992 and the most recent in 2017.
Westwood, whose radio show currently airs on Capital XTRA in the UK, has strenuously denied all the allegations. “Any suggestion that he acts, or has acted, in the way described would be false and seriously defamatory,” his lawyers said.
One victim, an aspiring singer/songwriter who was 19 at the time, claims a 53-year-old Westwood undid his trousers and exposed himself while sat next to her in a car in 2010. After they entered his flat, he allegedly got fully naked, put a condom on and initiated sex with her, during which she was “frozen.”
Another victim claims Westwood (who was in his mid-30s at the time) performed oral sex on her without her consent when she was 17. “He could make or break your career,” she said. “Within the recording industry and the Black community, despite him being a white man, he had absolute power.”
The victims are not known to each other and none of them had reported their experiences to the police. It was only after allegations of inappropriate behavior about Westwood emerged in June 2020 that the women felt encouraged to speak up. They previously feared their stories would be dismissed due to how young they were at the time and the fact they are Black.
The allegations against the DJ are the subject of a new BBC documentary called Tim Westwood: Abuse of Power, which airs on Tuesday (April 26).