Sexual Abuse in the Entertainment Industry

Sexual Abuse in the Entertainment Industry

The public perception of once revered stars from the television and film industry has changed dramatically since the 2010s, caused by the criminal convictions of celebrities charged with sexual abuse of minors.  Entertainment industry big hitters including, Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, Max Clifford, and Roman Polanski to name but a few, have been charged with sexual abuse against underage children.  And many of their victims suffer from life-long effects, including stress, anxiety, depression, and problems forming close attachments.

Whether actors, presenters, or public relations managers, the list of professionals dragged down by the horrific actions of some, seems to be ever-growing.  For example, allegations of abuse were made against ‘EastEnders’ star, Leslie Grantham after his death in 2018.  Grantham who had previously served ten years for murder in 1966, became the subject of accusations of the sexual abuse of a girl in 2009, who was under the age of 16 at the time[1].  Ironically, Grantham played Captain Hook for many years in Peter Pan pantomimes.  Peter Pan is a literary character that, as critics have suggested, projects adult desires onto children[2].At IBB Law, our personal injury and abuse lawyers have the experience and sensitivity required to deal with claims involving historic sexual abuse by a celebrity figure.  You can be assured that we will deal with your matter in the strictest confidence and will support you and your family throughout the claims process.  We will also manage any media interest in the case on your behalf.

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The importance of coming forward

For those who have been the victim of sexual abuse by those in the limelight, or were famous at the time of the abuse, there can be a real reluctance to seek help.  You may be thinking ‘who will believe me?’  This is understandable, especially as those in the media are perceived to be in positions of strength – both financially and reputationally.  But the last few years have changed this considerably.  Anyone coming forward with such allegations can do so in the knowledge that there is a now a great deal of precedent, and therefore, their allegations are likely to be taken seriously.

While many ex-celebrities who have committed such atrocities are now dead, it is still important to seek justice.  For many victims, the damage caused to their life, in terms of their relationships, careers, friendships, and physical and mental health, deserves to be fairly compensated.  While seeking justice and financial compensation for abuse by a celebrity will not undo the harm caused, the recognition that wrong was done, and the payment of an award for the pain, suffering and loss incurred, can go a long way to helping victims move on.

Who could be liable for negligence?

Cases for financial compensation arising from historical sexual abuse by a famous person are typically brought against individuals (the abusers) or organisations, who may have engaged them to work, such as theatres, local authorities, production companies, or charities.

Is it too late to bring a claim?

To bring a case for compensation for personal injury, the victim typically has only three years to lodge the claim with the relevant court.  However, in cases of historic abuse, especially those involving high-profile individuals, whereby the victim may have been reluctant to raise such allegations, there is a possibility the court will allow the limitation period to be extended.

At IBB Law, our personal injury lawyers have years of experience in personal injury law and can present a case to the court, arguing for your claim to proceed, even if it is effectively time-barred.  Regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred, it is important you contact us, so we can advise you.

How can I claim compensation if a celebrity abused me?

To claim compensation, it is important to engage a personal injury solicitor with a strong track record of handling historic sexual abuse cases.  When you contact IBB Law, your matter will be handled by a solicitor who specialises in this field, and therefore you will be treated with the utmost understanding, and everything you say will be in complete confidence.  IBB Law have been handling sensitive claims for those who have been abused by those in positions of responsibility and power for many years.  When you first speak to us, we will listen and advise if we can help.   If we can help, we will take care of the process and explain clearly the steps we need to take.

Will I have to go to court?

For victims of historical sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, the very thought of having to attend court can be deeply distressing.  We will make every effort to ensure your claim is settled out of court.  By collating a highly compelling case, and using a variety of resolution methods, a court appearance can be avoided in most cases. Indeed, when over 95% of compensation cases settle without an individual having to go to court. If it becomes necessary to commence legal action in your case, we may seek an order to anonymise you, so that your identity can be protected and never revealed.

How can I fund a claim for compensation?

We will take your case on a ‘no-win-no-fee’ basis, otherwise referred to as a conditional fee arrangement (CFA).  This will be explained to you in full before we proceed, ensuring you understand the details and implications.  In essence, ‘no win, no fee’ means that if your matter is not successful, you will not pay any legal costs.  Your solicitor may also recommend ‘insurance, which will protect you against having to pay your opponent’s legal costs, should your claim fail.

Our personal injury team at IBB Law have acquired a strong reputation for our expertise around abuse claims.  We ensure a professional, empathetic and friendly approach to all of the cases we handle.

If you would like further information on making a compensation claim following abuse at the hands of a celebrity, please call our office on 0333 123 9099 or email

  • Malcolm Underhill
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