The Crown producer, Left Bank Pictures, has been accused of mishandling a complaint by two female freelancers about a male senior exec who sexually and physically assaulted them after a work party.
In a report by The Guardian newspaper, the two women, Holly Bourdillon and Laura Johnston, say the company acted to protect the man and minimised the seriousness of the incident.
Bourdillon and Johnston were hired to work on the edit of Netflix drama, White Lines, in December 2019. After a work party that month, Bourdillon was sexually assaulted by exec producer Chris Croucher and Johnston was physically assaulted by him.
Croucher pleaded guilty to sexual and common assault in January this year and was sentenced to a three month curfew and a five-year community order.
Bourdillon made a formal complaint to Left Bank in December 2019 before taking the matter to the police.
In The Guardian report, it says “both women feel that from the moment of this initial complaint, Left Bank executives acted to protect Croucher and minimise the severity of his criminal behaviour.”
Johnston told The Guardian: “I think they just thought of him the whole way through. They treated him as the victim and failed to acknowledge that he had committed multiple crimes that evening. It felt like they allowed him to save face professionally.”
Left Bank told The Guardian that it was ““saddened to hear that Ms Bourdillon and Ms Johnston did not feel sufficiently supported by the company throughout this process, as the wellbeing of all our staff is of paramount importance to us. The welfare of both women was a priority for all those from the outset. However, these claims about the handling of this matter are inaccurate and completely mischaracterise the seriousness with which Left Bank Pictures took the complaint from the outset, as well as the great lengths the company went to in supporting the victims throughout.”
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