GBNews presenter Dan Wootton issued a six minute monologue tonight in an attempt to address serious allegations made by multiple individuals.
The publishers behind the Sun and MailOnline have already confirmed that they are looking into the allegations, mostly made on social media, that Dan Wootton inappropriately offered colleagues tens of thousands of pounds in return for sexual material. It is unclear if they are also currently looking into the allegation that Wootton helped organise an illegal, non-consensual sex tape, or the allegation that Wootton committed an act of rape.
A spokesperson for News UK, Rupert Murdoch’s company that owns The Sun, said: “We are looking into the allegations made in recent days. We are not able to make any further comment at this stage.”
A spokesperson for DMG Media, the Mail Online’s parent company, said: “We are aware of the allegations and are looking into them.”
“There are dark forces out to try and take this brilliant channel down,” Wootton told viewers tonight, in an apparent effort to covet support. “And that’s because GB News is the biggest threat to the establishment in decades, and they will stop at nothing to destroy us.”
In his speech partly addressing the allegations, Wootton did not go into specifics – but some have pointed out that his claim that the accusations are essentially an organised plot is unlikely, with it already being confirmed that individuals made separate, non-related reports about Wotton to the police as early as 2020 – before Wootton was even working at the channel.
“These past few days, I have been the target of a smear campaign by nefarious players with an axe to grind,” he continued, claiming that his ex-partner had previously been abusive and has “been on a campaign to destroy my life”.
Responding to the allegation of abuse, Wootton’s ex-partner, Alex, tweeted a brief statement:
This evening @danwootton has said in his lead segment on @GBNews that I “abused him” and have made up some very serious allegations just to get him “cancelled”. This is false. I stand by every word I have Tweeted. This story will continue to develop and after hearing from others,…
— Alex (@rubytrubes) July 18, 2023
Wootton claims that he has now reported his ex-partner to the police.
“I mean who doesn’t have regrets?” Wootton ominously said. “Should I be cancelled for them many years later? Or do you accept that I have learned and changed?”
He added: “I, like all fallible humans, have made errors of judgement in the past, but the criminal allegations being made against me are simply untrue.”
The full video of Wootton’s partial response to the allegations, included in a lengthy article where GBNews attempts to spin some positive yet unrelated facts about Wootton to influence public opinion, can be watched here.
Meanwhile, blog site Byline Times claims that a three year investigation, carried out by two of Wootton’s former colleagues at the News of the World, has produced “extensive evidence” that Wootton offered cash to his targets under a pseudonym, and claims this evidence was given to the Metropolitan Police on 20 June 2023.
Earlier this month, VoteWatch began investigating claims against Wootton, who recently took time off from his slot on GB News, while the media was heavily focused on the scandal involving BBC presenter Huw Edwards.
Whilst the story of Huw developed, Wootton’s former boyfriend, Alex Truby, took to Twitter to publicly accuse Wootton of using an alias to carry out criminal acts of a sexual nature.
“I went out with Dan between late 2009 and early 2013,” Truby wrote in a widely shared thread. “The worst period of my entire life where I was stalked by him, to the point he had all the passwords for my social media accounts and email without my knowledge, until I caught him out when I found that my Gmail account was being regularly accessed from the News of the World office, where he worked at the time. I was an idiot though and allowed myself to be emotionally bullied into not leaving him. But then I found out more.
“While Dan was in New Zealand visiting his family I stayed at his flat to cat sit and one day while doing some laundry I found a hold all, stuffed down the back of the washing machine. It was locked with a padlock so naturally I wanted to know what was inside it and I found an external hard drive. On it I found a video of one of Dan’s supposed friends – a sun employee – having sex with his boyfriend.
“The video clearly was made in secret and filmed from afar by a hidden camera. In the same folder as the video I found a transcript of an MSN conversation between the colleagues’s partner and someone called ‘Martin Branning’ whereby an arrangement was indeed made to make the sex tape in secret, without his colleague’s knowledge in exchange for £500. I knew instantly that ‘Martin Branning’ was Dan.
“I finally got the courage to get out of the relationship and a couple of months after leaving him I randomly bumped into a guy I had briefly dated around the time I met Dan, in a bar. He asked me what was happening in my life so I told him about the break up and the first thing he asked me – without me saying a word about it was ‘what’s the deal with this Martin Branning guy?’. Literally chilled me to the bone because it was the first time I’d ever heard anyone else say the name out loud. And it was equally disturbing as my first discovery. ‘Martin Branning’ had been messaging this guy encouraging him to try and hook up with and make sex videos with several people, including one of my long term ex boyfriends, and Dan himself, for money.
“He had no idea that Martin Branning was nothing more than alias, and that he was chatting online with Dan himself, using a fake profile. At this point I knew that if I’d randomly bumped into one random person from my past who bought him up, that the Dan/Martin thing went much, much further and I was right.”
…and I was right. They’d been seen and shortly after I received the following message from a former colleague of his who told me that he and a number of other colleagues from the Sun had been harassed by ‘Martin Branning’. I’ve cropped the image to protect the… pic.twitter.com/crEeXYg1La
— Alex (@rubytrubes) July 12, 2023
Alex added: “Since 2020 I’ve personally spoken with the police about some incredibly serious allegations against Dan – nothing came of it but I shared details of everything I know and I know others have spoken to the Met about things he has done and so far it has gone nowhere”.
Meanwhile, controversial blog site ‘Byline Times’, whose executive editor and co-founder, Peter Jukes, has previously had allegations leveled against himself (accusations which he denies), released an article on Monday night saying that it had: “…learned that, before ending his relationship with Wootton, Mr Truby confronted him over the contents of the holdall. Mr Truby said that Wootton made a tearful admission of guilt, acknowledging he was the creator and controller of the pseudonym Martin Branning.
“Byline Times has put the content of this story in its entirety to GB News, MailOnline and the Metropolitan Police. After it was announced that Wootton would be fronting his regular GB News show at 9pm this evening, Byline Times again approached it for comment, extending the deadline for a response. At the time of publication, no comment had been provided.
The Byline Times claims that it has also spoken to other alleged victims, two of whom previously spoke to VoteWatch:
“One victim – who is married with children – told this newspaper that he was left ‘in shock’ to receive a text from ‘Branning’ offering him £10,000 ‘tax free’ in return for ‘private work’ and to ‘pose nude’, adding that it ‘felt like blackmail or entrapment’.
“A second victim told Byline Times that Branning had sent him messages from untraceable numbers ‘day and night’ offering sums up to £30,000 in return for sexually compromising pictures ‘and that sort of thing’. This victim said he had uncovered a ‘pattern of men who had worked with Wootton’ being harassed with unsolicited malicious communications.
It was all pretty much always the same thing, £20-£30,000 for naked photos, ‘aren’t you intrigued about who I am?’ – this sort of stuff, right,” he said – adding that it was driving him “insane” and ultimately provoked him to go to the police, who sent a detective to his home to take a statement in 2019.
A third victim – a former junior colleague who has indicated that he is willing to speak to the police – revealed how on several occasions he received disguised calls with offers of “work” with a sexual context and said it was “pretty obvious” they were from Wootton.
A fourth victim – another junior colleague – was contacted on Facebook by Wootton in 2009 posing as a blonde woman called “Maria Joseph” who exchanged “flirty messages” before swapping images of an unconnected female face from reality TV in return for images of the colleague, who is heterosexual and today also married with children.
The fourth victim said: “I received a friend request from a girl called ‘Maria Joseph’. Immediately she was very flirty and, having just come out of a messy break-up, I didn’t have my wits about me as much as I should.
“‘She’ soon started to send me semi-nude pics and swapped to email and phone. Her number was a New Zealand number as she said she’d just come back from a year over there. As more pics came through, she started to request them from me, which I duly obliged (fortunately I kept my face out of).
“Then she started to send ones she’d already sent, which she brushed off with ‘obviously I’m talking to a few guys at the same time’. At this point, I’m being super careful and start to snoop further into her profile. Catfishing wasn’t really a known thing back then, but I knew something was up.
“We had five friends in common on Facebook – Dan plus four others. When I clicked the others, the only common link was Dan.
“Then a video came through of her having sex with a man. However, I recognised him as someone from a reality TV show as he’s a friend of a friend. This made me realise I knew the identity of the girl [and that it could not be legitimate].
“So with this, the NZ number, the sole common denominator, I was sure it was him. So, I messaged ‘Maria’ to say ‘Hi Dan, interesting way to get dick pics’. The next day, the profile was gone.”
On July 15th, Kevin Sutherland, another of Wootton’s accusers, followed Truby’s shocking posts with one of his own, claiming that Wootton had raped him after attending the MTV awards in 2014:
— Kev (@KevSutherlandx) July 14, 2023
Mr Sutherland has since faced fierce attacks from supporters of GB News and of Dan Wootton, with an article by Politicalite attacking him being tweeted out by numerous people affiliated with the channel, including at least one other GB News presenter.
In the article, Politicalite claimed to be exclusively revealing that Sutherland was a former escort – despite Sutherland already making this information public in his initial statement on Twitter. However, Politicalite also reported that Sutherland had previously been convicted for carrying out a blackmail scheme, writing that he is an “OnlyFans influencer and was jailed in 2010 after being convicted of blackmailing dozens of men where he bagged a whopping £90,000 in a high-tech blackmail sex line plot.”
Responding to this, Sutherland tweeted a defence, doubling-down on his allegations: “To the smear campaign that’s already in operation you can spin and skew all the details of my past all you like, throw in some made-up extra details to fit the narrative you want, I wouldn’t expect anything less. Dan Wootton is still a rapist and that’s a FACT!”
Sutherland then posted another tweet, this time explaining his past and detailing why an historical ‘mistake’ shouldn’t prevent him from today being taken seriously:
I really appreciate all the support it means so much to me right now.🙏🏼❤️ This however is for the people at the back of the classroom, at the very very back!
Also, I’m NOT a part of some made-up conspiracy attack on @GBNEWS this is personal and solely relates to #DanWootton 💯 pic.twitter.com/bDxP5vvkNl
— Kev (@KevSutherlandx) July 16, 2023
Speaking to VoteWatch, Mr Sutherland said he had been threatened by associates of Wootton to take delete his initial tweet, telling us: “They have emailed me saying that these are false allegations and asking me to take down the post, saying that he has never met me let alone had sexual relations with me, and threatening legal action.
“I also posted about it around 18 months ago but I wasn’t specific in saying anything about myself, I didn’t feel comfortable at that moment in time in coming forward in detail like I have now. So what was said was a cryptic message relating to other things I have heard and know about Dan, all relating to different kinds of bad behaviour of him.”
Mr Sutherland also told VoteWatch that he had made an official complaint regarding the allegations long before the Huw Edwards scandal this month, debunking claims made by some of his newfound critics on Twitter that he was attempting to ‘jump on the bandwagon’.
“It was reported to the police back at the end of 2021, so I have gone through the proper channels and spoken with many people within the police,” he said, confirming that he had last been contacted by the Scotland police force in January of this year.
“They have an open case, It was reported to Police Scotland on the 24.11.21, and I then went in the next day and spoke with the police in person at Gayfield Police Station in Edinburgh. I then went on to speak to another set of officers, then it was passed to the national crime agency, who I have spoken with a number of times but not had any contact since January.
“I don’t feel it has been given the priority it deserves or that they feel that it’s simply a case of my word against his,” he added. “It was a chance encounter, no photos were taken. I didn’t know him, we had never met or spoken before, but he certainly knew of me with all that was said that night about my previous case. He is well known for using escorts and it was obvious to me he knew that about me and had done his research into these things about my life.”
Mr Sutherland has received a great deal of support on social media. However, regarding the attacks he is now experiencing, particularly on Twitter, he said: “I hate how these things become so political, wrong is wrong it shouldn’t be about what someone’s views are on the world.
“I’m really glad people are paying close attention to this now and understanding how far and wide this goes. We need to keep this conversation going further, showing more support to survivors so they feel safe in coming forward.”
VoteWatch has contacted the relevant authorities for comment and they have confirmed that a case against Mr Wootton is still open and ongoing. Meanwhile, we respect that Mr Wootton remains completely innocent unless proven guilty.
We will provide an update in due course.