John Barrowman Says Claims He Exposed Himself On Set Were 'Exaggerated' In First TV Interview About Allegations

“I haven’t hidden anything, they’ve been exaggerated, and they’ve tried to turn them into sexual harassment which it absolutely is not.”

John Barrowman has spoken about the on-set misconduct allegations levelled against him earlier this year in his first TV interview about the claims.

The actor was a guest on Tuesday’s edition of Lorraine, during which he addressed allegations that he repeatedly exposed himself on the sets of Torchwood and Doctor Who.

Describing his sense of humour as “bawdy”, host Lorraine Kelly then asked John if he felt his past behaviour had “crossed a line”.

“I think that if it was now, it would be crossing the line,” he admitted.

“I think that something that happened 15 years ago, it was bawdy behaviour, silly behaviour, it was being done in the confines of the set, and we were like a family, working together.”

John Barrowman
John Barrowman
Ken McKayKen McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

The former Dancing On Ice judge then insisted that the stories about his behaviour had been “exaggerated” and should not be classed as “sexual harassment”.

“The fact that it was stories that I’ve already told... I’ve been telling them for years,” he said. “I haven’t hidden anything, they’ve been exaggerated, and they’ve tried to turn them into sexual harassment which it absolutely is not.”

He continued: “The one thing for me, all the people that are making the fuss about it, they weren’t there, they don’t know the context of things that were done.

“Like I said, I would never do it now but what we’re not allowing people and myself to do… we’re not allowing people to learn to adapt and to change, and that’s the most important thing.”

When asked by Lorraine if he felt he had changed, he replied: “Of course I have. And we’ve moved on. From this point I want to move on and continue to move forward.”

John Barrowman and Lorraine Kelly
John Barrowman and Lorraine Kelly
Ken McKayKen McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

The 54-year-old star went on to reveal that he now feels “extremely nervous” about what he says and does.

“The fact of the matter is I know throughout my career and everything I’ve done, it’s promoting people to be yourself, to not be ashamed of who you are,” he explained.

“At the moment, what’s happening is I feel like I’m having to monitor everything. I’ll get past that. I’ll still have fun, I’ll still be silly, I’ll still be outrageous but in a different context to what it was 15 years ago.

“And we can’t change that. It’s not going to happen again.”

In May, The Guardian published allegations from two women that the actor exposed himself “on a regular basis” behind the scenes of Doctor Who and Torchwood.

Numerous witnesses described the incidents to the newspaper as “inappropriate pranks”

After the allegations came to light, John apologised, describing his behaviour as “tomfoolery” and that he has evolved in the years since.

He added that it was “only ever intended in good humour to entertain colleagues on set and backstage”.

In a statement issued in June, he said: “With the benefit of hindsight, I understand that upset may have been caused by my exuberant behaviour and I have apologised for this previously. Since my apology in November 2008, my understanding and behaviour have also changed.”

Julie Gardner, an executive producer on Doctor Who and Torchwood, also confirmed to The Guardian that she had received a complaint about his behaviour on set “around 2008”.

“I met with John and reprimanded him [to] make it clear to both John and his agent that behaviour of this kind would not be tolerated,” Gardner said, adding that she also spoke to the show’s other executive producers and the head of BBC drama commissioning.

“To my knowledge, John’s inappropriate behaviour stopped thereafter,” she added.

Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV and ITV Hub.


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