Victims of ex Downton Abbey chief 'were failed by bosses'

Victims of ex Downton Abbey chief ‘were failed by bosses’: Bafta-winning production company behind hit dramas including The Crown is accused of letting down two female employees who were sexually assaulted by senior executive

  • Company behind The Crown accused of failing two female staff members
  • They were sexually and physically assaulted by senior executive Chris Croucher
  • Both had been working for Left Bank Pictures when the former Downton Abbey producer propositioned one of them at a Christmas party in Soho in 2019
  • The Bafta-winning production company behind The Crown has been accused of failing two female staff members who were sexually and physically assaulted by a senior executive.

    Chris Croucher, 39, was given a 12-month community order in February after admitting sexually assaulting one woman at a cocaine-fuelled party and common assault of a friend who tried to protect her.

    Both women had been working for Left Bank Pictures when the former Downton Abbey producer propositioned one of them at a Natale party in Soho in 2019.

    Chris Croucher, 39, (pictured with wife Sarah in 2016) was given a 12-month community order in February after admitting sexually assaulting one woman at a cocaine-fuelled party and common assault of a friend who tried to protect her

    Chris Croucher, 39, (pictured with wife Sarah in 2016) was given a 12-month community order in February after admitting sexually assaulting one woman at a cocaine-fuelled party and common assault of a friend who tried to protect her

    Croucher, who is now terminally ill, chased her around an office shirtless and began touching himself behind her after asking her to take part in a ‘threesome or a foursome’.

    The victim said she made a formal complaint about his conduct to Left Bank shortly after the incident but claims the company prioritised protecting Croucher and minimising the impact of his actions.

    She told The Guardian that Croucher was not initially fired but was allowed to resign from the firm with notice.

    Both victims also claim they were asked by management not to explain to people why Croucher had left the company. In una e-mail, a senior executive said: ‘We agree with you that we do not need to say he has resigned but instead can say that he has left and/or is no longer working on the production and there does not need to be a further explanation for his leaving.

    Croucher (pictured with Kate Middleton), who is now terminally ill, chased her around an office shirtless and began touching himself behind her after asking her to take part in a ‘threesome or a foursome’

    Croucher (pictured with Kate Middleton), who is now terminally ill, chased her around an office shirtless and began touching himself behind her after asking her to take part in a ‘threesome or a foursome’

    ‘If asked, we can say that we cannot comment furtherbut we would not go beyond that to refer to conduct or inappropriate behaviour.’

    Croucher was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2020 and has tumours in his heart and lungs.

    During his sentencing at Southwark Crown Court, one victim said: ‘I feel very alone this year. It’s made me scared to go out alone in the day as well as at night.’

    Both women told The Guardian they felt discouraged to phone the police and handed in their notices before their contracts expired.

    Both women had been working for Left Bank Pictures when the former Downton Abbey (nella foto) producer propositioned one of them at a Christmas party in Soho in 2019

    Both women had been working for Left Bank Pictures when the former Downton Abbey (nella foto) producer propositioned one of them at a Christmas party in Soho in 2019

    Left Bank denies they were discouraged from reporting the crimes. A spokesman told the newspaper their claims about its handling of the matter were ‘inaccurate’ and ‘completely mischaracterise the seriousness with which Left Bank Pictures took the complaint’.

    Ha aggiunto: ‘Upon receiving the complaint, Mr Croucher was removed from the workplace and a full investigation began immediately. Following the findings of the investigation and further interviews with staff, he was summarily dismissed.

    ‘At no time were the women who raised the concernsasked or encouraged to lie. The welfare of both women was a priority from the outset.’