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British Columnist Dan Wootton Suspended After Being Accused Of Years-Long 'Double Life' Ploy... As Fake Agent Tricking Men Into Sending Him Nudes?!

British Columnist Accused Of Years-Long 'Double Life' Ploy As Fake Agent Tricking Men Into Sending Him Nudes?!

London-based columnist and media personality Dan Wootton‘s work has been paused by the Daily Mail‘s digital news outlet after jaw-dropping “double life” accusations have come out against him.

Wootton is a very well-known columnist and television host across the pond. Not only does he write for MailOnline — the Daily Mail‘s web hub — but he also hosts a show on current events for the right-wing media outlet GB News. And Americans may know him as the journalist who first revealed the news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s “Megxit” from the royal fam.

But now, he’s under fire — and his MailOnline gig has been at least temporarily shuttered — after shocking new allegations have surfaced.

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According to Byline Times, Wootton is accused of creating fake identities to trick and bribe other men in journalism into sending him “sexually compromising images.” Wootton allegedly specifically targeted other members of the media and work colleagues of his “for more than a decade.” To do so, he lived a “double life,” allegedly posing as a fake agent named Martin Branning who was said to be soliciting the pics for professional reasons.


Media reports claim he offered some colleagues “tens of thousands of pounds” for the images and other related “sexual material.” The allegations were first brought forth by Wootton’s ex-boyfriend last month to that news outlet. Since then, MailOnline has not run any of his columns on their online page. He had been writing two columns a week for the outlet, in what the Guardian described as a “lucrative” gig. Wootton himself denied the allegations on his GB News show last week, but did acknowledge having made “errors of judgment” in his past. Huh…

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail has opened an investigation into the matter. A statement from that outlet to the Press Gazette said as much:

“We are continuing to consider a series of allegations which Dan Wootton — who has written columns for MailOnline since 2021 as one of several outside freelance contributors — has strenuously denied. The allegations are obviously serious but also complex and historic and there is an independent investigation underway at the media group which employed him during the relevant period. In the meantime, his freelance column with Mail Online has been paused.”

That “complex and historic” reference is notable, too. Per the Guardian, Wootton is also under investigation by past employers at News UK, where he previously worked for more than a decade covering celebrity news and gossip. That company has “hired an external law firm” to investigate allegations that Wootton previously targeted employees of The Sun with offers of money in exchange for nude images.

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In a statement regarding the old allegations at The Sun — where Wootton previously worked beginning in 2013 — that outlet’s editor Victoria Newton said:

“We take these allegations seriously but we are in no position to comment further and indeed we make no commitment to make any further comment depending on the outcome of our investigation.”

Wootton’s legal team has also released a statement on the media personality’s behalf. In a strong denial of the nude solicitation claims initially reported by Byline Times and later others, the media personality’s reps said:

“For the avoidance of further doubt, our client did not at any time contact current or former colleagues at the Sun with offers of money in return for sexually explicit images, he did not engage in inappropriate behaviour in the workplace, and he did not misuse News UK funds.”

Wootton himself has since personally pushed back against the claims, too. Using his nightly show on GB News to deny the allegations against him, the Dan Wootton Tonight host has said the reports are “defamatory and untrue.”

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He has also begun a crowdfunding project to pay his legal fees in pursuit of Byline News, which first reported the claims.

After launching a donation page late last month, according to the Press Gazette, he has raised more than £38,000 for a coming legal defense. That outlet also reports Byline News has raised £54,000 in “about the same timescale” to cover its own reporting and legal needs.

[Image via Dan Wootton Tonight/YouTube]

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Aug 04, 2023 07:40am PDT