The English Football Association has been forced to issue a humiliating apology to Nigerian born female player Eniola Aluko for ill judged attempts at joking.
The FA admitted and accepted that jokes made by the team’s manager Mark Sampson were unacceptable and racially prejudiced.
The England striker was speaking before a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee about events that led to the sacking last month of Sampson as manager of the women’s national team.
Earlier in the year Aluko had alleged that in 2014 Sampson had asked her to make sure her Nigerian relatives didn’t bring the ebola virus to the friendly against Germany at Wembley. It was also claimed that Sampson had also made derogatory comments about another mixed-race player, Drew Spence, during his tenure as England women’s boss.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Sampson was sacked last month following unrelated revelations about inappropriate relations during his time in charge of the Bristol City women’s team, but yesterday’s hearing focused on the claims of racism.
Independent barrister Katharine Newton concluded in her report that Sampson – who had been exonerated on two previous occasions about the allegations – was not racist, but that his attempts at humour towards the two players were “ill-judged”.
Commenting on the findings Aluko said she felt “vindicated and relieved”, adding: “Although I’m grateful to be here, does it have to come to this? There’s been an agenda to protect Mark Sampson, and an agenda to protect the FA’s reputation.”
Aluko, who also alleged that England goalkeeping coach Lee Kendall had addressed her at one time in a fake Caribbean accent, revealed that she had been awarded an £80,000 settlement by the FA.
However, part of this payment would be made only if she released a statement in which she cleared the FA of being “institutionally racist”.
She explained: “Martin Glenn said if I wrote a statement he would release the second tranche of the money. I felt that was bordering on blackmail. I categorically refused to write it. It’s not for me to come up with that determination. I would never say the FA are institutionally racist.
“My comments were based on comments to me and Drew Spence and how they handled that. For Martin Glenn to say I should say that in order to get a payment I was contractually agreed to is appalling.”
FA chief executive Glenn has “sincerely apologised” to Aluko and Spence for the remarks made by Sampson and in a statement the organisation said: “Based on new evidence submitted to independent barrister Katharine Newton, she has now found that they were both subject to discriminatory remarks made by an FA employee. This is not acceptable.”
Neither Glenn nor FA chairman Greg Clarke believed there was a case for them to resign, even though one MP, Jo Stevens, described their governance as “shambolic”.
Instead, said Clarke, they would ensure there was no repeat of the scandal. “There were systemic, historic failings which contributed to this mess,” he admitted. “When I took the job, there was one other decent applicant. It’s career death. I’m willing to risk my reputation to make it better. If it doesn’t get better, it’s my fault.”
HOW THE STORY HAS EVOLVED
August 6: Sportsmail reveals that the Football Association paid hush money to Eni Aluko to keep quiet over an investigation into her claims of racism and bullying against Mark Sampson.
August 8: Aluko speaks out and says she was silenced after making her claims.
August 18: Sampson says he needs to communicate better after FA release summery of report into Aluko’s allegations.
August 21: Aluko claims Sampson once told her to make sure her Nigerian relatives did not bring Ebola to a match at Wembley.
August 23: Lianne Sanderson accuses Sampson and the FA of creating a culture of fear by axing players who dare to raise issues.
August 25: England boss Gareth Southgate gives his backing to Sampson.
August 25: Drew Spence is revealed as the player involved in Aluko’s allegations about a comment made at the 2015 China Cup.
August 30: Aluko says she is ’embarrassed and ashamed to be a participant of women’s football in this country’ after accusing FA of endorsing racism.
September 5: Sampson rejects Aluko’s allegations in his first TV interview since the claims were revealed by Sportsmail.
September 8: England midfielder Katie Chapman claims she was dropped after telling Sampson about her divorce.
September 11: FA officials will face grilling by MPs over the situation, it is announced.
September 14: It emerges that the FA could re-open their investigation after Spence writes to officials, corroborating Aluko’s claim.
September 16: It is revealed that Alex Scott was not interviewed during investigation into the allegations.
It has now emerged that many more top shots in Hollywood knew about disgraced producer Harvey Weinsten’s horrendous treatment of women over the years but chose to cover up and keep quiet
Latest to speak up is top Hollywood film director Quentin Tarantino who has admitted he should have spoken out against his long-time collaborator sooner.
In an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, Tarantino confessed that he was totally aware of Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct long before the allegations were disclosed in articles published by The New York Times and The New Yorker earlier this month.
Over the last few weeks, Weinstein has been accused of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment by multiple actresses, models and tv anchor women but vehemently denies the accusations.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino admitted. “There was more to it than just the normal rumours, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”
He continued, “I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard. If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”
Tarantino also confessed in the interview that his former girlfriend, Mira Sorvino, informed him of unwanted sexual advances and unwanted touching by Weinstein when they started dating.
He was also aware of Weinstein’s out-of-court settlement with Rose McGowan who had alleged that she was raped by the producer in the 1990s.
“What I did was marginalise the incidents,” said Tarantino. “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”
He then called on other men to take responsibility for not speaking out sooner. “I’m calling on the other guys who knew more to not be scared,” he said, continuing, “Don’t just give out statements. Acknowledge that there was something rotten in Denmark. Vow to do better by our sisters.”
Tarantino has collaborated with Weinstein’s production companies on countless films, including Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Django Unchained.
Yesterday, Lupita Nyong’o became the latest actress to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment in an emotional essay for The New York Times and the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed they were investigating an allegation of rape involving a model in 2013.
The alleged victim was an unnamed Italian model-actress who said Weinstein “forcibly raped” her at the Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles after the 8th annual Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest in February of 2013, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“He … bullied his way into my hotel room, saying, ‘I’m not going to [have sex with] you, I just want to talk,'” the woman told the newspaper. “Once inside, he asked me questions about myself, but soon became very aggressive and demanding and kept asking to see me naked.”
Then, she said, “He grabbed me by the hair and forced me to do something I did not want to do. He then dragged me to the bathroom and forcibly raped me.”
Afterward, she said, “he acted like nothing happened.”
Meanwhile, Hollywood leading man Tom Hanks said in an interview with the BBC this morning, that there is “no way back” for Weinstein after the multiple incidents of sexual assault, harassment and rape.
He said that Hollywood is at a “watershed moment” in history amid the developing scandal of the disgraced film mogul. The Oscar-winning actor said he did not feel complicit with an industry which ignored the allegations for decades but said Hollywood needed to listen to ‘everyone who has been a victim’
A South London peadophile rapist who lured a schoolgirl back to his flat and sexually attacked her has been jailed for 8 years.
Fortune Aragua, 25 was caught after the victim’s mother performed a citizen’s arrest on the paedophile who raped her 13-year-old daughter.
The south Londoner approached his victim while she was playing with a friend after school on 10 February this year. The girls, still in their uniforms, were on the way to the shops when Aragua approached and started chatting.
When the friend left, Aragua persuaded the girl, who told him she was only 13, to head back to his Stockwell flat.
He started kissing her but then his landlady suddenly returned so he locked the child inside his room and waited for the homeowner to leave.
Once the coast was clear, he sexually assaulted the girl, who was pleading with him to stop, and then raped her. She left shortly after the attack, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police.
But the girl told her mother as soon as she got home who, without a second thought, marched straight up to Aragua’s front door and made a citizen’s arrest on him before calling the police.
The attacker denied raping and sexually assaulting the child, saying he found her on the street looking unwell, offered her assistance then headed home without her.
But the Met’s forensics team discovered her DNA on his boxer shorts. This evidence helped convict him of rape, attempted rape and the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, at a trial earlier in the year.
Aragua – who also uses the name Izevbigie Sylvester – received an eight year prison sentence and will have to sign onto the Sex Offenders Register for life.
DC Gregg Nicol, the investigating officer from the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, said: “I am pleased with this sentence which reflects the seriousness of Aragua’s crimes.
“Aragua is a dangerous sexual predator who targeted and took advantage of a vulnerable young girl for his own satisfaction,” DC Gregg Nicol, a Met child abuse investigator, said.
“I would like to praise the victim for her bravery and courage in reporting this heinous crime to the police and for giving evidence at court which ensured Aragua was brought to justice. I hope this sentence will give her some measure of comfort and closure.”
Oxford and Cambridge are accused of “social apartheid” after data showed that places are rarely offered to students from black backgrounds and admissions dominated by the sons and daughters of white professionals from the south east, despite millions being spent to open up Britain’s top two universities to less privileged students.
Nearly a third of Oxford colleges failed to admit a single black British A-level student in 2015 and one of them, only offered one place to a black student in six years.
Around 80% of students accepted at Oxbridge in 2015 came from parents with top professional and managerial jobs. The data, obtained by a freedom of information request from Labour MP David Lammy, also shows a “shocking” regional bias of the intake of the two institutions.
“Oxford made more offers to applicants from five of the home counties – Surrey, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent and Oxfordshire – than the whole of the north of England,” said Lammy.
Digging deeper into the student intake in the south east, the data shows that “applicants from Fulham were four times more likely to get into Cambridge than their contemporaries living at the other end of the District Tube line in Barking.”
Lammy, revealing his findings in the Guardian, said the drive to maintain academic standards is not an argument Oxbridge can hide behind.
“Over the course of four years (2011-14 inclusive), 851 students in Wigan got 3 As or better – so why did only 29 get offered a place to study at Oxbridge in that same period?”
According to the Guardian, the data shows that “10 out of 32 Oxford colleges did not award a place to a black British pupil with A-levels in 2015. Oriel College … made just one offer to a black British A-level student in the same period. Similar data released by Cambridge revealed that six colleges there failed to admit any black British A-level students in the same year.”
The MP for Tottenham, north London, said both universities received more than £800m of taxpayers money, with the public getting a poor return in terms of an open admissions policy.
“This is social apartheid and it is utterly unrepresentative of life in modern Britain,” Lammy said.
By comparison in the US, “One in five Harvard students are from families with an income less than the national average and they pay nothing for their studies. Yale employs staff in every single state to connect with talented but hard-to-reach students who may lack the confidence or support networks to apply to the Ivy League.”
Lammy, who is a former minister for higher education, said that Oxford and Cambridge “spent around £10m on outreach programmes but it was “clear that whatever they’re doing isn’t working”.
He added: “It is right and proper that our top universities are elite. But for too long they have been allowed to be elitist as well, drawing up the ladder to success underneath them and reinforcing centuries of entrenched privilege.”
A spokesman for Oxford told the Guardian that improving the problem would be “a long journey that requires huge, joined-up effort across society – including from leading universities like Oxford – to address serious inequalities”.
A spokesman for Cambridge said: “The greatest barrier to participation at selective universities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds is low attainment at school. We assess the achievements of these students in their full context to ensure that students with great academic potential are identified.”
Richard Branson, billionaire founder of the Virgin group, has revealed he was targeted by a fraudster posing as Britain’s defense minister who tried to get him to contribute $5 million to a supposed secret ransom payment.
Appealing for information to help identify the conman, Branson said he suspected the same person had later impersonated him to steal $2 million from a friend of his by pretending to raise funds for people affected by Hurricane Irma.
“This story sounds like it has come straight out of a John le Carre book or a James Bond film, but it is sadly all true,” Branson wrote in a blog.
Instantly recognizable with his wavy blond hair and beard, Branson is one of Britain’s best-known businessmen. The Virgin brand is licensed for use by a range of businesses from airlines to train companies to telecoms and gyms.
Branson wrote that six months ago, after an elaborate set-up involving a note on fake government notepaper, he spoke on the phone to someone purporting to be Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.
The man told Branson that a British diplomat had been kidnapped and was being held for ransom by terrorists.
He said that while the government did not pay ransoms, there was a particularly sensitive reason why the diplomat had to be saved, and the government was confidentially asking a syndicate of British business people to step in.
“I was asked to contribute $5 million of the ransom money, which he assured me the British government would find a way of paying back,” Branson wrote.
Feeling suspicious, Branson checked with the government and was told that Fallon had not spoken to him. The matter was reported to the police.
Six months on, Branson learnt that a friend, whom he described as a very successful businessman in the United States, had been called by a conman posing as him.
“When the call happened, the conman did an extremely accurate impression of me and spun a big lie about urgently needing a loan while I was trying to mobilize aid in the BVI (British Virgin Islands),” he wrote.
Branson owns a small island in the BVI archipelago which, as was well publicized, was devastated by Hurricane Irma. The caller took advantage of that context.
“They claimed I couldn’t get hold of my bank in the UK because I didn’t have any communications going to Europe and I’d only just managed to make a satellite call to the businessman in America,” Branson wrote.
“The business person, incredibly graciously, gave $2 million, which promptly disappeared.”
A spokesman for Fallon said he was aware of two attempts, one not involving Branson, to impersonate the minister for illicit gain, and Fallon’s office were assisting the police in their efforts to try to catch those responsible.
The footage was posted on social media by a staff member at the business and Hirst, 29, admitted it was her when quizzed by police.
Smith, 31, made no comment to police.
The couple were filmed ordering food and messing around with a yellow cleaning cone at the shop on Castle Road, before Hirst performed a sex act on Smith.l
They were then seen having sex while leaning on the counter close to the till. Hirst first went down on Smith before the pair moved on to having full standing intercourse.
Staff could be seen working in the kitchen as the couple, both of Bridlington, continued their antics. Delivery staff also came and and other customers were also waiting for their orders went during the footage.
Hirst pleaded guilty to outraging public decency at a hearing last month.
Smith was found guilty of the same offence after a 30-minute trial, which was held in his absence while he was in prison in relation to other matters.
Magistrates at the trial watched the 18-minute footage of the incident.
Hirst sat at the back of court with her hands over her eyes as the more explicit parts of the clip was shown.
The pair were both given a 23 week nighttime curfew, a 12-month community order and ordered to pay a victim surcharge.