As fun as it is to write “ex” in front of “Top Gear’s Chris Evans,” The Drive takes no pleasure in relaying the news that Evans has landed himself in hot water for sexual assault allegations stemming from the 1990s.The Daily Mail reports British authorities are investigating charges that Evans grabbed the breasts of a female colleague nearly three decades ago, and exposed his genitals to her on a nearly daily basis after she rebuffed his advances.
While Evans wasn't mentioned specifically by name, police acknowledged receipt of a complaint of “non-recent sexual assault” in late May, relating to an incident in Tower Hamlets in the Nineties. Channel 4's Big Breakfast, a program co-chaired by Evans, was filmed in Tower Hamlets, a borough of London, during 1993 and 1994. The woman, who remains anonymous, said she was eventually sent to another office after complaining about Evans’s untoward behavior, with the bulk of her complaints failing to spurn any action.
Evans has denied the woman’s side of events, and called the sexual assault allegations a “witch hunt.” A spokesperson for BBC told The Independent, "Chris is doing his radio show [on BBC Radio 2] as per normal. He was on today. He'll be on tomorrow." While any correlation between the opening of this investigation and the departure of Evans from his post at Top Gear is tenuous, it’s not a stretch to presume the BBC isn't eager to have another top presenter who makes headlines for the wrong reasons. Jeremy Clarkson, as you likely recall, was let go for punching a Top Gear producer.
While the 50-year-old Evans has never been shy about calling out critics of his presenting performance, he’s also apparently never shied away from talking about why he loves to expose himself to co-workers. In an interview from 2005, Evans said, “If you get your willy out, it’s the funniest thing in the world. Everybody laughs, everyone of our generation. I wouldn’t do it in front of my mum, for example. Girls love it; boys—‘Oh, I can’t believe you did that’. It also takes the night to a new level. I actually haven’t done it for a while. But I will do it again.”
As for Top Gear, the BBC told the media Evans won’t get a huge windfall nor will he be replaced, which makes it extremely likely that Matt LeBlanc will be groomed to be the lead presenter when the series kicks off again in September.