Friends and colleagues of Huw Edwards have reacted with shock to the statement released by his wife.
Vicky Flind named her husband as the BBC presenter facing a series of claims, including that he paid a teenager for explicit images.
Ms Flind said the presenter was “suffering from serious mental health issues” and is now “receiving in-patient hospital care where he will stay for the foreseeable future” as she asked for privacy for her family.
Podcast host Jon Sopel, former North America editor of BBC News, called the scandal “an awful and shocking episode” and said the presenter’s “complicated private life” does not “feel very private now”.
“I hope that will give some cause to reflect. They really need to. I wish @thehuwedwards well,” he tweeted.
The BBC’s world affairs editor John Simpson said he feels “so sorry for everyone involved in this”.
He added: “No criminal offences were committed, so it’s a purely personal tragedy for everyone involved. Let’s hope the press leave them all alone now.”
Former BBC editor Tim Luckhurst described Edwards as “one of the kindest, most reliable, most inspirational colleagues I have ever had the pleasure to work with”.
He told Sky News he was “absolutely stunned by the news” and said it was “truly upsetting”.
Mr Luckhurst said: “There have always been two sides to this story. We’ve seen one side courtesy of The Sun – and I make no criticism of The Sun for its reporting, which has genuinely set the agenda – but we haven’t heard Huw Edwards’ side of the story.
“Given Huw Edwards is in hospital and his family want peace, I suspect we’re going to wait some time to hear that, but hopefully the BBC will get to the bottom of this, and will get to the bottom of it with rigour and a degree of speed, that would be truly helpful.”
‘Terrible state of affairs at every level’
Former BBC correspondent Michael Cole told Sky News it was a “sad” and “terrible state of affairs at every level”.
He said: “Tonight a man is in hospital suffering mental illness and we don’t know what his future will be.
“His professional life is in tatters. maybe his whole future is in tatters.”
Meanwhile, former Downing Street head of communications Alistair Campbell said the presenter “is the perfect target for those who would undermine and indeed would like to destroy the BBC”.
He added: “The police having said no action to be taken, whatever he did or did not do is a matter for him and his family, and for the BBC.
“The obsession with this story has been a further sign of a media that has frankly become weird.”
Former BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker tweeted: “This is an awful situation and will come as a big shock to many.
“Huw Edwards is clearly not in a good place at the moment and this must be terrible for his family.
“I just hope that whoever needs help – on all sides of this – gets the time, space and support they need to heal.”