originally published May 12, 2016 2:56pm – Updated June 29th 2017 10pm
- Jeremy Gilley, 47, a former actor, runs the Peace One Day foundation
- Mr Gilley includes Angelina Jolie and Sir Elton John among his supporters
- He was questioned by Metropolitan Police in West London last month
- Mr Gilley was bailed until July pending ‘further investigations’
- ‘He is confident…his innocence will become clear,’ said his lawyer
Published: 22:00, 7 May 2016 | Updated: 14:10, 8 May 2016
A British peace campaigner who is backed by a host of celebrities including Angelina Jolie and Jude Law has been arrested on suspicion of raping a young child.
Jeremy Gilley, 47, an actor turned film-maker who runs the Peace One Day foundation, was questioned by detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Sexual Offences Exploitation and Child Abuse Command.
Last night his lawyer, Paul Morris, said Mr Gilley, whose work has won many prestigious awards, was ‘shocked and distressed about the situation’ but is co-operating fully with police.
Jeremy Gilley, right, at a screening of his film Peace One Day, with actors Jonny Lee Miller, left, and Angelina Jolie.
Mr Gilley’s lawyer said he was confident his innocence would become clear ‘in due course’
‘He is confident that, in due course, his innocence will become clear to everyone,’ added Mr Morris in a statement.
Mr Gilley was arrested in West London and has been bailed until July pending further investigation.
Jolie has been a staunch supporter of Peace One Day and appeared in Gilley’s acclaimed 2008 documentary The Day After Peace about the foundation.
Law also appears in the film and travelled with Mr Gilley to Afghanistan for a screening of the documentary and to promote the foundation’s work.
Jeremy Gilley, second right, welcomed celebrities Jude Law, left, Sir Elton John and Lily Cole to a charity concert in aid of his Peace One Day foundation at London’s Wembley Arena in 2012
Lauded by many high-profile figures across the globe, including former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Mr Gilley launched Peace One Day (POD) in 1999 with the aim of establishing the International Day of Peace.
Owing to Mr Gilley’s efforts, UN member states unanimously passed a resolution two years later, adopting the first-ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on September 21 – Peace Day.
Since then, his foundation has achieved stunning results. Medics have immunised 4.5 million children against polio in Afghanistan because they were able to reach normally treacherous areas.
Mr Gilley (right) is seen here meeting with then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (centre) and Richard Reed, the founder of the Innocent drinks empire
On Peace Day 2008, the UN recorded a 70 per cent reduction in violent incidents in Afghanistan.
Over the years, POD has attracted huge celebrity support. Jude Law, a close friend of Mr Gilley, is an ambassador and other supporters include David Beckham and Sir Richard Branson.
Sir Elton John and Annie Lennox are among those who have played benefit concerts. POD attracts financial backing from a number of major corporate sponsors, including Coca-Cola and Innocent Drinks.
Mr Gilley (right) is seen here meeting with former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan
In 2012, the then Foreign Secretary William Hague recorded a video message supporting Peace Day and former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also lent the campaign his support.
In May 2008, Mr Gilley received the award Campaigner Of The Year at ITV award ceremony Britain’s Best. Scotland Yard said in a statement: ‘Detectives from the Sexual Offences Exploitation and Child Abuse Command are investigating an allegation of rape of a child.
‘The allegation was reported to police on April 16.
‘On Thursday April 28, a 47-year-old man was arrested… on suspicion of rape. He has been bailed pending further enquiries to a date in late July. Enquiries continue.’
Colleagues of Mr Gilley are said to have reacted to the news with disbelief. dailymail