May 21, 2024

Russell Brand has been accused of a rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse in a period spanning seven years and during the height of his fame.

The allegations from four women – including one who claimed she was just 16 when she was “groomed” by the comedian – have emerged as part of an investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches and The Sunday Times.

Brand, 48, who is in the middle of a UK tour, has vehemently denied the “very, very serious criminal allegations”, insisting that all his sexual relationships have been consensual.

On Saturday, senior Tory MPs responded to the claims by stressing the duty of Public Service Broadcasters to investigate the claims.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “We are aware of media reporting of a series of allegations of sexual assault. At this time, we have not received any reports in relation to this. If anyone believes they have been the victim of a sexual assault, no matter how long ago it happened, we would encourage them to contact police.”

Just hours before the allegations were due to be made public, Brand posted a YouTube video declaring that he had received “two extremely disturbing letters” from journalists detailing “a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks”.

In his outspoken broadside, he claimed the “astonishing” and “rather baroque attacks” had left him feeling he was “being attacked” by the “mainstream media” which had a “serious and concerted agenda to silence him”.

The allegations refer to a period between 2006 and 2013, when Brand was working as a presenter for BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4, as well as securing leading roles in Hollywood films.

Woman claims relationship started at 16

One woman claimed that she began a relationship with the comedian when she was a 16-year-old schoolgirl and he was 31.

The woman, who has not been named, said that she had a three-month relationship with Brand, who at that time was a BBC radio presenter. She claimed that he referred to her as “the child”.

She also said that he approached her in London in 2006 when she was recovering from an eating disorder and that her mother had been upset about her relationship with Brand, insisting her daughter text him her age.

However, she told The Sunday Times that she persisted with the relationship and that he was “very charming and very attentive” but became fascinated with her virginity, before they eventually had sex.

Although she was over the legal age of consent, she said that she felt he was “grooming” her, and alleges that he became controlling. She claimed that she had to “punch him really hard in the stomach to get him off” during one sexual encounter.

The relationship ended when she found him in bed with another woman, she said.

“I think he was very skilful in the start of making his identity be, ‘I’m the womaniser. I’m a sex addict. I’m inappropriate but it’s all just a joke, it’s funny’,” she told the newspaper. “It’s a smokescreen for a lot more of his dark behaviour,” she claimed.

In his statement, Brand admitted that he had been promiscuous but said “the relationships were absolutely, always consensual”.

Brand ‘absolutely denies’ claims

He added: “I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent, and I’m being transparent about it now as well, and to see that transparency metastasized into something criminal, that I absolutely deny, makes me question: is there another agenda at play?”

The investigation also includes an account by a businesswoman, named only as Nadia, who claimed Brand raped her against a wall at his Los Angeles home during a consensual relationship in 2012.

She said she had found his “glazed-over look” unsettling, leaving her not knowing “what’s going on in his head”.

She is reported as claiming that when she declined his suggestion of joining a “friend in the bedroom” he forced himself upon her despite her repeatedly saying: “Get off”.

In a text message The Sunday Times claims it has authenticated, the woman, who was in her 30s, told him: “When a girl say[s] NO it means no.” Brand apparently replied: “I’m very sorry”.

She told Dispatches that she is “completely disgusted” by the way she claims he treated her.

Another woman, named only as Phoebe and in her 20s, said she had a brief consensual relationship with him in 2013.

The pair, who apparently met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, had begun working on projects together. When alone at his West Hollywood home she claims that he “grabbed me and got me on the bed”, adding how she saw “something come over his eyes, I swear to God, like, black, his eyes had no more colour, they were black like the devil”.

She claimed he sexually assaulted her, before he relented but then became “super angry”.

Claims legal action was threatened

Phoebe said she returned to work for Brand, who she claims he later threatened legal action if she reported or shared the incident.

The fourth woman claims she was sexually assaulted by Brand, and also claimed that he was physically and emotionally abusive towards her.

In Brand’s video, posted on a channel where he has made a number of anti-vaccination claims, he said he had been warned to “watch out… they’re coming for you, you’re getting close to the truth”.

He added that he believes he has been targeted because “there’s a serious and concerted agenda to control these kind [sic] of spaces, and these kind [sic] of voices.”

Russell Brand CV

Russell Brand CV

The investigation claims it examined Brand’s behaviour on and off screen during his time at both the BBC and Channel 4.

Dispatches claims junior members of the production team on Big Brother’s Big Mouth, a spin-off show for Big Brother hosted by Brand, said he would pick women out of the audience, some of whom he would later have sex with.

It is understood that Tavistock Wood and Curtis Brown, the talent agencies, have now removed Russell Brand from the list of those they represent.

Referring to Brand’s departure from the BBC after he left a lewd message on the actor Andrew Sachs’s phone boasting about having had a sexual relationship with his granddaughter, a BBC spokesman said: “Russell Brand left the BBC after a serious editorial breach in 2008 – as did the then-controller of Radio 2.

“The circumstances of the breach were reviewed in detail at the time. We hope that demonstrates that the BBC takes issues seriously and is prepared to act.”

He added that the broadcaster had repeatedly “evolved its approach to how it manages talent and … deals with complaints.”

In a statement, Channel 4 said it was “appalled” by “deeply troubling allegations, including behaviour alleged to have taken place on programmes made for Channel 4 between 2004 and 2007.”

It adds that “extensive document searches” have found no evidence to suggest alleged incidents were brought to the attention of Channel 4.

“We will continue to review this in light of any further information we receive, including the accounts of those affected individuals,” it adds.

“We will be asking the production company who produced the programmes for Channel 4 to investigate these allegations and report their findings properly and satisfactorily to us.”

On Saturday night, Brand was booked to perform at Wembley Park Theatre, where hundreds of people filed into the venue to see his show.

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