What has Russell Brand been accused of and how has he responded?

17 September 2023, 15:14

The allegations came out in a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, which Brand denied before the show was aired.
The allegations came out in a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, which Brand denied before the show was aired. Picture: Alamy/video screengrab
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

Russell Brand has denied "very serious" sexual assault accusations made by several women.

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Brand, 48, has insisted his relationships were always consensual.

The allegations, which surfaced on Saturday, are a "litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks", according to the comedian.

When did allegations against Russell Brand surface?

The allegations were made as part of a joint investigation, which took place over a one-year period, and was undertaken by the Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches.

What are the allegations against Russell Brand?

Four women came forward and accused Brand of sexual assault.

At the time the allegations are said to have taken place, Brand was a presenter for BBC Radio 2, Channel 4, and starring in Hollywood films.

Alongside one woman's initial serious sexual misconduct allegation, a second woman alleges that Brand assaulted her when he was 31 and she was 16 and attending school.

According to the Sunday Times, a third woman claims she was assaulted while working for Brand in Los Angeles, with the star threatening her with legal action.

A fourth individual alleges she was sexually assaulted by Brand - including accusations of physical and sexual abuse.

How has Russell Brand responded to the allegations?

Brand posted a video to his YouTube channel and his Twitter page denying the claims.

During the two minute and 45 second clip, called "This is happening", the 48-year-old says: "Now, this isn't the usual type of video we make on this channel where we critique, attack and undermine the news in all its corruption because in this story, I am the news.

"I've received two extremely disturbing letters or a letter and an email. One from a mainstream media TV company, one from a newspaper listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks, as well as some pretty stupid stuff like my community festival should be stopped, that I shouldn't be able to attack mainstream media narratives on this channel.

"But amidst this litany of astonishing rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute.

"These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies. And as I've written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous.

"Now, during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual. 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 metastasised into something criminal that I absolutely deny makes me question, is there another agenda at play?"

Russell Brand leaves the Troubadour Wembley Parktheatre in north-west London after performing a comedy set.
Russell Brand leaves the Troubadour Wembley Park theatre in north-west London after performing a comedy set. Picture: Alamy

Read more: Agency and women's charity cut ties with Russell Brand after sexual assault claims as police urge women to come forward

He went on: "I know that a year ago there was a spate of articles - Russell Brand's a conspiracy theorist, Russell Brand's right wing. I'm aware of news media making phone calls, sending letters to people I know for ages and ages.

"It's being clear to me, or at least it feels to me like there's a serious and concerted agenda to control these kind of spaces and these kind of voices. And I mean, my voice along with your voice.

"I don't mind them using my books and my stand-up to talk about my promiscuous consensual conduct in the past. What I seriously refute are these very, very serious criminal allegations.

Russell Brand 'absolutely' denies the allegations about his personal life outlined in two 'extremely disturbing letters'.
Russell Brand 'absolutely' denies the allegations about his personal life outlined in two 'extremely disturbing letters'. Picture: Alamy

"Also, it's worth mentioning that there are witnesses whose evidence directly contradicts the narrative that these two mainstream media outlets are trying to construct, apparently, in what seems to me to be a coordinated attack.

"Now, I don't want to get into this any further because of the serious nature of the allegations, but I feel like I'm being attacked and plainly they're working very closely together.

"We are obviously going to look into this matter 'cause it's very, very serious. In the meantime, I want you to stay close, stay awake, but more important than any of that, if you can, please stay free."

Read more: Police urge women to come forward after sexual assault allegations made against Russell Brand

What is Russell Brand known for?

Brand rose to prominence as a stand-up comedian during the early 2000s, making his Edinburgh Festival debut in 2000.

His career break came as the presenter of Big Brother spin-off show Big Brother's Big Mouth on E4.

Brand was a radio presenter for the BBC from 2006 to 2008 but was forced to quit for leaving "gratuitously offensive" messages on the voicemail of Andrew Sachs.

More recently, he has turned to YouTube and creates videos criticising "mainstream media".

His markets his videos as tyring to "elevate our consciousness".

Brand is also known for his 14-month marriage to Kary Perry after tying the knot in 2010.

What has been the fallout of the Russell Brand accusations?

Brand's agency, Tavistock Wood, says it has cut ties with him.

In a statement, lawyers representing the talent agency said: "Russell Brand categorically and vehemently denied the allegation made in 2020, but we now believe we were horribly misled by him."

They added: "TW has terminated all professional ties to Brand."

The Trevi Women & Children's Charity in the UK announced it had ended its association with Brand and his charity, the Stay Free Foundation.

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