Channel 4 investigation finds 'no evidence' bosses were aware of Russell Brand allegations

21 March 2024, 16:44

An investigation by Channel 4 has concluded there is "no evidence" to suggest bosses were aware of allegations made against Russell Brand during his stint working for the broadcaster.
An investigation by Channel 4 has concluded there is "no evidence" to suggest bosses were aware of allegations made against Russell Brand during his stint working for the broadcaster. Picture: Alamy

By Danielle de Wolfe

An investigation by Channel 4 has concluded there is "no evidence" to suggest bosses were aware of allegations made against Russell Brand during his stint working for the broadcaster.

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Channel 4 CEO, Alex Mahon, said managers were unaware of "serious" sexual assault allegations made against the comedian and actor following a joint investigation by Channel 4's Dispatches programme and The Sunday Times.

Since the allegations first surfaced in October, Brand has twice been questioned by police.

The comedian has strenuously denied any wrongdoing, claiming the accusations are merely a conspiracy by the "mainstream media".

Speaking on the findings, Ms Mahon said: "The investigating team, with external legal help, have conducted an extremely thorough investigation into the Dispatches allegations as they pertain to Channel 4.

"Doing this investigation properly in extensive detail was a very important principle for us."

He added that it was a "matter of regret" that such behaviour has long been "tolerated" by the industry as a whole.

Since the allegations first surfaced in October, Brand has twice been questioned by police.
Since the allegations first surfaced in October, Brand has twice been questioned by police. Picture: Alamy

Ms Mahon added that the investigation "did not find any evidence" to suggest that Channel 4 employees were aware of Russell Brand's alleged behaviour uncovered during the investigation.

"It did find that one former Channel 4 employee made a serious and concerning allegation about Russell Brand in 2009," Mahon continued.

She added she has now apologised to the individual at Channel 4 who initially raised the concern.

"This was not escalated to Channel 4's then senior management team, nor investigated as it should have been. I have apologised on behalf of the organisation to the individual for this breakdown and for the distress this matter has caused."

"In my view, it is a matter of regret for our industry that repugnant behaviours were tolerated - and indeed appeared on-air - in the past. Production staff, employees and suppliers should never experience inappropriate behaviour.

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"Channel 4 and I are committed to creating an environment where if any employee or person working on a Channel 4-commissioned show feels uncomfortable about behaviour towards them, then processes are in place for investigation and for appropriate action to be taken.

Since the allegations first surfaced in October, Brand has twice been questioned by police.
Since the allegations first surfaced in October, Brand has twice been questioned by police. Picture: Alamy

The BBC has since launched a review into the comedian's behaviour, who worked on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music programmes between 2006 to 2008.

"I commend the journalists involved in reporting the allegations and the people who have bravely come forward. Channel 4 has reported on itself without fear and investigated our own historical corporate responsibility thoroughly," Ms Mahon added.

"While there is always more to be done, I am confident about the changes that have taken place in our industry over recent years, and it should now be clear that inappropriate and offensive behaviour has no place in it.

"I hope these issues can ultimately lead to further positive change," Mahon concluded.

Russell continues to maintain that he was in consensual sexual relationships when the allegations were made, subsequently hiring Prince Andrew's lawyer to fight claims made in the US.

Russell continues to maintain that he was in consensual sexual relationships when the allegations were made, subsequently hiring Prince Andrew's lawyer to fight claims made in the US.
Russell continues to maintain that he was in consensual sexual relationships when the allegations were made, subsequently hiring Prince Andrew's lawyer to fight claims made in the US. Picture: Alamy

Channel 4 Chairman, Sir Ian Cheshire, added: "I would like to thank the investigating team for conducting a careful and far-reaching review and to thank those interviewed for their assistance.

"The board is satisfied that no Channel 4 employees were aware of the deeply disturbing alleged behaviour contained in Russell Brand: In Plain Sight: Dispatches.

"However, we consider it clear that a serious allegation about Russell Brand was made in 2009 by a then-serving member of staff which was not properly investigated nor escalated to Channel 4's then-senior management."

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