Police receive report of sexual assault following claims made against Russell Brand - as comedian’s shows are axed

18 September 2023, 23:08 | Updated: 18 September 2023, 23:14

The Met police confirmed they had received a report of a sex assault dating back to 2003
The Met police confirmed they had received a report of a sex assault dating back to 2003. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Scotland Yard has received a report of a sexual assault following claims made against Russell Brand.

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The force said in an update today that it had received a report of a sexual assault alleged to have taken place in 2003.

The Met said a woman had contacted them on Sunday saying she had been sexually assaulted in Soho in central London.

Police have appealed for other potential victims to come forward and are set to investigate the latest allegation.

Russell Brand has been accused by four women of assaults across a seven-year period between 2006 and 2013. He has vehemently denied the allegations and said his relationships have all been consensual.

Brand has denied the allegations and said his relationships have all been consensual
Brand has denied the allegations and said his relationships have all been consensual. Picture: Alamy

A Met police spokesman said today: “We are aware of reporting by The Sunday Times and Channel 4's Dispatches about allegations of sexual offences.

“On Sunday, 17 September, the Met received a report of a sexual assault which was alleged to have taken place in Soho in central London in 2003. Officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support. 

“We first spoke with The Sunday Times on Saturday, 16 September and have since made further approaches to The Sunday Times and Channel 4 to ensure that anyone who believes they have been the victim of a sexual offence is aware of how to report this to the police. 

“We continue to encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a sexual offence, no matter how long ago it was, to contact us.”

Brand, 48, vehemently denies the allegations.

The BBC has said it is "urgently looking into the issues raised" while Brand worked on BBC radio programmes between 2006 and 2008.

Channel 4 announced it is carrying out "its own internal investigation" following the allegations and the broadcaster has removed content featuring Brand from its streaming service while it looks into the claims.

"We will be writing to all our current suppliers reminding them of their responsibilities under our Code of Conduct, as we are committed to ensuring our industry has safe, inclusive and professional working environments," a Channel 4 statement added.

The Metropolitan Police said it has spoken with The Sunday Times and Channel 4 to ensure "any victims of crime who they have spoken with are aware of how they may report any criminal allegations to police".

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said they do not have an open investigation into Brand, and another confirmed there have been no arrests following two allegations concerning claims that are said to have happened in the US.

Meanwhile, questions are now being asked about whether TV chiefs were aware of any concerns about Brand's behaviour while working on their programmes.

The chairwoman of the Commons Women and Equalities Committee has said she feels a criminal probe should look into the sexual assault allegations against Brand.

Caroline Nokes told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "These allegations are incredibly shocking and criminal.

"And I would very much hope that complaints will be made both to the Metropolitan Police, and indeed in the States, because this merits and needs a criminal investigation, because for too long we have seen men, and the perpetrators of these sorts of crimes are almost invariably men, not being held to account for their behaviours and their actions."

She added: "Unfortunately it seems that celebrity, for whatever reason, can act as a shield for individuals who choose to conduct themselves in a way which, to be quite frank, if that were to happen in any business organisation, you'd like to think that they'd be out the door."

Asked whether it is a matter for her committee, the senior Tory MP said: "First and foremost I think it's a matter for the police."

In a video statement posted online ahead of the publication of the claims, Brand said he was facing a "litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks".

"Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute," he said.

As Dispatches aired on Saturday evening, Brand performed a sold-out comedy gig at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre in north-west London as part of his Russell Brand Bipolarisation tour.

He is scheduled to perform at three more venues in September, including a show at the Theatre Royal in Windsor on Tuesday, The Pavilions in Plymouth on Friday, and The Civic At The Halls in Wolverhampton next Thursday.

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