Multiple women allege that actor and comedian Russell Brand, 48, sexually assaulted them between 2006 and 2013, according to an investigation by Britain’s Channel 4 and newspapers The Times and The Sunday Times.
It was during this period that Brand’s international popularity exploded with his role in 2008’s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and 2010’s “Get Him to the Greek.” The latter portion of these years is when he was married to singer Katy Perry, from 2010 until their 2012 divorce.
Brand attempted to get ahead of the publication of the story on Friday by releasing a video denying some of the allegations, but admitting to having what he described as a period of promiscuity in his past. He’s regularly talked about having a sex addiction. Brand said that his relationships have all been consensual.
The allegations also include that Brand exhibited “controlling, abusive and predatory behavior,” according to the Times. The women do not know each other. The special being aired by Channel 4 is titled “Russell Brand: In Plain Sight.”
Medical records show that one of the women was treated at a rape crisis center on the same day that she was allegedly raped by Brand in his Los Angeles home. She also provided text messages telling Brand that she had been scared by him and felt taken advantage of.
One of the texts reads, “When a girl say[s] NO it means no,” according to the Times. Brand apparently replied, writing that he was “very sorry.”
One of the women was just 16 years old at the time of her alleged assault — 16 is the age of consent in England. He was 30 at the time. She told the Times that Brand knew her age and referred to her as “the child” during their three-month relationship, which she described as emotionally abusive and controlling.
She quoted Brand telling her, “I don’t give a f–k if you’re 12 … I need to know where I stand legally.” He also asked her to read “Lolita” and coached her on what to say to her parents about their relationship.
“Russell engaged in the behaviours of a groomer, looking back, but I didn’t even know what that was then, or what that looked like,” she told the Times.
The woman said that Brand had at one time “forced his penis down her throat” and that she tried pushing him off, punching him in the stomach to get him to stop. A clip released by “Channel 4 Dispatches” includes more from this woman, telling the story and saying “I couldn’t breathe.” She adds, “I was crying and he said, ‘Oh, I only wanted to see your mascara run anyway.'”
The video then cuts to a clip of an older comedy routine of Brand’s in which he celebrates “them blowjobs where the mascara runs a little bit.”
Brand sent a car to pick her up from the high school that she attended, according to the woman. She asked Brand to save her number under a fake name in his phone to help keep their relationship secret from her parents. She also said that his management was aware of their relationship and had told Brand to avoid being seen with her in public.
To protect the identities of the women, actors and voice-changing tools were used by Channel 4.
EXCLUSIVE: Russell Brand denies accusations of rape, sexual assault and controlling and emotionally abusive behaviour.
Five women share their stories with @C4Dispatches in a joint investigation with @thetimes.
Watch Russell Brand: In Plain Sight tonight at 9pm on @Channel4 pic.twitter.com/gmVMCAsh2B
— Channel 4 Dispatches (@C4Dispatches) September 16, 2023
A third woman alleges that he sexually assaulted her while they working together in Los Angeles. He had threatened her with legal action if she told anyone else what she said happened, according to the woman.
A fourth woman also described being sexually assaulted by Brand, as well as both physical and emotional abuse.
Several of the women said that they chose to come forward at this time due to Brand’s growing platform as a wellness influencer online, including millions of YouTube subscribers. Brand has also started to spread conspiracy theories online and had done interviews this year with other controversial personalities including Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan.
The “Channel 4 Dispatches” clip includes one victim who explained that she’s never spoken about what happened between her and Brand before because “Russell seems untouchable.”
Another woman detailed Brand’s attack. She said, “He’s grabbing at my… my underwear, pulling it to the side. I’m telling him to get off me and he won’t get off. Like holding me against the wall, pushing himself in me.
“I was like, ‘oh my God, he raped me.'”
The investigation is scheduled to air Saturday evening U.K. time. A fifth woman also shared her story with Channel 4.
Reporters working on this story interviewed hundreds of sources who had known or worked with Brand, including ex-girlfriends, other comedians, celebrities and people he’d worked with in the media. They also reviewed emails, texts and both medical and therapy records. They also noted that, with Brand’s extensive media footprint, they were able to compare allegations with details from hundreds of hours of his television shows, YouTube videos, interviews and multiple books.
TV and radio executives, as well as female comedians who would warn each other about his behavior, described Brand’s behavior as an “open secret,” according to the Times. Crew members on one of his shows said that they felt they were working as a “pimp” for Brand.
In his video denying the allegations before their public release, Brand said that “amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute.” While saying that his relationships were consensual, the statement only denies some of the allegations. Brand also claims to have evidence refuting some of the allegations, but declined to provide it to the Times.
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