London’s Metropolitan Police have urged any alleged victims to come forward following a catalogue of historic allegations against Russell Brand.
This follows a weekend where The Times of London, The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches investigative documentary team collaborated to publish an expose of allegations against the comedian turned influencer, including claims of rape, sexual assault, abusive and predatory behaviour.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “We are aware of media reporting of a series of allegations of sexual assault. 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, we would encourage them to contact police.”
The Times of London’s dossier on Saturday and a 90-minute documentary on Channel 4 yesterday evening included reports by four women – speaking anonymously – who detailed encounters with the star. One woman claimed that she was groomed by Brand when she was 16 and he was 31, and that he called her “the child.” Another alleged that he attacked her in his LA home in 2012, while others claimed they suffered sexual abuse.
On Friday evening before the allegations were published, Brand took to social media to tell his millions of followers that he categorically refuted all the allegations, that all his relationships had been consensual, and he accused the mainstream media of a ‘coordinated attack’ on him, because of his influential position questioning government and establishment ideologies.
Appearing last night on stage in front of 2,000 fans at the Wembley Park Theatre, Brand told the audience: “I really appreciate your support. I love you. I’ve got a lot to talk to you about. There are obviously some things I absolutely cannot talk about and I appreciate that you will understand.”
Before he became an actor in Hollywood, Brand worked as a presenter, on TV for Channel 4 and on radio for the. BBC. One of the claims in the Dispatches programme was that neither broadcaster fully investigated complaints made about Brand’s behaviour behind the scenes.
In response, the BBC said yesterday that its actions against Brand (he resigned after a controversial radio segment in 2008, when he phoned elderly Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs and boasted about sleeping with his granddaughter) proved they took complaints seriously. However, it said that it could not publish any specific complaints about his behaviour behind the scenes, due to data protection.
A spokesman for Banijay UK, which bought Endemol – Brand’s employer in the early 2000s – said it could find no records of such issues being raised.
Channel 4 told the Daily Mail newspaper it was asking the company “to investigate these allegations and report their findings to us.”