UK comedian Russell Brand accused of rape, sexual assault: Media

Four women allege that Brand sexually assaulted them at the height of his fame, according to a joint investigation by three British news organisations.

British comedian Russell Brand
British comedian Russell Brand [File: Olivia Harris/Reuters]

British comedian and actor Russell Brand has been accused of committing rape, sexual assault and abuse between 2006 and 2013 at the height of his fame, according to a joint investigation by three British news organisations.

Four women, who knew him, alleged that Brand sexually assaulted them during a period when he worked for the BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4 and featured in Hollywood films, the investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches reveals.

The Times said one woman had made an allegation of rape, while another said Brand assaulted her when she was 16 and still at school. Two of the accusers reported the incidents occurred in Los Angeles, the paper said.

Channel 4 TV’s documentary show Dispatches, which was due to air further details of the allegations later on Saturday, also broadcast a number of clips of the women on X, formerly known as Twitter, describing the alleged incidents.

‘I absolutely refute’

Brand, 48, denied the allegations and said that all of his relationships have been consensual. The Sunday Times did not say if any of the women had made complaints to the police.

“Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute,” he said in a video message posted on X.

“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,” Brand added.

“Now, during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual. I was always transparent about them then … and I’m being transparent about it now as well.”

Brand added that he was a target of a “coordinated attack”.

The Sunday Times said its report was the result of a joint investigation with Dispatches that began in 2019.

Brand rose to fame as a stand-up comic in Britain in the early 2000s, which led to starring roles on Channel 4 and later BBC Radio, where he capitalised on a reputation for outrageous behavior and risque banter.

He was the host of chat show Big Brother’s Big Mouth, a spin-off of the popular reality series, for three years from 2004.

He later made the jump to Hollywood, appearing in films such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall in 2008 and the remake of Arthur in 2011. Brand was married to US pop star Katy Perry from 2010 to 2012.

In recent years, he transformed himself into a political commentator and influencer posting YouTube videos on subjects such as personal freedom and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies