British comedian and actor Russell Brand denied any involvement in criminal activities following allegations reported by The Sunday Times newspaper. Four women have accused the 48-year-old, formerly married to U.S. singer Katy Perry, of sexual assaults, including rape, spanning a seven-year period during the peak of his fame.
Brand issued a firm denial in response to unspecified "very serious criminal allegations," just hours before the newspaper's online publication of the claims. It's unclear whether any of the accusers have filed complaints with law enforcement, and efforts to reach Brand's representatives for further comment were unsuccessful.
The Times, which detailed incidents occurring between 2006 and 2013, disclosed that one woman alleges rape, while another claims Brand assaulted her when she was only 16 and still in school. Two of the accusers reported the incidents taking place in Los Angeles.
This scandal comes to light as a result of a collaborative investigation by The Sunday Times, the Times, and Channel 4 Dispatches. The exposé not only includes allegations of sexual misconduct but also explores accusations of controlling, abusive, and predatory behavior on Brand's part.
In a video released a day before the publication, Brand vehemently denied the "very serious criminal allegations." He stated, "Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute." He also acknowledged that these allegations pertain to his time in the mainstream spotlight, a period when he was frequently in the media due to his work in movies and broadcasting. Brand, who has been open about his promiscuous past in his writings, maintained that his relationships during that time were always consensual.
Brand, who has transitioned into a political commentator on YouTube with over six million subscribers, criticized the mainstream media and suggested that he was the target of a "coordinated attack." He pledged to investigate the matter further due to its seriousness.
Channel 4, where Brand hosted the chat show "Big Brother's Big Mouth" and was alleged to have engaged in concerning behavior during programs aired between 2004 and 2007, expressed their deep concern. A Channel 4 spokesperson stated, "We will continue to review this in light of any further information we receive, including the accounts of those affected individuals. We will be asking the production company who produced the programmes for Channel 4 to investigate these allegations and report their findings properly and satisfactorily to us."
Russell Brand's fame extends internationally, thanks to his work in entertainment and his marriage to pop star Katy Perry. Over the years, he has built a significant following as a comedian and internet personality, with his recent role as a political commentator on YouTube, where he discusses various global issues, including the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic.