Russell Brand makes first comments since sexual assault allegations
Russell Brand says it has been an “extraordinary and distressing” week after rape and sexual assault allegations were made against him.
In a video published on social media, he thanked followers for their support and for “questioning the information that you’ve been presented with”.
They are his first public comments since allegations were published by the Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches last weekend.
Brand has denied the claims.
In a joint investigation by the Sunday Times, the Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches, four women accused Brand of sexual assaults and rape between 2006 and 2013.
Brand denied the claims before the allegations were published, saying his relationships were “always consensual”.
The actor and comedian did not address the allegations directly in Friday’s three-minute video, but made claims about what he described as “media corruption and censorship” and “deep state and corporate collusion”.
He said he would release a fuller video on video streaming site Rumble on Monday, saying the platform had made “a clear commitment to free speech”.
Earlier this week, responding to a UK Parliament committee that asked if it would cut Brand’s income in the wake of the allegations, Rumble said it would not “join a cancel culture mob”.
In the Sunday Times, Times and Channel 4 investigation, four women made allegations against Brand:
One woman alleges that Brand raped her without a condom against a wall in his Los Angeles home. She says Brand tried to stop her leaving until she told him she was going to the bathroom. She was treated at a rape crisis centre on the same day, which the Times says it has confirmed via medical records
A second woman, in the UK, alleges that Brand assaulted her when he was in his early 30s and she was 16 and still at school. She alleges he referred to her as “the child” during an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship. Looking back, she says, he “engaged in the behaviours of a groomer”
A third woman claims that Brand sexually assaulted her while she worked with him in Los Angeles. She alleges she repeatedly told Brand to get off her, and when he eventually relented he “flipped” and was “super angry”. She says he threatened to take legal action if she told anyone else about her allegation
The fourth woman has alleged being sexually assaulted by Brand in the UK and him being physically and emotionally abusive towards her.
This week, another woman also accused Brand of exposing himself to her and then laughing about it minutes later on his BBC radio show in 2008.
YouTube has suspended Brand’s channels from making money from adverts for “violating” its “creator responsibility policy”. It said it was taking action “to protect” its users.
In recent years, he has repositioned himself, posting regular videos about spirituality, anti-establishment politics and, recently, UFOs, to his online followers.