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‘Urgent’ investigations launched after Russell Brand misconduct allegations

The BBC, Channel 4 and a production company said they were “urgently” investigating after four women made separate allegations of sexual assault while Russell Brand was a presenter on their programs.

The 48-year-old comedian and actor was accused of rape and sexual assault between 2006 and 2013, when he was at the height of his fame working for the BBC, Channel 4 and starring in Hollywood films.

The allegations were made as part of a joint investigation by the Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches, and include allegations of Brand’s controlling, abusive and predatory behavior.

Brand vehemently denies the allegations and said all of his relationships were “consensual,” in a video posted online.

The BBC said it was ‘urgently investigating the issues raised’ as Brand worked on BBC radio programs between 2006 and 2008, while Channel 4 announced it was carrying out ‘its own internal investigation’ following the allegations.

A Channel 4 statement added: “We will be writing to all our current suppliers to remind them of their responsibilities under our Code of Conduct, as we are committed to ensuring our industry has safe, inclusive and professional working environments. »

It comes after Brand was accused of pursuing members of the public for sexual purposes while he presented Channel 4’s Big Brother spin-off shows EFourum and Big Brother’s Big Mouth.

A researcher claimed that concerns about Brand’s behavior were raised with production managers at Endemol, the company commissioned by Channel 4 to produce the programs in 2004 and 2005, but was fired.

Banijay UK, which bought Endemol in 2020, later announced it had launched an “urgent internal investigation” and encouraged “anyone who feels affected by Brand’s behavior” to come forward.

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Since publication, the Times said it had been contacted by “several women” with allegations about Brand, but said their claims had not yet been investigated and “will now be rigorously verified.”

The Metropolitan Police said it would speak to the Sunday Times and Channel 4 to ensure “any victims of crime they have spoken to know how they can report any criminal allegations to the police”.

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) told the PA news agency there was no open investigation into Brand, and another confirmed there was no had no arrests following two allegations that allegedly occurred in the United States.

Meanwhile, questions are now being raised over whether TV bosses were aware of concerns about Brand’s behavior while working on their programs.

The chair of the Commons culture, media and sport committee, Dame Caroline Dinenage, said MPs would “closely monitor” the response to the allegations against Brand, while Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said ‘speaking on the BBC on Sunday, suggested there were wider questions the entertainment industry needed to answer. .

The allegations against Brand include a woman who claims she was sexually assaulted during a three-month relationship with him when she was 16 and still in school.

The woman described his behavior towards her as “grooming” as he allegedly provided her with scenarios on how to trick her parents into allowing him to visit.

In 2020, the woman contacted Brand’s then-literary agent, who was also a co-founder of talent agency Tavistock Wood.

A statement given to the PA news agency by Tavistock Wood said: “Russell Brand categorically and vehemently denied the allegation made in 2020, but we now believe we were horribly misled by him. TW has terminated all professional ties with Brand.

Another woman claims Brand raped her at his Los Angeles home, and a third claims Brand sexually assaulted her while she worked with him in Los Angeles and threatened legal action if she told someone about this allegation.

A fourth woman claims she was sexually assaulted by Brand and alleges he was physically and emotionally abusive toward her.

In a video statement posted online before the allegations were made public, Brand said he faced a “litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks.”

“Amid this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks, are very serious allegations that I absolutely refute,” he said.

Following allegations made in Dispatches’ Russell Brand: In Plain Sight, the UK’s women and children’s charity Trevi said it had severed ties with Brand and his charity, the Stay Free Foundation.

On Brand’s website, the Stay Free Foundation is described as a charity that focuses on “supporting people in recovery from addiction, mental health issues and the nonprofits that help them.” .

She says she makes “regular donations” to treatment centers such as Friendly House in Los Angeles and BAC O’Connor in the UK, while also supporting the charity Trevi and the Treasures Foundation.

In a statement to the PA news agency, the Treasures Foundation said it only knew Brand “in his capacity as wanting to make amends and give back to women”.

A statement added: “We cannot comment on what has come out at this time. We know him simply for the good he does now.

Brand was rehabilitated from his heroin addiction in the early 2000s and has since released his personal memoir and self-help guide titled Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, as well as creating his community festival, all of which the profits are donated to the Stay. Free foundation.

In the wake of the MeToo movement, Brand previously stated that he had no regrets regarding his past sexual behavior, claiming to have had intimate relationships with hundreds of women in the past.

Brand was married to American pop star Katy Perry from 2010 to 2012 and is now married to Laura Gallacher, the sister of presenter Kirsty Gallacher. The couple have two children, Mabel and Peggy, with a third on the way.

In recent years, Brand has apparently become a prominent conspiracy theorist, using his YouTube channel with millions of followers to cover hot topics including alleged misinformation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and being an outspoken skeptic of the with regard to vaccination.

His latest live comedy show, Russell Brand Bipolarization, has three tour dates left in September.

As Dispatches aired on Saturday evening, Brand appeared as planned at the 2,000-capacity Troubadour Wembley Park Theater in northwest London to perform a sold-out comedy concert.

Without directly addressing the allegations, members of the public told the PA news agency that Brand had said he hoped he could “appreciate” that there were things he couldn’t talk about during filming.


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