Piers Morgan explains why he asked Russell Brand if he was a ‘sexual predator’ in 2006

Broadcaster reflected on question in wake of sexual assault and rape allegations levied against comedian

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 21 September 2023 05:28 BST
Comedian Russell Brand accused of rape and sexual assault

Piers Morgan has reflected on asking Russell Brand if he was a “successful sexual predator” in 2006.

The broadcaster, 58, brought the matter up while discussing the allegations against the comedian, 48, on his Talk TV Show Uncensored on Tuesday (19 September).

On Saturday (16 September), a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches revealed that Brand faces four accusations of sexual assault, one of which includes rape.

In the wake of these allegations, historic interviews and media appearances featuring the comedian are being resurfaced and shared online. One such interview was conducted by Morgan himself in 2006, who asked Brand: “Are you a more successful sexual predator now you don’t drink?”

Explaining his reasoning behind the question, Morgan said on Uncensored: ”I asked for reasons I’m not entirely sure other than it must have been jocular at the time.”

Morgan noted that, while the interview occurred in the same year that Brand allegedly had a secret relationship with a 16-year-old, he had no knowledge of any assault allegations and “meant it as a joke”.

He went on to say: “I didn’t have any information about him actually being a sexual predator.”

Morgan revealed Brand’s response to his question, in which he said: “Yes, but I resent the word ‘predator’.”

Brand continued: “I like to think of myself as a conduit of natural forces. After all, the most natural thing in the world for people to do is f***, isn’t it? And people want to do it, so all you have to do is remove all the reasons why women don’t actually go through with it, like pride and reputation...

“You just have to unpick the conditions stopping women going straight to bed with you.”

Piers Morgan reflected on asking Russell Brand ‘sexual predator’ question in 2006

Elsewhere in the interview, Morgan asked if Brand’s fame meant he was “attracting more women”. Brand replied: “The amount of seduction required has decreased to almost preposterous proportions now I’m famous.”

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He said: “I’ve always been good at pulling because I’m quite charming but if I talked to 10 women in the old days I’d back myself to pull two or three, now [it’s] …. eight or nine.

“I would have devoted a lot of time to the seduction depending on the quality of the target, now I just get on with it. Fame has been very helpful in that respect.”

While Morgan described the quotes as “damning”, guest Mariella Frostrup argued that Morgan’s question was equally as “damning”. The host agreed, and said: “It was a culture where it was acceptable to make jokes about things that are incredibly serious.”

The alleged assaults Brand has been accused of are claimed to have occurred between 2006 and 2013 when the comedian was a presenter for both BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4. Brand has denied all accusations and says all of his relationships have been consensual.

Russell Brand faces allegastions of sexual assault and rape

Since the Dispatches documentary aired, the BBC and Channel 4 launched internal investigations into the allegations levelled at Brand.

Shows with appearances from Brand, including Big Brother’s Big Mouth and The Great British Bake Off, have been removed from Channel 4’s website.

The BBC has also removed footage of Brand, while YouTube has suspended adverts on his videos, meaning that he cannot make money from the site. He is still able to post videos to the platform.

It has also been reported that the Metropolitan Police Service are planning on making further inquiries with Brand’s alleged victims, which will see them speak with BBC and Channel 4 about the allegations.

A spokesperson said: “We will be making further approaches to The Sunday Times and Channel 4 to ensure that any victims of crime who they have spoken with are aware of how they may report any criminal allegations to police.”

Find live updates on the Brand allegations here.

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