Police urge ‘victims’ to come forward after Russell Brand accused of rape and sexual assault

Comedian has denied ‘very serious criminal allegations’ made against him

Andy Gregory
Sunday 17 September 2023 16:12 BST
Comedian Russell Brand accused of rape and sexual assault

Police have encouraged any potential victims to come forward after comedian Russell Brand was accused of rape, sexual assaults and emotionally abusing four women.

Scotland Yard said it was “aware of media reporting of a series of allegations of sexual assault” after the allegations unearthed in a joint investigation by The Times, Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches were published on Saturday.

Read live updates on The Independent’s blog

The alleged assaults occurred between 2006 and 2013, while the actor and comedian was a presenter for BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4, and starring in Hollywood films, and include an assault on a 16-year-old girl.

Brand said in a video that he vehemently denied the “very serious criminal allegations” and insisted his relationships were “absolutely always consensual”.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said in a statement: “We are aware of media reporting of a series of allegations of sexual assault.

“At this time, we have not received any reports in relation to this. If anyone believes they have been the victim of a sexual assault, no matter how long ago it happened, we would encourage them to contact police.

“We spoke with the Sunday Times on Saturday, 16 September. 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.”

Russell Brand left the Troubabour Wembley Park theatre in northwest London at 9:20pm

As the allegations were broadcast on Channel 4 on Saturday night, the 48-year-old performed to a 2,000-strong crowd at a sold-out comedy gig at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre.

He reportedly told audience members they would “appreciate” that there were certain things he could not talk about.

In footage he posted online hours before the allegations were published, Brand said: “I’ve received two extremely disturbing letters or a letter and an email.

“One from a mainstream media TV company, one from a newspaper listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks.”

During his “time of promiscuity”, Brand said, “the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual. I was always transparent about that then. Almost too transparent, and I’m being transparent about it now as well. And to see that transparency metastasised into something criminal that I absolutely deny makes me question, is there another agenda at play?”

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

Russell Brand is nearing the end of UK tour titled ‘Bipolarisation’

The woman described his behaviour towards her as “grooming” as he would allegedly provide her with scripts on how to deceive her parents into allowing her to visit him.

Another woman alleges that Brand raped her at his Los Angeles home, while a third claims that Brand sexually assaulted her while she worked with him in LA and threatened to take legal action if she told anyone of the allegation.

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

Additional reporting by PA

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