Investigation finds that Russell Brand allegations were not ‘adequately addressed’

Brand said the claims made against him were ‘very, very hurtful’

Emma Guinness
Friday 14 June 2024 15:25 BST
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The allegations into Russell Brand’s behaviour while working on programmes for Channel 4 were not “adequately addressed”, an investigation has found.

Brand, 49, found himself at the centre of a media storm last year when a Channel 4 documentary raised historical allegations of sexual assault.

This included predatory behaviour while working on several of the channel’s programmes including Big Brother’s Big Mouth, Kings Of Comedy and Big Brother’s Celebrity Hijack.

Brand has strongly denied all accusations about his behaviour which allegedly took place at the height of his fame between 2006 and 2013.

Following the allegations, a probe was launched by Banijay UK, which bought Endemol, the company commissioned by Channel 4 to produce Big Brother spin-off shows EFourum, Big Brother’s Big Mouth, Kings Of Comedy and Big Brother’s Celebrity Hijack, which Brand worked on between 2004 to 2006 and in 2008.

In the journalistic investigation published last September, a researcher claimed concerns about Brand’s behaviour were reported to production managers at Endemol but were dismissed.

Karen Baxter, head of investigations at law firm Lewis Silkin LLP, said: “No formal complaints were made about Brand during the programmes.

“There were, however, concerns regarding Brand’s behaviour which were raised informally with senior members of staff, particularly in relation to him asking runners to obtain phone numbers of audience members and female crew members feeling uncomfortable or intimidated by his behaviour while working in Bristol in 2004/2005.

“These concerns were not properly escalated or adequately addressed.”

Brand has denied all allegations against him
Brand has denied all allegations against him (Instagram via @russellbrand)

As well as being accused of sexual assault, including rape, the Brand was accused of controlling and coercive behaviour.

Four women accused the star of historical misconduct in the documentary, Russell Brand: In Plain Sight, which aired last September.

One of Brand’s accusers recounted how he allegedly raped her without a condom at his American home in Los Angeles, before preventing her from leaving.

She claims she was only able to do so by saying she needed to use the bathroom and subsequently sought treatment at a rape crisis centre, which the Times confirmed via medical records.

The Los Angeles Police Department said at the time that it had not been made aware “of any incidents, reports or allegations regarding Russell Brand or any of the accusers”.

Further allegations against the comedian emerged in the wake of the documentary, including the claim that he exposed himself to a woman and then joked about it on his Radio 2 show.

Brand has openly discussed his self-confessed sex addiction
Brand has openly discussed his self-confessed sex addiction (PA Archive)

In a statement released earlier this year, Brand described the documentary as “hurtful” as he had been accused of “what I consider to be the most appalling crimes.”

He said: “I’m aware that I put myself in an extremely vulnerable position by being very, very promiscuous, [but] that is not the type of conduct I endorse and it’s certainly not how I would live now.”

Patrick Holland, the chief executive of Banijay UK, has apologised to “anyone who was impacted” and felt “unable to speak up or that their voice was not properly heard”.

In a statement, Mr Holland said: “Dispatches made deeply troubling allegations regarding Russell Brand’s behaviour during his time working for legacy company Endemol.

“I am grateful to Lewis Silkin for this thorough report and the learnings we can take from it.

“While Endemol did have support and escalation procedures in place during the period in question, they were clearly not understood and adhered to the degree we would expect today and were not as robust as our current UK and group-wide processes.

“Industry protocols, duty of care and expectations of behaviour have vastly improved in recent years and continue to be reviewed and progressively updated on a regular basis.

“We are extremely sorry to anyone who was impacted by this behaviour and felt unable to speak up or that their voice was not properly heard.”

Earlier this year, Channel 4 boss Alex Mahon apologised to a former staff member for not investigating a “serious” allegation made against Brand in 2009 following the broadcaster’s own investigation.

However, the broadcaster found “no evidence” that staff at Channel 4 knew about the accusations made by four women in a Dispatches documentary prior to it being aired in September.

Brand, who also worked on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music programmes from 2006 to 2008, told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a YouTube video earlier this year that the claims made against him were “very, very hurtful”.

The Independent has reached out to a representative for Russell Brand, Channel 4 and Radio 2 for comment.

The comedian denies all allegations against him.

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