Thanks for questioning these claims against me, Russell Brand tells supporters

Speaking in a video shared on X, Brand said the week since the claims were published had been “extraordinary and distressing”
Speaking in a video shared on X, Brand said the week since the claims were published had been “extraordinary and distressing” - PIXEL8000

Russell Brand has thanked his supporters for “questioning” the allegations of rape and sexual assault made against him.

The 48-year-old has strongly denied accusations made by four women in an investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.

In the three-minute clip, posted on Rumble and also shared on X, Brand said the week since the claims were published had been “extraordinary and distressing”.

He said: “I thank you very much for your support and for questioning the information that you’ve been presented with.”

He also claimed that moves to demonetise his content on social media platforms in the wake of sexual assault allegations made against him have occurred “in the context of the Online Safety Bill”.

“By now you’re probably aware that the British Government have asked big tech platforms to censor our online content and that some online platforms have complied with that request, he said in the video.

“What you may not know is that this happens in the context of the Online Safety Bill, which is a piece of UK legislation that grants sweeping surveillance and censorship powers, and it’s a law that has already been passed.

“I also don’t imagine you’ve heard of the Trusted News Initiative. Now, as is often the case when a word like trusted is used as part of an acronym to describe an unelected body, trust is the last thing you should be offering.

“The Trusted News Initiative is a collaboration between big tech and legacy media organisations to target, control, choke and shut down independent media organisations like this one.”

His statements come as another alleged victim came forward on Friday night claiming Brand refused to call her a taxi until she performed a sex act on him.

The anonymous accuser told Sky News she met Brand on an airplane trip, when he invited her for breakfast and they ended up travelling in his limousine. She claims Brand “ripped a hole” in her tights and made her feel “vulnerable and intimidated”.

They then went to his apartment where they had consensual sex, she said, claiming Brand refused to call her a taxi until she performed oral sex on him.

BBC accused of failing to act on Brand claim

Meanwhile, it has been claimed the BBC failed to act on a complaint that Russell Brand exposed himself to a woman, the broadcasting union has claimed.

Philippa Childs, the head of Bectu, which represents TV and radio workers, said she was shocked that the BBC broadcast comments from Brand joking about exposing himself.

The comedian joked with co-presenter Matt Morgan on his Radio 2 show that he had “showed his w— to a lady” minutes after he had allegedly exposed himself to a woman working in the same building.

Russell Brand and Matt Morgan on the road in the USA
Russell Brand and Matt Morgan took their BBC radio show on the road in the USA - Nancy Ericsson/BBC

The allegation comes after four women accused Brand, 48, of sexual assault, rape and emotional abuse last weekend between 2006 and 2013 in the UK and US and the Metropolitan Police launched an investigation of a sexual assault in 2003.

Brand has not yet commented on the latest claim, but he has vehemently denied the other allegations and said his relationships have been “always consensual”.

The woman, who has used the pseudonym as Olivia, worked for a media company in the Los Angeles office where the comedian was recording the Russell Brand Show for Radio 2.

She claimed that as she was looking through the medicine cabinet in the bathroom she realised someone was behind her and claimed that when she turned around it was Brand.

Brand allegedly called her “a bit of alright” and tried to call her Betty, but when she said that wasn’t her name, he replied. “Well, I’m gonna f—k you”, to which she said: “No, you’re not.”

Russell Brand statement in full
Russell Brand statement in full

Olivia claims the comedian pulled out his p— on his hand and “pretty much served it to me as you would be serving someone some food”.

She never made a complaint and said she was worried about the potential impact on her and her family if she had raised it officially. In 2019, BBC management was informed about the incident by a staff member who had spoken to Olivia but no formal action was taken.

Childs told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme she was appalled by Brand’s comments that it was “surprising, shocking and it should never have been broadcast” and that the broadcaster could have acted sooner.

“The BBC should have thoroughly investigated the complaint, looked into the circumstances around that particular broadcast and taken action then.

“Had they done so, we might not be in the situation that we’re in now many years later looking into various allegations around Russell Brand.”

She said the union wanted the BBC to review its processes “to see whether or not they are fit for purpose and to see whether or not they properly support complainants and deal with issues in real time”.

Further criticism of Brand

It is not the first time Brand has been accused of exposing himself, after pictures showed him nude at the 2002 May Day protests in Piccadilly, central London.

On Friday Cole Parker, a comedian who worked with Brand, became the latest industry figure to criticise the former presenter’s behaviour.

He told BBC Newsnight that he had a reputation for “getting angry or a bit nasty” if women wouldn’t sleep with him.

Parker shared the same agents with Brand around 20 years ago and first met the comedian in 1999. According to the BBC, Parker claimed Brand would sometimes expose himself during a performance on stage.

Russell Brand naked and is arrested during the May Day protests in Piccadilly Circus, London, in 2002
Russell Brand stripped naked during protests in London, in 2002, and was arrested - Bernadette Lou/Shutterstock

Newsnight claimed Parker said Brand had pursued a young woman who felt frightened and asked Parker to intervene to make Brand stop.

Em Rusciano, an Australian media personality, said she remembers  “inappropriate” conversations with Brand who was “overtly sexual”.

“At the time, we had our ‘pre-MeToo goggles’ on. He was overtly sexual in the studio but it was kind of like a character,” she said in her Emsolation podcast.

“You almost felt special because he was shining his light on you. And regardless of the weird, inappropriate s—t he was saying.

“And in a way we’re all complicit in encouraging that and investing in that. As a woman, I know I was certainly guilty of that and that’s me dealing with internalised misogyny.”

Broadcasts ‘would never be aired today’

The BBC said it “would be very keen to hear from her and anyone else who may have information” and “will of course speak to the bureau team and anyone who was working there in 2008 as part of this”.

A spokesman added: “Further, the director general has been very clear that some broadcasts from that period were, and are, inexcusable and totally unacceptable, and would never be aired today.”

In a statement sent to the BBC via his legal team, Mr Morgan said: “I was not aware until now of the nature of this encounter.

“I have expressed my regret now looking back at the impact of the show, and this is a further example.

“The recent coverage has been very distressing to read and I reiterate my absolute condemnation of any form of mistreatment of women.”

In a YouTube video before the allegations against him were revealed, Brand described the claims as “a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks” and has said all relationships were “absolutely, always consensual”.