Katherine Ryan says comedian showed ‘no reaction’ in confrontation over sex allegations

Katherine Ryan said she didn’t get “much of a reaction” from the comic when she confronted him
Katherine Ryan said she didn’t get 'much of a reaction' from the comic when she confronted him - Matthew Baker/Getty Images

Katherine Ryan has spoken of how an unnamed “dangerous” comedian showed “no reaction” when she confronted him with the allegation that he was a sexual predator.

The Canadian comedian previously revealed how she had told the unnamed man that accusations against him were an “open secret”, in a 2022 interview with journalist Louis Theroux.

And during an appearance on Desert Island Discs, which aired on Sunday, Ryan told how she had “wrestled” with the decision to show up to the TV show she was due to work on with the comic.

The 8 Out of 10 Cats star told host Lauren Laverne how she didn’t get “much of a reaction” from the comic when she did confront him.

“I certainly didn’t have an obvious reaction,” she said.

But when asked how others present reacted, said: “People really liked what I said, I think they thought that it was funny and courageous the way that I said it.”

The 40-year-old mother-of-three added: “I think it’s nuance though, did I mean it or was I joking? But certainly the people who know, know I wasn’t joking.”

She also said she had been “reluctant” to talk about the confrontation as she claimed that people who had asked about it were “looking for women’s names” and suggested that she had been accused of being “the problem” for not revealing the man’s identity.

The Desert Island Discs episode was recorded for BBC Radio 4 at the start of September, before the allegations of sexual assault against Russell Brand were made public.

Ryan has never named the man she accused or commented on the allegations made against Brand.

She also admitted that she “didn’t know” whether she did the “right thing” in confronting the unnamed man.

Asked by Laverne about why she chose to speak out, Ryan said: “I had a choice. I could go to work with someone who I believed to be a perpetrator of sexual assault, or I could turn down the job.”

‘I believe this person is dangerous’

Ryan went on to say that the decision to stay at home or appear on the show was one she “wrestled with the most”, adding: “Because I believe that this person was or is dangerous but also, what am I going to change if I stay at home?

“So my compromise was that I am going to go, but I am going to let him know under no uncertain terms what I think of him, I am not going to just smile and look like I am allowing this behaviour.

“I am not going to let him think that I don’t know and everybody he works with is just going to let him get away with it.”

Explaining why she was “reluctant” to speak to anyone in detail about the incident, she said: “There are a few women’s names that I think investigators are looking for and that’s what they are asking me for, no one’s asking me for his name.

“It’s funny how people go straight to accusing... ‘You are the problem, you won’t give his name’ and it’s like, ‘We’re not the problem’.”

Ryan said that she has never been assaulted by the unnamed man.

Earlier in September, a joint investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches and The Sunday Times disclosed that four women accused Brand of sexual assault between 2006 and 2013.

Brand has insisted all of his sexual encounters were consensual and denies all wrongdoing.

Last week the Metropolitan Police confirmed it was investigating a number of allegations of sexual offences, following the documentary’s broadcast.