Russell Brand is facing allegations of rape, sexual assault and physical and emotional abuse following a joint investigation by U.K. media outlets
WARNING: Contains graphic details of alleged sexual assault that some readers may find distressing.
Russell Brand is facing a number of allegations.
The comedian, 48, was recently accused of rape, sexual assault and physical and emotional abuse by five women, according to a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and U.K. current affairs show Dispatches.
On Sept. 16, the media outlets reported that the alleged incidents transpired between 2006 and 2013 when Brand was a presenter for BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4 and a Hollywood film actor. Of the five women, four remain anonymous and one was 16 at the time.
Ahead of the reports going live, Brand — who did not name the TV company or newspaper — denied the allegations in a video shared on social media, saying that he "absolutely refutes" the claims and described them as "extremely egregious and aggressive attacks."
Since The Times' initial article was published, the newspaper reported that "several women" had come forward with new claims against Brand; additionally, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police told PEOPLE in a written statement that they "received a report of a sexual assault" which was alleged to have taken place in London in 2003.
U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also commented on the claims via his official spokesperson, calling them "very serious and concerning," PEOPLE confirmed. Banijay (which now owns Endemol, the media company that previously hired Brand), The BBC and Channel 4 also opened investigations into the allegations.
Read ahead for a timeline of Brand's recent controversies.
September 15, 2023: Russell Brand denies "criminal" allegations connected to his "promiscuous" past in video
On Sept. 15, Brand shared a video on his social media, denying what he said were "very serious criminal" allegations about to be made against him related to past “promiscuous” behavior. In the clip, the actor said he “absolutely refutes” the claims and described them as "extremely egregious and aggressive attacks."
“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,” he said in the video. “But amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks, are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute.”
September 16, 2023: Russell Brand is accused of raping and sexually assaulting multiple women
A day after sharing his video, Brand was accused of rape, sexual assault and physical and emotional abuse by five women — four who remained anonymous — including one who was 16 at the time, according to a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and U.K. current affairs show Dispatches.
The media outlets reported — in an article published by The Times on Sept. 16 and during an episode of Dispatches that same evening — that the incidents allegedly transpired between 2006 and 2013 when the comedian was a presenter for BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4 and a Hollywood film actor.
According to The Times article, the first incident allegedly occurred in 2006 when Brand was 30 years old and worked as the host of Channel 4’s Big Brother’s Big Mouth and as a BBC radio presenter.
A second unidentified woman accused Brand of raping her against a wall in his Los Angeles home on July 1, 2012. She detailed her encounter with the actor to The Times, including how she "tried to get away from him."
A third anonymous woman, who was reportedly a colleague, alleged that Brand sexually assaulted her in early 2013, telling The Times that he “grabbed me and got me on the bed” and proceeded to kiss her and remove her clothes while she was pinned down.
Another woman, who shared her story anonymously, alleged to The Times and during the Dispatches episode that while working with Brand, he flashed his penis to her when she entered his dressing room.
The account of Jordan Martin, Brand’s ex-girlfriend, was also shared by The Times. In her 2014 book, kNot: Entanglement with a Celebrity, she accused Brand of sexually assaulting her and physically and emotionally abusing her during the six months they dated. (She marked the start of their relationship as February 2007.)
September 18, 2023: Russell Brand faces further allegations of 'new' claims by 'several women'
Days later, The Times reported that "several women" had reached out to the newspaper with "new" claims involving Brand.
Scotland Yard was also encouraged to investigate the allegations against Brand by government minister Caroline Nokes, who said on Sept. 18 that “celebrity can act as a shield," reported The Times.
That same day, Scotland Yard confirmed to PEOPLE that London's Metropolitan Police was "aware of media reporting of a series of allegations of sexual assault." The statement added, however, that they "have not received any reports in relation to this" — encouraging anyone who "believes they have been the victim" to "contact police."
September 18, 2023: Russell Brand's comedy tour in U.K. gets postponed
Brand was scheduled to perform three stand-up shows in the U.K. over the next two weeks as part of his Bipolarisation tour. However, they were postponed in the wake of the allegations.
“We are postponing these few remaining addiction charity fundraiser shows, we don’t like doing it — but we know you’ll understand,” the tour's promoters said on Sept. 18 in a statement shared by the Theatre Royal Windsor, where Brand was set to appear on Sept. 19, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Brand went ahead with his show the night of Sept. 16 and received a standing ovation. He also thanked the crowd of about 2,000 people for coming and said there were certain topics he could not discuss that night, BBC News reported.
"I really appreciate your support, I love you, and I want to do a fantastic show for you," he told the crowd, per the outlet. "I've got a lot of things to talk to you about. There are obviously some things that I absolutely cannot talk about, and I appreciate that you will understand."
September 19, 2023: The Metropolitan Police say another alleged attack took place in London
Brand became the subject of a new sexual assault allegation that reportedly occurred in 2003. The Metropolitan Police said the alleged attack took place in London and they were in contact with the woman concerned.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police told PEOPLE in a written statement on Sept. 19: “On Sunday, 17 September, the Met received a report of a sexual assault which was alleged to have taken place in Soho in central London in 2003. Officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support.”
September 19, 2023: A resurfaced video shows Russell Brand suggesting a 15-year-old should have a sex-themed birthday party
Amid the allegations, a clip from Brand's BBC radio show, The Russell Brand Show, resurfaced on X (formerly known as Twitter) by Channel 4 Dispatches. In the 2007 audio clip, Brand suggested to a 15-year-old caller that she should have a sex-themed birthday party.
“I suppose you’re 16, you can’t really drink booze yet, or any drugs because that’s illegal,” the comedian says to the caller who was looking for ideas for her 16th birthday party. “Now, you will be legally allowed to have sexual partners,” he continues, as the caller laughs, in the resurfaced clip.
“Now, I think you should theme the party around legal sex," Brand adds. (In the U.K. the age of consent is 16.)
Later in the exchange, he suggests she should have a vampire-themed party or masked ball, which he goes on to say is, “in its way, erotic, but in a suppressed, suitable way for a 16-year-old girl.”
October 2, 2023: Russell Brand faces a second U.K. police investigation
On Oct. 2, BBC News reported that police in the U.K.'s Thames Valley are investigating the actor-comedian after a woman recently contacted the department with "new information" in relation to reports of "harassment and stalking."
The outlet reported the woman had previously made allegations against Brand to the same police department "numerous times between 2018 and 2022," though no action was taken at those times.
Thames Valley Police told BBC News that it was investigating the new claims and said "it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation."
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.
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