A production company has launched an “urgent” internal investigation into allegations of serious misconduct against Russell Brand while he was presenting shows in the mid-2000s.
The actor, comedian and broadcaster has been accused of rape and sexual assault by four women in a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.
A documentary which aired on Saturday night included claims Brand had targeted one woman when she was just 16 and sent a car to pick her up from school and take her to his home.
The 48-year-old strongly denied the accusations – said to have taken place between 2006 and 2013 – in a video posted on his YouTube channel on Friday, alleging he was the victim of a “co-ordinated attack”.
He added his relationships had “always been consensual” and described the investigation as an “extremely egregious and aggressive attack”.
During the Dispatches programme which aired on Saturday night, entitled Russell Brand: In Plain Sight, a researcher said concerns about Brand’s behaviour while working on Big Brother spin-off shows EFourum and Big Brother’s Big Mouth were reported to production managers at Endemol – the company commissioned to produce the programmes.
The company, taken over by Banijay UK in 2020, said an internal investigation had now been launched in light of the accusations.
They said in statement: “We also encourage anybody who feels that they were affected by Brand’s behaviour while working on these productions to contact us in confidence.”
Meanwhile, a charity which aims to end violence against women has severed its ties with Brand over the accusations.
The Trevi Women and Children’s Charity in the UK announced it had ended its association with his charity, the Stay Free Foundation.
A statement on Instagram said: “Russell became aware of our charity in 2022 after hearing about some of the incredible mothers we have helped to become drug-free over the years.
“He wanted to support our cause and raise money through his Stay Free Foundation.”
The charity said it had been “deeply saddened and upset” following the allegations against Brand, adding: “We have ended our association with Russell Brand and the Stay Free Foundation.”
On Brand’s website, the Stay Free Foundation is described as a charitable organisation that focuses on “supporting people through recovery from addiction, their mental health issues and the non-profit organisations that help them”.
It states it makes “regular donations” to treatment centres such as Friendly House in Los Angeles and BAC O’Connor in the UK, while also supporting the Trevi charity and the Treasures Foundation, “who are the only residential rehabilitation centre in the UK exclusively for mothers and their children”.
A statement from the Treasures Foundation to the PA news agency said: “At Treasures Foundation we only know Russell Brand in the capacity of him wanting to make amends and give back to women, hence the desire of his to give to our charity.
“We are part of a programme that practices forgiveness and making amends. Many of us have been through sexual trauma and some of us have been perpetrators.
“We need to take this time to process what is going on, we are talking to the women we support and will be issuing feedback from them, as always the voice of the women we support is of the upmost importance.”
It added: “We can’t make an opinion on what has come out right now. We just know him for the good that he does now.”