Russell Brand alleged to have 'groomed' teenage girl and raped other

The comic and actor denied all allegations put forward in the joint investigation by Channel 4 and The Sunday Times.

Russell Brand alleged to have ‘groomed’ teenage girl and sent car to take her to house from school Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

Comedian and actor Russell Brand has been accused of “grooming” a teenage girl and providing her with a script on how to lie to her parents amid a slew of alleged inappropriate behaviour including rape and sexual assault in a Channel 4 documentary.

A joint investigation by the channel’s Dispatches programme alongside journalists from the Sunday Times and The Times explored four women’s claims they had been subjected to emotional and sexual abuse between 2006 and 2007.

They included a woman – aged 16 at the time of the accusations – who alleged Brand sent a car to pick her up from school and drive her to his home.

Brand claimed he had been the subject of a “co-ordinated attack” in a vehement denial posted on his social media on Friday – ahead of the programme airing.

He said his relationships had “always been consensual” and described the investigation as an “extremely egregious and aggressive attack”.

He appeared as scheduled at the 2,000-capacity Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre in north-west London to perform a sold-out comedy gig on Saturday evening.

The woman who claimed she was assaulted as a teenager – when Brand repeatedly allegedly referred to her as “the child” – said she contacted Brand’s literary agent in 2020, who was also the co-founder of Tavistock Wood.

A statement given to the PA news agency said: “Russell Brand categorically and vehemently denied the allegation made in 2020, but we now believe we were horribly misled by him. TW has terminated all professional ties to Brand.”

Channel 4’s head of news and current affairs Louisa Compton said four of the women had alleged sexual assault.

One stated she had been raped against a wall at his home in Los Angeles and was supported by a crisis centre the same day.

Another claimed Brand also sexually assaulted her in LA, and later threatened legal action if she spoke up about the attack.

A fourth said she had been sexually assaulted in a separate location and was the subject of emotional and physical abuse.

The Sunday Times and Channel 4 said they had seen evidence including medical records and text messages to support the women’s claims.

Brand had been given eight days to respond to the allegations by the newspaper but did not initially respond before publishing the video to his YouTube channel.

Brand began his career as a stand up comic in the early 2000s and, after hosting shows including Big Brother’s Big Mouth and his own BBC Radio Two show, moved to Hollywood where he was cast in starring roles in films such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek and Arthur.

He also hosted shows on Channel 4, MTV and Radio X.

Brand has since reinvented himself as an online personality, seemingly becoming a prominent conspiracy theorist.

In an appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight, he said he was open-minded about whether the 9/11 terror attacks had been faked by the American government.

With almost seven million followers on YouTube, Brand has used the social media outlet to cover topical news stories, including alleged misinformation surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and being an outspoken sceptic of the vaccine.

Some of the most popular videos on Brand’s channel include suggesting a global Covid-19 cover-up and the Great Reset conspiracy theory which claims a global elite is using the pandemic to enforce radical social change.

In the video, Brand said: “These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies and as I have written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous.”

He continued: “Now during that time of promiscuity the relationships I had were absolutely, always consensual. I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent, and I am being transparent about it now as well.

“To see that transparency metastasised into something criminal, that I absolutely deny, makes me question is there another agenda at play.”

In a statement, Channel 4 said: “Channel 4 is appalled to learn of these deeply troubling allegations, including behaviour alleged to have taken place on programmes made for Channel 4 between 2004 and 2007.

“We are determined to understand the full nature of what went on. We have carried out extensive document searches and have found no evidence to suggest the alleged incidents were brought to the attention of Channel 4. We will continue to review this in light of any further information we receive, including the accounts of those affected individuals.

“We will be asking the production company who produced the programmes for Channel 4 to investigate these allegations and report their findings properly and satisfactorily to us.

“In the many years since the alleged incidents took place, there has obviously been extensive change in Channel 4’s management and commissioning teams. Today, Channel 4 has a zero-tolerance approach to unacceptable behaviour and has a robust Code of Conduct. We require all suppliers to have in place rigorous safeguarding policies and provide whistleblowing support, including Channel 4’s Speak Up facility.

“We are committed to ensuring our industry has safe, inclusive and professional working environments.”

In 2008, Brand made headlines for his BBC Radio 2 prank, now known as Sachsgate, when he left a “lewd” voicemail for Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs – who died in 2016 – about his granddaughter.

A BBC spokesperson said: “Russell Brand worked for a number of different organisations of which the BBC was one. As is well known, Russell Brand left the BBC after a serious editorial breach in 2008 – as did the then controller of Radio 2.

“The circumstances of the breach were reviewed in detail at the time. We hope that demonstrates that the BBC takes issues seriously and is prepared to act.

“We will always listen to people if they come forward with any concerns, on any issue related to any individual working at the BBC, past or present.”

Russell Brand: In Plain Sight is available to watch on Channel 4.

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