The comedian strenuously denies the historical rape and sexual assault allegations and says the relationships he had were ‘always consensual’
More women are reported to have come forward with allegations about their treatment by comedian Russell Brand, according to The Times.
The newspaper says it was approached after publishing (in a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches) claims by four women, who remained anonymous, of sexual assault.
Several women have contacted the newspaper since Saturday, The Times reported, with claims about the comedian’s behaviour since the early 2000s.
The new claims have not been investigated but would be “rigorously checked,” the paper said.
Brand has denied the allegations, saying all sexual contact had been “consensual”.
Channel 4 and production company Banijay UK have launched separate internal investigations into the allegations, while the BBC said it is “urgently looking into the issues raised”.
In a statement, a BBC spokesman said: “The documentary and associated reports contained serious allegations, spanning a number of years.
“Russell Brand worked on BBC radio programmes between 2006 and 2008 and we are urgently looking into the issues raised.”
Brand has “absolutely” denied the allegations and, in a video posted to his social media, criticised them as a “litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks”.
Commenting on their own internal investigation, Channel 4 said: “[we are] 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 have asked the production company who produced the programmes for Channel 4 to investigate these allegations and report their findings properly and satisfactorily to us.
“Channel 4 is also conducting its own internal investigation, and we would encourage anyone who is aware of such behaviour to contact us directly.”
Production company Banijay launched an “urgent” internal investigation into allegations of serious misconduct against Brand while he was presenting shows in the mid-2000s.
A researcher claimed concerns about Brand’s behaviour were reported to production managers at Endemol, the company commissioned by Channel 4 to produce the programmes in 2004 and 2005, but were dismissed
A statement from Banijay UK, which bought Endemol in 2020, said: “In light of the very serious allegations raised by Dispatches and The Times/Sunday Times investigation relating to the alleged serious misconduct of Russell Brand while presenting shows produced by Endemol in 2004 and 2005, Banijay UK has launched an urgent internal investigation and will co-operate with any requests for information from broadcast partners and external agencies.
“We also encourage anybody who feels that they were affected by Brand’s behaviour while working on these productions to contact us in confidence.”
Brand was also accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013, when he was working for the BBC and Channel 4 as well as starring in Hollywood films.
In the wake of the claims, the Metropolitan Police said it would speak to the Sunday Times and Channel 4 after their investigation about Russell Brand.
On Saturday, Brand appeared as scheduled at the 2,000-capacity Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre in north-west London to perform a sold-out comedy gig.
His show had been due to begin at 7pm, but was delayed by more than 45 minutes and lasted around an hour.
While not directly addressing the allegations, audience members told the PA news agency Brand said he hoped they could “appreciate” there were things he could not talk about during the set.
ITV News also understands that the Theatre Royal Windsor is considering cancelling Brand’s comedy gig on Tuesday evening in light of the accusations.
His show, titled Bipolarisation, is currently on tour.
The Sunday Times report includes one woman who says Brand raped her against a wall in his Los Angeles home.
Three other women, including one who was 16 at the time of the alleged incident, told The Sunday Times that he sexually assaulted them.
The others have accused him of physical and emotional abuse, sexual harassment and bullying, according to the reports.
In a video posted on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, Brand said: “Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute.”
The comedian admitted in his past he was “very, very promiscuous” and said he had written about it in his books.
However, in the video, he said: “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.”
The women behind the accusations said they felt ready to speak only after being approached by reporters.
Several said they felt compelled to do so given Brand’s return to prominence online.
Brand said he believes the reported allegations are part of a “coordinated attack” by the mainstream media and said he is going to look into this matter because it is “very, very serious”.
“Today’s media revelations have been difficult to process but our priority remains and continues to be the safety and well-being of all women and girls now and in the future.”