Content warning: this article discusses sexual assault and violence and may be distressing to some readers.
The 48-year-old has being accused of “rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse” by multiple women between 2006 and 2013. The allegations have emerged from a joint investigation by The Times London and Channel 4 documentary team Dispatches, who have also released a 90-minute documentary on the allegations, titled Russell Brand: In Plain Sight. Since the documentary’s release, more women have come forward with claims against Brand.
Brand has denied the allegations and said that all of his relationships have been consensual.
What Has Russell Brand Been Accused Of?
The accusers, who remain anonymous, have shared varying degrees of alleged sexual, physical and emotional abuse by Brand.
In The Times report, one woman claims Brand assaulted her when she was 16 and he was in his 30s. The woman alleged that during a three-month long “emotionally and sexually” abusive relationship with Brand, he “forced his penis down her throat” until she punched him in the stomach to make him stop and removed a condom during sex without her consent. She also claimed Brand nicknamed her “the child” and asked her to read passages from Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita while together.
The woman has since told the BBC Woman’s Hour podcast that Brand would allegedly tell people she was his niece.
“Russell groomed me and told me to save his number in my phone under a different name so nothing’s flagged when messages are coming up. He coached me on what to say to my parents.”
“After a few days it was decided I couldn’t be seen publicly with him. He told me his management had told him not to be seen out and about.
“They said it wasn’t a good look for him and his career. He’d just made it to where he wants to be and it’s not a good idea.
“There was some kind of discussion – ‘maybe we can say she’s your goddaughter, we can’t say she’s a niece because people know you’re an only child’.”
Another woman alleged that Brand raped her at his home in Los Angeles. The Times claimed that the woman was treated at a rape crisis center later that day and told Brand she felt taken advantage of. One alleged text read, “When a girl say[s] NO it means no,” to which Brand allegedly responded that he was “very sorry.”
A third woman claimed that Brand sexually assaulted her at his home in L.A while they were working together and allegedly threatened to take legal action if she publicly mentioned the incident. The fourth woman also accused Brand of sexual assault, claiming the comedian was both physically and emotionally abusive during their relationship.
The report also included a number of other allegations, including a 24-year-old runner claiming Brand once “flashed his penis” when she went into his dressing room and “insinuated that she could give him oral sex.”
Brand’s former personal assistant Helen Berger, also told the publication she saw Brand showing “intimate pictures of women” to his friends, while a female comedian claimed Brand would repeatedly “bite my face” when she saw him. Male comedian, Daniel Slott, told the publication that he was aware of his female colleagues “warning each other” about Brand for years.
The Metropolitan Police in London has also confirmed that another sexual assault allegation has been made in the wake of media reports. This sexual assault allegedly took place in London in 2003—three years before the earliest of the alleged assaults reported by The Times.
“Officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support,” the police said in a statement.
“We first spoke with the Sunday Times on Saturday, September 16 and have since made further approaches to the Sunday Times and Channel 4 to ensure that anyone who believes they have been the victim of a sexual offence is aware of how to report this to the police.”
Arthur Movie Set Accusation
In November 2023, Variety reported a new allegation against Brand. According to the publication, who obtained a copy of the lawsuit from the New York Supreme Court, a new woman has accused Brand of sexual assault on the set of the 2011 film, Arthur.
The woman, who remains anonymous, reportedly worked as an extra on the film with Brand. In the lawsuit, the woman alleges that Brand appeared “intoxicated, smelled of alcohol, and was carrying a bottle of vodka on set” before the alleged assault.
The lawsuit then accuses Brand of exposing himself to the woman in full view of the cast and crew before allegedly assaulting her later that day.
“The sexual assault happened later that same day when I was in the bathroom. Mr. Brand entered after me and assaulted me, as a member of the production crew guarded the door from outside.”
“As a result of the sexual abuse, I suffered and continue to suffer extreme embarrassment, shame, and fear.”
Brand has not responded to the latest allegation.
What Has Brand Said In Response To The Allegations?
Brand has denied all of the allegations made against him in the report.
“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,” Brand said in a video posted to instagram. “But amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks, are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute.”
“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’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous. 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’m being transparent about it now as well. And to see that transparency metastasized into something criminal, that I absolutely deny.”
The comedian also said that his “voice” has never been accepted by mainstream media and suggested that the allegations were part of a larger agenda against him.
“I’m aware of news media making phone calls, sending letters to people I know, for ages and ages. It’s been clear to me — or at least it feels to me –like there’s a serious and concerted agenda to control these kind of spaces and these kind of voices and I mean my voice along with your voice.
“I don’t mind them using my books and my stand up to talk about my promiscuous, consensual conduct in the past. What I seriously refute are these very, very serious criminal allegations. Also it’s worth mentioning that there are witnesses whose evidence directly contradicts the narrative that these two mainstream media outlets are trying to construct apparently in what seems to me to be a coordinated attack.
In recent years Brand, who first found fame as an MTV host, has moved away from mainstream entertainment and made a name for himself as a ‘wellness guru.’ The actor regularly attacks mainstream media and politics, and has been accused of spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Brand concluded the video by saying he get into the allegations due to their “serious nature” and emphasised that he’s being attacked.
“Now I don’t want to get into this any further because of the serious nature of the allegations but I feel like I’m being attacked and plainly they are working very closely together. We are obviously going to look into this matter because it’s very, very serious. In the meantime I want you to stay close, stay awake, but more important than any of that if you can please stay free.”
What’s Happened Since The Allegations Emerged?
Brand agency, Tavistock Wood has since ended Brand’s client agreement.
According to The Times report, one of the women reached out to the agent in 2020 to inform them of her alleged experience with Brand when she was 16. The woman did not hear back from the agent but did hear from Brand’s lawyer who denied the allegations in a “very aggressive” manner.
Since the allegations emerged, Tavistock Wood have reflected on the experience, when they told Variety, “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.”
The BBC has also since released a statement stating that they’re “urgently looking into the issues” raised by allegations. This is due to Brand being a former employee of the broadcaster.
A BBC spokesperson said in a statement: “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 resigned from the BBC in 2008 after the controversial “Sachsgate” prank calls incident, when he made prank calls to Faulty Towers actor Andrew Sachs to tell him he had a sexual relationship with his granddaughter.
What Have Other Celebrities Said About Brand?
A number of old interviews featuring well-known celebrities speaking about Brand have resurfaced in the wake of the allegations—including one with Brand’s ex-wife, singer Katy Perry.
In a 2013 interview with Vogue, Perry, who was married to Brand for 14 months, described his behaviour as “very controlling.”
“I felt a lot of responsibility for it ending, but then I found out the real truth, which I can’t necessarily disclose because I keep it locked in my safe for a rainy day,” Perry told the publication at the time.
Another interview with Australian singer Dannii Minogue has also resurfaced. In a 2006 interview with The Mirror, the singer recalled her interaction with Brand on his MTV chat show, 1 Leicester Square.
“He is completely crazy and a bit of a vile predator. I certainly don’t think he has cured his sex addiction, that’s for sure. He wouldn’t take no for an answer,” Minogue told the publication.
“He’s obviously very intelligent – but he wears more make-up than I do. Normally, I love guys with eyeliner on. It can be very sexy, but not on Russell. Absolutely no way, never, he’s just not my type.
“Throughout the whole interview, he kept making shocking remarks that I can’t even repeat. Just uttering the words would make me blush.”
Brand’s father, Ron Brand, has also made a statement in defence of his son, describing the reports as unproven and as a vendetta.
“The Russell Brand Vendetta. Like a man who owns an orchard being accused of stealing an apple?” the 80-year-old wrote on Facebook.
Brand’s fathers comments have also led to passages from Brand’s 2007 autobiography to resurface, where he describes losing his virginity while in the same room as his father.
In My Booky Wook, Brand writes, “The episode that defined my relationship with women occurred in Hong Kong with my dad. I was 17. On day one we went to some sleazy dive. Before long I was sat on a bar stool with a Filipino called Mary-Lou. Then we were leaving in a cab with three Asian prostitutes my dad was drunkenly herding.”
Brand went on to describe his first sexual experience, which occurred while his father was sleeping with two prostitutes in the same room.
“I sat on the edge of the other twin bed. She must have known I was a virgin as soon as the bungling encounter commenced,” Russell wrote at the time.
“I stroked Mary-Lou’s hair and kissed her cheek and traced my finger down her perfect nose, scored by the cacophony from the adjacent bedlam, ‘Yeah, come on!’ and ‘Phwooar, you’re juicy’
“During the rest of that holiday I f – ked loads more prostitutes and never wore a condom. It had hardened me. My sexuality had morphed forever from bewildered innocence into something more complex and rapacious.”
If you are experiencing sexual abuse or other unwanted behaviour, please contact Full Stop Australia, a sexual, domestic and family violence support organisation.