Russell Brand Denies Accusations of ‘Egregious’ Sexual Assaults

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The comedian Russell Brand denied “serious criminal allegations” against him in a video he posted shortly before three British news organizations published an investigation Saturday in which four women accused him of sexual assault.

The investigation was a collaboration by The Sunday Times and The Times of London newspapers, and Channel 4 Dispatches, a television program that broadcast a documentary about the allegations on Saturday. They reported that the women had accused him of sexual assault in a series of incidents between 2006 and 2013.

Mr. Brand, an actor and former TV host who has more recently built a significant following on his YouTube channel, where he often opines on wellness and interviews prominent conservative figures, released a short video on social media on Friday in which he said he had received notes from media organizations listing “a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks.”

“Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute,” Mr. Brand said in the video, going on to say that while he has spoken previously about a “time of promiscuity” in his life, the encounters during that time were “always consensual.”

His literary agency, Tavistock Wood, announced this weekend that it had cut ties with him, saying in a statement that it believed it had been “horribly misled” by him when he denied an allegation in 2020.

The allegations were published as the comedian, 48, was on a short stand-up tour. At a show in northwest London on Saturday night, he opened the evening with an oblique reference to the accusations.

“I’ve got a lot of things to talk to you about,” he said, according to news media reports. “There are obviously some things that I absolutely cannot talk about and I appreciate that you will understand.”

In the investigation, one woman accused Mr. Brand of raping her against a wall in his Los Angeles home in 2012. The news organizations said that the woman had provided medical records confirming that she had been treated at a rape crisis center. Another woman accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex on him when she was 16, despite her pushing him away.

In his video, Mr. Brand did not address the specifics of the accusations by the four women, three of whom were not identified in the reports. He said there were “witnesses whose evidence directly contradicts the narratives” that had been put forward to him by the news organizations, but according to the article, a lawyer for Mr. Brand did not respond to an inquiry about providing such evidence. A legal representative The New York Times contacted on Sunday did not respond to a request for comment on the specific allegations in the investigation.

Known for raunchy, boundary-pushing humor that has gotten him in trouble at times, Mr. Brand’s fame grew in Britain in the 2000s with a one-man show about his heroin addiction, and then as a BBC radio and Channel 4 reality television host. He broke into American pop culture with a prominent role in the rom-com “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” in 2008 and a remake of “Arthur” in 2011, and was briefly married to the pop star Katy Perry.

The investigation reported on Saturday also included complaints about Brand’s workplace behavior, including from unnamed production workers from Channel 4. They said that Brand would ask staff members to approach female audience members so he could arrange to meet them after filming, according to the reports.

Channel 4 and BBC have said in statements that they are investigating allegations against Brand from the periods when he worked at their companies.

The Metropolitan Police in London released a statement in response to the article saying that the department had been in touch with the journalists behind the story, and it encouraged any victims of sexual assault to report it to them.

Brand did not address the workplace complaints in his video.

Mr. Brand’s commentary on his YouTube channel, which has 6.6 million followers, tends to revolve around health, spirituality, so-called woke culture and free speech, and his guests have included Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Tucker Carlson and the conservative commentator Candace Owens. In his video on Friday, he accused the “mainstream media” of launching what he called a “coordinated attack” against him. Elon Musk responded to Mr. Brand’s post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, writing: “Of course. They don’t like competition.”

Mr. Brand has spoken about and written extensively about battling addictions to drugs, alcohol and sex, writing in his memoir that he was treated for a sex addiction in 2005.

Alex Marshall contributed reporting from London.



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