TV star ambushed over ‘shameful’ Brand post

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A fiery clash has erupted between two hosts on live TV after a male presenter ambushed his female colleague over a tweet she posted supporting Russell Brand as a “hero” in the face of sexual abuse allegations against the comedian.

Andrew Pierce, a presenter on UK channel GB News, confronted his co-host Bev Turner on-air on Monday about her “shameful” tweet, posted over the weekend in response to Brand’s video statement prior to the rape and sexual assault allegations being published in a joint investigation by The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, Turner said that Brand was “being attacked” by “establishment media” because of his large subscriber base and that he was “welcome on my GB News show anytime”.

“Keep going. This proves you are winning. You’re a hero,” she said, adding a love heart emoji.

“Bev, that is shameful,” Pierce, who also writes for The Daily Mail, said after reading the tweet.

“It’s not shameful,” she said.

“That is shameful,” he said.

“You have dismissed, in one tweet, a four-year investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4, as contemptuously the ‘mainstream media’. A 16-year-old girl has complained of being groomed by this man, two women have said they were raped, and there are more and more cases coming to light, and you say ‘you’re a hero’. Don’t you think before you say he’s a hero you should establish whether these very serious allegations are true?”

Turner hit back that before she wrote the post she had spoken to “several sources close to Brand, close to The Times” and was “confident there is no smoking gun in this regard”.

“I remain confident having watched the Dispatches,” she said.

“If that is what they’ve got after four years of a joint investigation … those four flimsy allegations from women who choose to stay anonymous — there is nobody who can counter their version of events.”

“Do you have any sympathy for these women?” Pierce asked.

Turner said that “every year there are 1.1 million people who are sexually assaulted in this country” but “newspapers like yours don’t care about that until there’s a celebrity involved, and then suddenly it’s all over the front page of the paper”.

“Anybody who has been sexually assaulted, my heart goes out to them,” she said.

“There’s not a scintilla of sympathy in this statement on Twitter for these four women,” Pierce hit back.

Turner again suggested Brand was being targeted because he was a “threat” to mainstream media and for his outspoken views on Covid.

“What I’m saying is, why now?” she said. “Why didn’t those women go to the police?”

Pierce noted the allegations against Brand were “increasing in number and I guarantee to you this is going to be a huge investigation, a huge story and I’m astonished that you leapt to his defence”.

“Shame on you for attacking these women,” he added.

Pierce then slammed Turner for bringing her “hobby horse” into the debate. “This is not about Covid,” he said. “You’re obsessed.”

A clip of the fiery exchange posted on X by GB News has been viewed more than 1.1 million times.

Turner later shared the clip, saying she didn’t know Pierce “was going to do this today” and that she “wasn’t prepared for the personal onslaught which is why I look caught off-guard”.

She linked to an opinion piece she wrote for GB News articulating her position on Brand.

“Obviously every human being deserves the right to refuse sexual or physical invasions of any type from another,” she said in the piece.

“But this current trial by media is grotesque … Brand has not been arrested. Perhaps with headlines now urging women to ‘come forward’ he may be. Maybe I am wrong to be cynical that a smoking gun will be found. Maybe someone will emerge with forensic and visual evidence proving that he was indeed a rapist.”

Brand, 48, has been accused of rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment by four women, with allegations spanning a seven-year period during the height of his fame from 2006 to 2013.

The actor has vehemently denied the “very serious criminal allegations” against him and claims they are part of a “co-ordinated attack” by the media.

In the wake of the bombshell report, a flood of older clips, anecdotes and allegations of inappropriate behaviour against the Get Him to the Greek star have begun to resurface.

On Monday, Brand became the focus of new allegations as The Times reported that “several” more women have come forward and contacted the UK newspaper since the expose was published.

Also on Monday, London’s Metropolitan Police said it had received a fresh allegation of a sexual assault in Soho, central London, in 2003, but added as yet no investigation had been launched.

“Officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support,” police said.

“We first spoke with The Sunday Times on Saturday 16 September 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. We continue to encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a sexual offence, no matter how long ago it was, to contact us.”

frank.chung@news.com.au

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