British comedian Russell Brand leaves the Wembley Park Theater in northwest London (Portal/Susannah Ireland)
British police said on Monday that they had received a complaint sexual assault after several media outlets published allegations from several women against Russell Brand. Organizers have postponed the remaining dates of a series of live performances by the comedian, who denies the allegations.
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A talent agency and publisher have also parted ways with Brand over the allegations, leaving the British entertainment industry wondering if this is the case The comedian’s bad behavior was not questioned by his fame.
Brand, 48, denies allegations of sexual assault by four women made in a Channel 4 documentary and in The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Among the unidentified accusers is one who claims she was sexually abused during a relationship with him when she was 16. Another woman says Brand raped her in Los Angeles in 2012.
Russell Brand (Europa Press/Armando Gallo)
London’s Metropolitan Police said that since the allegations became known, “a report of a sexual assault that allegedly took place in Soho, central London, in 2003″. That is, three years before the first of the alleged attacks reported by the media.
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Police said “officers are in contact with the woman and will provide support.” He did not identify the alleged attacker as Brand, but in his statement he referred to allegations from newspapers and television. Police urged “anyone who believes they have been the victim of a sexual crime, regardless of how much time has passed, to contact us.”
In a video statement released Friday in response to the media claims, Brand said their relationships were fine “Always agree.”
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The Times said Monday that additional women had contacted the newspaper with allegations against Brand and that they were “rigorously substantiated.”
Russell Brand was accused of abuse (Portal/Suzanne Plunkett)
The allegations have reignited debate about the “lady culture” that flourished in Britain in the 1990s and early 2000s and the misogyny that still prevails online.
The allegations reported by newspapers and Channel 4 cover the period between 2006 and 2013when Brand was a big star in Britain with growing fame in the United States.
Known for his wild and daring monologues, he hosted radio and television shows, wrote memoirs about his battle with drugs and alcohol, appeared in several Hollywood films, and He was briefly married to pop star Katy Perry from 2010 to 2012.
Brand was suspended from the BBC in 2008 for making obscene prank calls to Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs in which he bragged about having sex with Sachs’ granddaughter. After the incident, he canceled his radio show, which led to thousands of complaints to the public broadcaster.
(Source: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
The BBC, Channel 4 and the producer of the reality series Big Brother, on which Brand was a presenter, said they had launched investigations into Brand’s behavior and the way complaints were handled.
Brand was also sacked by talent agency Tavistock Wood, which said it had been “terribly misled” by him. Publisher Bluebird, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, said it had decided to “pause” future publications by Brand.
Supporters of the brand questioned why the allegations were made years after the alleged incidents. The women said they only felt ready to tell their stories after they were contacted by journalists and a few others They cited Brand’s newfound notoriety as an online wellness influencer as the reason for their decision to speak out.
Victims and the media must also take into account UK defamation law, which places the burden of proof on complainants.
(Source: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
In recent years, Brand has largely disappeared from mainstream media but has built a strong online following with his videos mixing wellness and conspiracy theories. On his YouTube channel, which has more than 6 million subscribers, he has posted COVID-19 conspiracy theories, vaccine misinformation and interviews with controversial hosts like Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan.
On Saturday evening, while the Channel 4 documentary was airing, he appeared in front of hundreds of people at a venue in London. He was due to perform in Windsor, west London, on Tuesday, but promoters said the rest of the tour had been postponed.
Ellie Tomsett, a lecturer in media and communications at Birmingham City University who studies the British stand-up comedy scene, said Brand was the product of a stand-up comedy scene rife with misogyny – and this Despite the advances still being made by women and others to diversify the comedy landscape.
“As we saw a rise in popular feminism, we also saw a rise in popular misogyny, epitomized by people like Andrew Tate, but visible in all aspects of society and definitely reflected in the British comedy scene,” Tomsett said .
“More and more measures are being taken to address this, but the idea that this is something that happened in the past and is no longer happening is, frankly, nonsense,” he added.
(With information from AP)