Russell Brand: Investigations launched by broadcasters after ‘serious' misconduct claims

Former employers Channel 4, the BBC and an independent production company have all launched investigations, as Amy Lewis reports

Channel 4 and production company Banijay UK have launched separate internal investigations into allegations of serious misconduct against Russell Brand, while the BBC said it is “urgently looking into the issues raised”.

The claims were made in a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches, in which four women make separate allegations of sexual assault.

Brand has denied the allegations, saying all sexual contact had been "consensual".

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".

Russell Brand seen leaving the Troubabour Wembley Park on Saturday. Credit: PA

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 Russell 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.

In a statement, the force explained: “We are aware of media reporting of a series of allegations of sexual assault. At this time, we have not received any reports in relation to this.

“If anyone believes they have been the victim of a sexual assault, no matter how long ago it happened, we would encourage them to contact police.

“We spoke with the Sunday Times on Saturday, September 16. We will be making further approaches to the Sunday Times and Channel 4 to ensure that any victims of crime who they have spoken with are aware of how they may report any criminal allegations to police.”

On Saturday, he 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, titled Bipolarisation, 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.

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".

Russell Brand has denied the allegations Credit: PA

Since the allegations emerged, the women's charity Trevi has ended its association with Brand.

In a statement, shared on its social media, Trevi said: "We are deeply saddened and upset by the stories reported on this evening's Channel 4 Dispatches programme regarding Russell Brand.

"Russell became aware of our charity in 2022 after hearing about some of the incredible mothers we have helped to become drug-free over the years. He wanted to support our cause and raise money through his Stay Free Foundation.

"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.

"We have ended our association with Russell Brand and the Stay Free Foundation.

"As a charity whose values put women's voices at the heart of what we do, we always prioritise supporting women affected by violence and abuse and empower them to live without violence and fear."

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