Russell Brand tour dates postponed as Met receives report of alleged sexual assault

The comedian strenuously denies the historical rape and sexual assault allegations and says the relationships he had were 'always consensual'

The Metropolitan Police said it has received a complaint of sexual assault, following a media investigation into Russell Brand.

Police said on Monday that officers received a report of sexual assault on Sunday, alleged to have taken place in Soho, central London, in 2003.

Brand was accused of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse by four women, according to a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches.

The alleged incidents, according to the investigation, were reported to have happened between 2006 and 2013.

Brand denies allegations of rape and sexual assault and said his relationships had always been consensual.

The Met said in a statement: “On Sunday, 17 September, the Met received a report of a sexual assault which was alleged to have taken place in Soho in central London in 2003. Officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support. 

“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.”

Russell Brand, pictured leaving his comedy show in London on Saturday, vehemently denies the allegations. Credit: PA

The remaining shows on Russell Brand’s Bipolarisation tour have been postponed.

A performance scheduled for Tuesday at the Theatre Royal Windsor in Berkshire was postponed, with the show’s promoters saying in a statement shared by the theatre: “We are postponing these few remaining addiction charity fundraiser shows, we don’t like doing it – but we know you’ll understand.”

Performances had been scheduled for two more venues this month – The Pavilions in Plymouth on Friday and The Civic At The Halls in Wolverhampton next Thursday.

Brand usually posts a new show on the video platform Rumble on weekdays at 5pm, but there was no new episode on Monday, with his most recent appearance a short one on Friday when he denied the allegations against him that were then published the following day.

The Met's update comes after more women were reported to have come forward with allegations about their treatment by the comedian, according to The Times. The newspaper says it was approached after publishing the claims by four women on Saturday.

Several other women have contacted the newspaper since Saturday, The Times reported, with claims about the comedian's behaviour since the early 2000s.

The new claims have not been investigated but would be "rigorously checked," the paper said, while Downing Street described the original allegations as "very serious and concerning".

Brand has denied the allegations, saying all sexual contact had been "consensual," in a video posted to his social media. He criticised the claims as "litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks".

One of the women who has alleged being sexually assaulted by the star spoke to Emma Barnett of BBC's Woman's Hour on Monday under the pseudonym Alice.

She claimed a BBC car took her from school to Brand's house when she was 16 and he was 30. She said the relationship left her feeling "cheap and dirtied".

She added that Brand's denial of the accusations was "insulting".

"It is laughable that he would even imply that it's a mainstream media conspiracy. He's not outside of mainstream media," she also said, before explaining she would like answers on why more was not done by the BBC at the time to intervene.

"He had a very well-known record of doing things that were inappropriate on the air, he had inappropriate conversations," she told Barnett.

Brand arrives at Troubabour Wembley Park Theatre in north-west London. Credit: PA

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.”

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 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."

Downing Street has urged the BBC and Channel 4 to set out the results of their investigations into Brand "transparently," though they have declined to prompt broadcasters and streaming platforms such as YouTube and Netflix to take down the actor's output.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer is expected to be speak to broadcasters about their investigations into Brand at the next opportunity.

“The Prime Minister has been clear there should never be any space for harassment, regardless of where it is found," Rishi Sunak's official spokesperson added.

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.

Russell Brand and his father, Ron, pictured in 2015. Credit: PA

His father, 80-year-old Ron Brand, wrote a post on Facebook on Monday defending his son, accusing the media of driving "The Russell Brand Vendetta".

He said: "Is this seriously the most important thing happening in this world? Immigrants? Cost of living? 10s of thousands killed in Ukraine? Who is prioritising at BBC News. Who is really driving this vendetta?"

"With many struggling to pay bills. The unproven accusations of 15 years ago take lead on BBC News?"

Brand's former manager, John Noel, told reporters he was 'very surprised' by the allegations

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.

On Saturday, Brand 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 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.

Brand is facing a myriad of allegations of abuse from multiple women. Credit: PA

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".

"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."

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