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British media report rape and emotional abuse allegations against Russell Brand

Updated September 16, 2023 at 2:52 PM ET

Russell Brand has been accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse, according to a joint investigation published Saturday by British media. The actor denies the allegations.

The allegations against the British entertainer emerged in an investigation by the The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4.

"Four women have alleged sexual assaults between 2006 and 2013, while he was a presenter for BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4 and then an actor in Hollywood films," The Times said in its exclusive report, which was jointly authored by journalists Rosamund Unwin, Charlotte Wace and Paul Morgan-Bentley. "Others have made a range of accusations about Brand's controlling, abusive and predatory behavior."

Brand issued a video statement on Friday denying the allegations.

"Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute," he said. Brand added that he has always been open about his years of sexual promiscuity, and said all of the relationships he had "were absolutely always consensual."

According to an accompanying report about the investigation process published by The Times, the Sunday Times launched its inquiries into Brand's conduct in 2019, after the news organization "was made aware of allegations against Russell Brand relating to his treatment of women."

The Times said that over the past few years, reporters have interviewed "hundreds of sources who knew or worked with Brand: ex-girlfriends and their friends and family, comedians and other celebrities, people who worked with him on radio and TV, and senior staff at the BBC, Channel 4 and other media organizations."

The media organization said reporters have also "seen private emails and text messages, submitted freedom of information requests, viewed medical and therapists' notes, scrutinized Brand's books and interviews, and watched and listened to hundreds of hours of his shows on the BBC, Channel 4 and YouTube to corroborate allegations."

In response to a request for comment, Brand's representatives referred NPR to Brand's video statement.

After launching his career as a standup comedian in the early 2000s, Brand appeared in many TV shows and films such as Get Him to the Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He is the author of bestselling books and hosts a web series and the podcast Stay Free with Russell Brand.

Brand has been accused of unwanted sexual advances before. In 2006, the Australian celebrity Dannii Minogue referred to his "sex addiction" in the Daily Mirror, and called him "a vile predator."

Brand is currently performing a series of live shows in the U.K., many of which are sold out. NPR reached out to upcoming venues where the entertainer is expected to appear Saturday and next Tuesday. Wembley Park Theatre, the venue for Saturday's performance, could not be reached. But a box office representative at Theatre Royal Windsor, where Brand is scheduled to appear on Tuesday, said the show is currently is "still on," adding that this could change in the coming days.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Chloe Veltman
Chloe Veltman is a correspondent on NPR's Culture Desk.