Russell Brand has denied allegations of sexual assault and rape, as well as coercive and emotional abuse
The British comedian, 48, took to his YouTube channel late on Friday September 15, on the eve of the publication of the report, to tell his fans that there are "some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute," and insisted that past romantic relationships had always been consensual.
"Now this isn't the usual type of video we make on this channel where we critique, attack and undermine the news in all its corruption because in this story, I am the news," he began. "I've received two extremely disturbing letters… amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque, attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute."
"These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies. As I've written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous. Now, during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual," he continued.
"I was always transparent about that then – almost too transparent – and I'm being transparent about it now as well. And to see that transparency metastasized into something criminal, that I absolutely deny, makes me question: Is there another agenda at play? It feels to me like there's a serious and concerted agenda to control these kinds of spaces and these kinds of voices."
"I don't mind them using my books and my stand-up to talk about my promiscuous consensual conduct in the past. What I seriously refute are these very, very serious criminal allegations."
He went on to claim that there are "witnesses whose evidence directly contradicts the narratives that these two mainstream media outlets are trying to construct," and concluded that "because of the serious nature of the allegations," he would not share any further details but that he would be looking into the matter because "it's very, very serious".
Watch the video here:
His video came hours before a so-called #MeToo expose from British newspaper The Sunday Times, and Channel 4 documentary program Dispatches.
A joint investigation from the Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches saw five women accuse Russell of sexual assault and rape, as well as coercive and emotional abuse. The allegations date from between 2006 and 2013 during the height of Russell's career; amd one of the women alleged she was just 16 when she ntered into a three-month-long relationship with him.
Two other women claimed that he attacked them when he lived in Los Angeles, with one saying she was treated in a rape crisis centre on the same day and that he had sent her text messages saying he was "very sorry" when she texted him to say: "When a girl say[s] NO it means no."
Another alleged that the comedian threatened to take legal action against her if she went public with her allegations, and one of the women claimed that he was "physically and emotionally abusive" during their time together, and that he sexually assaulted her.
The investigation into the 48-year-old began in 2020, and the Sunday Times and Dispatches have spoken not only to the women bringing the allegations, but also other sources including friends and family of his ex-girlfriends, fellow comedians and people who have worked with him on either TV or the radio.
Russell found fame in the early 2000s and was known for his flamboyant persona and willingness to openly discuss his drug addictions and promiscuity.
He moved into movies, and in 2009 began a high profile romance with Katy Perry. They wed at the Ranthambore Tiger Sanctuary in Rajasthan, India on October 23 2010, in a ceremony attended by only close family and friends.
However, 14 months after their wedding, Russell filed for divorce, telling Katy via text message. That moment was documented on camera and appeared in the 2012 documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me.
Russell is now married to wife Laura, the daughter of golfer Bernard Gallacher and the sister of British sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher. They married in August 2017, with the pair celebrating at an Indian-themed wedding reception close to the couple's home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxford.
Their daughter Mabel was born in November 2016 and in July 2018, the couple welcomed their second child, Peggy.
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