Excerpt: She claims he tried to kiss her and remove her clothes as he pinned her down. Phoebe says “And I saw something come over his eyes, I swear to God, like, black, his eyes had no more colour, they were black, like the devil. Like a different person literally entered his body.”
Article from The Sunday Times:
Russell Brand accused of rape, sexual assaults and abuse
Four women, including one who was just 16, make allegations after an investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches.
The comedian and actor Russell Brand has been accused of rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse during a seven-year period at the height of his fame.
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. Others have made a range of accusations about Brand’s controlling, abusive and predatory behaviour.
Brand denied the allegations and said his relationships have all been consensual.
The findings come from a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches.
One woman alleges that Brand raped her against a wall in his Los Angeles home. She was treated at a rape crisis centre on the same day, according to medical records. Text messages show that in the hours after leaving his house, she told Brand that she had been scared by him and felt taken advantage of, adding: “When a girl say[s] NO it means no.” Brand replied saying he was “very sorry”.
A second woman alleges that Brand assaulted her when he was 31 and she was 16 and still at school. She said he referred to her as “the child” during an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship that lasted for about three months, and that Brand once “forced his p***s down her throat”, making her choke. She says she tried to push him off and said she had to punch him in the stomach to make him stop.
A third woman claims that he sexually assaulted her while she worked with him in Los Angeles, and that he threatened to take legal action if she told anyone else about her allegation.
The fourth described being sexually assaulted by Brand and him being physically and emotionally abusive towards her.
All said they felt ready to speak only after being approached by reporters. Several said they felt compelled to do so given Brand’s newfound prominence as an online wellness influencer, with millions of followers on YouTube and other sites.
The others have accused him of physical and emotional abuse, sexual harassment and bullying.
Most of the women, who do not know each other, have chosen to remain anonymous.
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 organisations.
Along with these interviews reporters have seen private emails and text messages, submitted freedom of information requests, viewed medical and therapists’ notes, scrutinised 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.
Brand, who is now 48, has managed to maintain his fame for the past two decades through reinvention — first as a stand-up comedian known for debauchery, before becoming a primetime Channel 4 TV host, BBC radio star, Hollywood actor and, most recently, a wellness guru and anti-establishment influencer with millions of followers online.
Throughout his career, Brand’s material has acknowledged his sex addiction and he has often publicly joked about his predatory behaviour and sex life.
There were rumours of more sinister behaviour — said to be discussed as an “open secret” by senior TV and radio executives, and among female comedians who warned each other of his behaviour — but the women involved previously felt unable to speak out.
Their stories — now told publicly for the first time — shine a light on Brand’s mistreatment of women behind closed doors, and on the industries that enabled him.
The Times and The Sunday Times gave Brand eight days within which to reply to detailed allegations, including information to enable him to recall the alleged incidents. Lawyers for Brand initially said that they were not in a position to provide any response to the allegations because we had posed a “large litany of questions” and had intentionally chosen to anonymise the names of the women. They characterised this as deliberate and part of a pre-conceived strategy aimed at damaging their client. They said that publication was a “concerted campaign” and their client believes that there is a “deeply concerning agenda to all this, namely the fact that he is an alternative media broadcaster competing with mainstream media”. Pressed to provide a full response, the same lawyers did not reply.
When given further opportunity to respond, Brand broadcast a statement on his YouTube channel saying “amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute”. He said his relationships have always been consensual. He accused the mainstream media of a co-ordinated attack and said that there are witnesses whose evidence directly contradicts the narratives. The Sunday Times asked his lawyer for the evidence referred to but no answer was provided.
Brand is currently in the middle of a stand-up tour. On Saturday he arrived at the Troubadour theatre in Wembley, northwest London, an hour late, with the crowd told he had been stuck in traffic. He briefly addressed the allegations at the start of the gig after seeing a woman holding a sign saying: “We stand by you Russell. Stay strong. Stay free. We love you.” Brand said: “There’s some things I cannot talk about and hopefully you appreciate that I’m gonna give you everything I’ve got.”
‘He sent a car to my school to take me out of lessons’
As her taxi approached Russell Brand’s home, Alice remembers the driver begging her not to go inside. Recognising the destination, he had started to ask questions. Alice admitted she was 16 and still in school.
She says the driver replied that his daughter was the same age and entreated Alice: “Please, I’m asking you not to go in there, you could be my little girl, and I would want someone to do this for her.” He offered to take her home without charge, but Alice insisted she was fine. “He had just such a sad look in his eyes,” she recalls.
Alice, whose name we have changed to protect her identity, now realises that she wasn’t fine. During a relationship that lasted for about three months when Brand was a BBC radio presenter, she says that he referred to her as “the child” and alleges that he became increasingly controlling, and then emotionally and sexually abusive.
Brand, then 30, sent a car to her secondary school to take her out of lessons and to his home, she says, and asked her to save his name in her phone as “Carly” to deceive her parents. Brand’s management knew that he had a teenage girlfriend and advised him not to be seen with her in public, she says. Alice alleges that Brand once forced his p***s down her throat, making her choke, and that after trying to push him off he only stopped after she hit him in the stomach. She says she was visibly upset after the incident.
Brand made his name in comedy in the early 2000s — and also achieved the status of London’s most lascivious lothario. After he gave up drugs in 2002, Brand filled that void with sex. In 2005, he received treatment for sex addiction at a clinic in the US. His womanising ways — he once said he could sleep with 80 women in a month — saw him crowned “Shagger of the Year” by The Sun three times, have relationships with some of the world’s most beautiful women including Kate Moss, and marry the pop star Katy Perry in 2010 (they divorced in 2012).
When Alice met Brand in 2006, he was becoming a household name as the host of Channel 4’s Big Brother’s Big Mouth and a BBC radio presenter; she was 16, recovering from an eating disorder and had never had a boyfriend.