British police urged to investigate sexual assault allegations against Russell Brand

LONDON — Senior British politicians on Monday urged police to investigate sexual assault allegations against Russell Brand, because the U.Okay. leisure trade confronted questions on whether or not the comic’s dangerous habits went unchallenged due to his fame.

Brand denies allegations of sexual assault made by 4 ladies in a Channel 4 tv documentary and The Times and Sunday Times newspapers.

The accusers, who haven’t been named, embrace one who stated she was sexually assaulted throughout a relationship with him when she was 16. Another girl says Brand raped her in Los Angeles in 2012.

Brand, 48, has rejected all of the claims, saying in a video assertion that his relationships had been “always consensual.”

The Times stated Monday that extra ladies had contacted the newspaper with allegations against Brand and they might be “rigorously checked.”

Russell Brand leaves the Troubabour Wembley Park theater in northwest London after performing a comedy set on Saturday.James Manning / PA by way of AP

Max Blain, spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, stated the claims had been “very serious and concerning,” and people making the allegations needs to be “treated seriously and treated with sensitivity.”

Conservative legislator Caroline Nokes, who chairs the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee, urged police in each Britain and the United States to investigate the “incredibly shocking” allegations.

“This merits and needs a criminal investigation, because for too long we have seen men — and the perpetrators of these sorts of crimes are almost invariably men — not being held to account for their behaviors and their actions,” she informed BBC radio.

London’s Metropolitan Police power stated it could converse to the Sunday Times and Channel 4 to guarantee “any victims of crime who they have spoken with are aware of how they may report any criminal allegations to police.”

“We are aware of reporting by The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches about allegations of sexual offences,” in accordance to a police assertion offered to NBC News on Monday.

The police on Sunday “received a report of a sexual assault which was alleged to have taken place in Soho in central London in 2003,” the assertion continued. “Officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support.”

Police appealed to any potential victims to come ahead: “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.”

The claims have renewed debate concerning the “lad culture” that flourished in Britain within the Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s, and the misogyny that also percolates on the web.

The allegations reported by the newspapers and Channel 4 cowl the interval between 2006 and 2013, when Brand was a serious star in Britain with a rising U.S. profile.

Known for his unbridled and risqué standup routines, he hosted exhibits on radio and tv, wrote memoirs charting his battles with medication and alcohol, appeared in a number of Hollywood films and was briefly married to pop star Katy Perry between 2010 and 2012.

Brand was suspended by the BBC in 2008 for making lewd prank calls to “Fawlty Towers” actor Andrew Sachs during which he boasted about having intercourse with Sachs’ granddaughter. He give up his radio present within the wake of the incident, which drew hundreds of complaints to the publicly funded broadcaster.

The BBC, Channel 4 and the manufacturing firm behind the “Big Brother” actuality sequence — spinoffs of which had been hosted by Brand — all say they’ve launched investigations into Brand’s habits and the way complaints had been dealt with.

Brand additionally has been dropped by talent agency Tavistock Wood, which stated it had been “horribly misled” by him.

Supporters of Brand requested why the allegations had been being made years after the alleged incidents. The ladies stated that they solely felt prepared to inform their tales after being approached by reporters, with some citing Brand’s newfound prominence as an internet wellness influencer as an element of their resolution to converse.

Victims and the media even have to take account of Britain’s claimant-friendly libel legal guidelines, which put the burden of proof on these making allegations.

In current years Brand has largely disappeared from mainstream media however has constructed up a big following on-line with movies mixing wellness and conspiracy theories. His YouTube channel, which has greater than 6 million subscribers, consists of Covid-19 conspiracies, vaccine misinformation and interviews with right-wing broadcasters together with Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan.

He additionally continues to tour as a comic, performing to a whole bunch of individuals in a London venue on Saturday night because the Channel 4 documentary was broadcast.

Ellie Tomsett, a senior lecturer in media and communications at Birmingham City University who research Britain’s standup circuit, stated Brand was a product of a reside comedy scene that was riddled with misogyny — and nonetheless is, regardless of progress made by ladies and others to diversify the comedian panorama.

“When we’ve had a rise of popular feminism … we’ve also had a rise in popular misogyny epitomized by the likes of (social media influencer) Andrew Tate, but evident in all aspects of society, and definitely reflected on the U.K. comedy circuit,” Tomsett stated.

“More and more things are springing up to try and counter this, but the idea that it’s something that happened in the past and doesn’t happen anymore is, quite frankly, nonsense,” she added.

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