Remaining dates on comedian Russell Brand’s tour postponed
British police said Monday that they had received a sexual assault allegation after media outlets published claims by several women against Russell Brand. Promoters postponed the remaining dates in a string of live gigs by the comedian, who denies the allegations.
A talent agency and a publisher also parted company with Brand over the claims, which have left the UK entertainment industry facing questions about whether the comedian’s bad behaviour went unchallenged because of his fame.
Brand, 48, denies allegations of sexual assault made by four women in a Channel 4 television documentary and The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. The accusers, who have not been named, include one who said she was sexually assaulted during a relationship with him when she was 16. Another woman says Brand raped her in Los Angeles in 2012.
London’s Metropolitan police force said that, since the allegations were made public, it had received “a report of a sexual assault which was alleged to have taken place in Soho in central London in 2003.” That is three years before the earliest of the alleged assaults reported by the media outlets.
The police force said “officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support”. It did not identify the alleged perpetrator as Brand, but referred to the newspaper and TV allegations in its statement. Police urged “anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a sexual offence, no matter how long ago it was, to contact us”.
In a video statement released Friday in response to the media claims, Brand said that his relationships were “always consensual”.
The Times said Monday that more women had contacted the newspaper with allegations against Brand and they would be “rigorously checked”.
Max Blain, spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, said the claims were “very serious and concerning”. Conservative legislator Caroline Nokes, who chairs the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee, urged police in both Britain and the United States to investigate the “incredibly shocking” allegations.
The allegations reported by the newspapers and Channel 4 cover the period between 2006 and 2013, when Brand was a major star in Britain with a growing US profile.
Brand has also been dropped by talent agency Tavistock Wood, which said it had been “horribly misled” by him. Publisher Bluebird, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, said it had decided to “pause” future publishing with Brand.