London police said on Monday that they had received an allegation of sexual assault involving UK comedian and actor Russell Brand.
The police statement followed allegations published by The Sunday Times newspaper and the Channel 4 broadcaster, which reported that four women had accused Brand of sexual assault between 2006 and 2013, including a rape allegedly committed in his Los Angeles home.
Brand has denied the accusations, claiming that all his sexual relationships had been “entirely consensual.”
The comedian came to prominence as a commentator for the reality show Big Brother. He went on to play major roles in the US films “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” in 2008 and “Get Him to the Greek” in 2010, and was briefly married to singer Katy Perry.
More recently, Brand has garnered a following as a political commentator and video blogger, with some of his videos featuring COVID-19 conspiracy theories and misinformation on vaccines.
What did police say?
Police said that since the media reports were published, they had received testimony of an assault alleged to have taken place in the central London neighborhood of Soho in 2003.
“Officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support,” the Metropolitan Police statement said.
“We first spoke with The Sunday Times on Saturday, 16 September and have since made further approaches to The Sunday Times and Channel 4 to ensure that anyone who believes they have been the victim of a sexual offense is aware of how to report this to the police.”
Three of Brand’s former employers — the BBC, Chanel 4 and the Banijay UK production company — have launched investigations into the claims.
Brand performances canceled, postponed
The comedian was due to perform a stand-up routine at the Theatre Royal Windsor on Tuesday, a show which has now been canceled.
Brand’s tour promoters said in a statement they were postponing additional performances.
“We are postponing these few remaining addiction charity fundraiser shows, we don’t like doing it — but we know you’ll understand,” the statement said.
Brand has also been dropped by talent agency Tavistock Wood, which said it had been “horribly misled” by him. The Bluebird publisher said it had decided to “pause” future collaboration with the comedian.
sdi/msh (Reuters, AP, AFP)