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Friday, February 23, 2024

Russell Brand faces sexual assault claim dating to 2003, London police say

London — Police in London on Monday said they had received a report of alleged sexual assault after media revelations about the British comedian and actor Russell Brand. A joint investigation by The Times, Sunday Times and Channel 4 television on Saturday published claims from four women of rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse against Brand.

Brand, 48, strongly denied the allegations, stemming from incidents which are said to have taken place between 2006 and 2013, in a video statement released Friday night.

He maintained that his relationships have always been “consensual,” even during a period when he admitted being “very, very promiscuous.”

The Times and Sunday Times on Monday said more women had come forward to make claims about his behavior in the early 2000s, without giving further details.

The revelations come amid criticism of how sexual assault cases are handled in the criminal justice system in the U.K., as well as how media organizations have handled similar accusations of inappropriate behavior by big-name stars. One of the organizations hit hardest by such allegations has been the Metropolitan Police itself, after a serving officer was convicted of the 2021 rape and murder of a young woman in London.

In a short statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “On Sunday September 17, the Met received a report of a sexual assault which was alleged to have taken place in Soho in central London in 2003,” adding that police were “in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support.”

The force said it had been in touch with the newspapers and the documentary makers at 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.”

Brand’s former employers the BBC and Channel 4, as well as a production company, have launched their own investigations into the claims.

According to the newspapers and the documentary, Brand allegedly raped one woman in his Los Angeles home. Another claims that he assaulted her during a three-month relationship when she was 16 and still at school.

Brand became known internationally as the former husband of pop star Katy Perry after forging a career as a stand-up comedian, with near-the-knuckle routines, often about drugs and sex.

He presented on television reality shows and played rock star Aldous Snow in the 2008 film “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and its 2010 sequel “Get Him to the Greek.”

In recent years he has become a prominent conspiracy theorist, using his YouTube channel to question the COVID-19 pandemic to his nearly seven million followers. He has argued that the global pandemic was a cover-up by the global elite to enforce radical social change.

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