Police unit set up after Jimmy Savile scandal to probe Russell Brand case as another woman comes forward to claim comedian ‘switched and became very nasty’ when she refused him sex in a locked dressing room
- Russell Brand has been accused of a series of lurid allegations from four women
- Officers from Operation Hydrant confirmed that it is supporting the Met Police
A police unit set up after the Jimmy Saville scandal are set to probe the Russell Brand case after another woman came forward to claim he ‘switched and became very nasty’ when she refused him sex in a locked dressing room.
Brand has been accused of a series of lurid allegations from four women including rape and sexual assault.
He vehemently denies the claims, which were first disclosed by Channel 4’s Dispatches and The Sunday Times.
Officers from the specialist unit – Operation Hydrant, which became the Hydrant Programme in July 2022 – has confirmed that it is supporting the Met Police in its inquiries.
A national hub coordinating inquiries into historical abuse, it was set up in 2014 after the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Russell Brand has been accused of a series of lurid allegations from four women including rape and sexual assault which he vehemently denies
Jimmy Savile’s horrific reign of abuse dated back to 1959 when he raped a 13-year-old girl, before attacks followed ‘in the corridors, canteens, staircases and dressing rooms of every BBC premises’
It comes as another woman has come forward, claiming Brand locked her in his dressing room and pinned her to his sofa with a ‘glazed’ look on his face
On Saturday, The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches reported allegations of abusive and predatory behaviour including rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse said to have been committed by the presenter between 2006 and 2013.
And since these were aired another alleged sexual assault has been reported to the Met Police, which claims to have taken place in Soho three years before the four sexual assaults’ that Brand has been accused of between 2006 and 2013.
READ MORE: Listen to moment Russell Brand tells Jimmy Savile he will bring along an attractive naked female assistant who will give him a massage when they meet
‘We are working with the Metropolitan Police in support of their response to recent allegations and would urge any victim or survivor who feels ready to report any allegations of sexual assault to come forward and speak to officers,’ a spokesperson for the Hydrant Programme told The Times.
Officers working as part of the operation had collected more than 9,300 alleged suspects by March 2022.
250 of these were people with a ‘public prominence’ – making up 3 per cent of everyone who had been notified to the organisation.
58 of these were from TV, film or radio, 40 were from the world of sport, 37 were national or local politicians and a further 30 were from the music industry.
Savile’s horrific reign of abuse dated back to 1959 when he raped a 13-year-old girl, before attacks followed ‘in the corridors, canteens, staircases and dressing rooms of every BBC premises’.
Other vile crimes exposed included the rape of both a virgin teenager in a hotel and a 15-year-old work experience girl he met in the BBC canteen over a cup of tea.
Twenty one of Savile’s female victims were aged 15 or younger, the youngest being eight, while young boys – including an eight-year-old – were also preyed on.
At the time of the claims, Brand was working for the Channel 4 as well as the BBC and starring in Hollywood films (pictured last Friday in a video denying the ‘very serious’ allegations)
The comedian released a video last week refuting all the allegations against him. Pictured: Brand leaving the Troubabour Wembley Park theatre after a gig on Saturday night
Brand is seen on Saturday leaving a gig in London – the last time he was seen in public
It comes as another woman has come forward, claiming Brand locked her in his dressing room and pinned her to his sofa with a ‘glazed’ look on his face.
READ MORE: Moment Russell Brand jokes about ‘begging for threesomes’ and having an ‘orgy’ with audience members in unearthed clip from his sold-out ‘Shame’ tour in 2006
The alledged incident – in 2008 when the comic was 33 – is alleged to have happened after a gig in West London.
She claims he asked her and a friend to perform sex acts on each other – and he held her down and kissed her on the neck after she tried to push him off.
‘I was trying to push him off and saying, “I have to go, I have to find my friend,”‘ she told the Sun.
‘He was kissing me on my neck and holding me down.
‘Something in him switched and he became very nasty, very fast. He started saying, “Don’t you know who I am? Why wouldn’t you want to do this?”’
The Times and Sunday Times claim ‘several women’ have come forward with undisclosed allegations about Brand’s behaviour during the early 2000s in wake of their joint investigation with Channel 4 which was published on Saturday.
It is understood the investigation spoke to more women than the four alleged victims who featured in the documentary, but the others eventually decided they did not want to take part.
The latest allegations – which the newspaper says have not been investigated, but will now be ‘rigorously checked’ – follow accusations from four women, including one who claims she was sexually assaulted by Brand during a three-month relationship with him when she was 16 and still at school.
His back catalogue of comedy shows is being wiped from Channel 4’s streaming service and from iPlayer after BBC director-general Tim Davie (pictured) called them ‘completely unacceptable’
Tim Davie, speaking to journalist Kate Buckley at the Royal Television Society’s Cambridge Convention on Wednesday, said he was ‘asking those questions’ about whether he could have ‘done more’ about Russell Brand while the comedian was at the BBC
Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon (pictured) has said the Russell Brand allegations show that ‘terrible behaviour’ towards women has been ‘historically tolerated’ in the industry
Last night, comedian Katherine Ryan appeared to allude to the claims made against her former Comedy Central’s Roast Battle co-judge at a set in Cambridge.
In the wake of the scandal, it emerged that Ryan, 40, would fire shots at Brand, 48, about his alleged sexual misconduct while recording but these jabs were cut out of the final production, sources working on the production have said.
READ MORE: Russell Brand’s friends DEFEND him in the wake of ‘shocking’ rape allegations – and insist wife Laura WILL stand by him: ‘He is vulgar and he is offensive but he is NOT a monster’
Roast Battle was the last major television show Brand appeared on in the UK.
Ryan had previously said she told a comedian ‘to his face’ that he was a sexual predator and that accusations made against this person were ‘an open secret’.
The comedian added in an interview with Louis Theroux that she had confronted the man when they worked together on television ‘again and again’.
Brand’s back catalogue of comedy shows is being wiped from Channel 4’s streaming service and from iPlayer after BBC director-general Tim Davie called them ‘completely unacceptable’, with the BBC declaring its former star’s material ‘falls below public expectations’.
Mr Davie pledged a full review of Brand’s time at the corporation from 2006 to 2008, including the presenter’s alleged use of a BBC chauffeur to collect a 16-year-old schoolgirl from lessons for sex.
The Director General, who for a short time was in charge of BBC radio when Brand was still there, was asked whether he regretted more was not done at the time to find out about Brand’s behaviour.
Speaking at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention on Wednesday, Mr Davie, who for a short time was in charge of BBC radio when Brand was still there, was asked whether he regretted more was not done at the time to find out about Brand’s behaviour.
Alice (pictured) alleges that Russell Brand sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old. She claims he would send a car to pick her up from her secondary school lessons, which she has since claimed was a ‘BBC car’
Brand hosting Big Brother’s Little Brother in May 2006 – which is another one of the show’s Channel 4 has removed from its website containing the comedian
Brand, pictured at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre on Saturday night, looks set to keep a large amount of his fanbase despite the allegations against him
The BBC boss, who has already said he ‘wasn’t aware of the serious allegations’ against Brand before the comedian resigned over the Andrew Sachs scandal, said: ‘I always look back with hindsight when you hear things coming out and you go “Could you have done more?”… We’re all asking those questions.’
Mr Davie, in his former radio role, was involved in the BBC’s report into ‘Sachsgate’, when on air on Radio 2 Brand and Jonathan Ross left lewd message on the Fawlty Tower’s actor’s voicemail about his granddaughter.
But the BBC chief defended that probe saying the corporation did a ‘rigorous piece of work’ on the situation which led to ‘significant departures’.
Both he and Channel 4 boss Alex Mahon, who was also at the event, raised concerns that this type of behaviour may still exist in parts of the broadcasting industry.
Mr Davie said: ‘I’d echo Alex’s words that I thought were extremely well put which is I think we just can’t be complacent.
‘And this is not an issue that can be just put down as wholly historic, if I’m honest…’
In her speech to the convention, Channel 4 boss Ms Mahon said the Brand allegations show that ‘terrible behaviour’ towards women has been ‘historically tolerated’ in the industry.
She added while this behaviour was ‘less prevalent now’ it was ‘still a problem’.
Russell Brand has been accused of rape, assault and emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013, when he was at the height of his fame. He denies the allegations (pictured in 2017)
YouTube suspended lucrative adverts on his channel, he was dumped by his book publisher and agent, and discarded by charities. Pictured: On Comic Relief in 2017
Ms Mahon added that her channel had invited anyone that knew about such behaviour to come to them directly. Pictured: Brand on an episode of Celebrity Bake Off where he made an edible vagina
Ms Mahon added: ‘The allegations made against Russell Brand are horrendous and as a CEO of Channel 4 and as a woman in our industry, I found the behaviours described in Dispatches and The Sunday Times and The Times articles disgusting and saddening.’
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When Mr Davie announced the BBC review into Brand on Tuesday, he said it will look into ‘any complaints’ made against the comedian and allegations that a BBC car was used to pick up a 16-year-old schoolgirl and take her to Brand’s house.
Asked if it could eventually lead to an external review of what went on, he said: ‘I don’t rule out anything I just want to get the facts.’
He added there had been ‘deep problems with misogyny’ and ‘abuse of power’ in the industry and ‘we just have to be utterly vigilant’ and be ‘unaccepting of it’.
Ms Mahon added that her channel had invited anyone that knew about such behaviour to come to them directly as well as noting that they had set up a process for people to contact the broadcaster anonymously if they needed to.
Brand vehemently denies the allegations, which also include claims of controlling, abusive and predatory behaviour, and said – in a video posted online on Friday night – that all of his relationships had been ‘consensual’.
Alistair Jackson, investigations editor of Dispatches, said: ‘We put our contacts at the end of the programme at the end of the film and our team has spent most of the time since reaching out to people who got in contact.’
Mr Jackson told the BBC’s Newscast podcast the claims included ‘serious allegations’ and his team were advising the women to speak to the police, if they so wished.
Russell Brand’s 2009 comedy special was available on Paramount+ until Tuesday morning
The show has been taken down, and an error message in its place
Thought to be one of his main revenue streams, he has 6.6million subscribers to his YouTube channel, allowing him to earn an estimated £1million a year from the adverts shown whenever someone watches one of his videos
The new allegations have not yet been investigated or proven with the Dispatches team saying it would rigorously check them.
A Channel 4 source also told the i newspaper: ‘It is imperative that we respect the bravery and privacy of anyone who comes forward with more information about inappropriate or offensive behaviour.
READ MORE: Channel 4 and BBC remove Russell Brand shows including QI, Bake Off and Joe Wicks podcast from their streaming services – as Tim Davie launches review of the comic’s time at corporation and says his content was ‘completely unacceptable’
‘We must also ensure we do not share any information which might potentially prejudice any future investigation or process so it wouldn’t be appropriate at this moment in time to provide details about information which has been shared with us.’
The comments from the Channel 4 boss come after it was today revealed that Paramount+ has removed Brand’s 2009 comedy show ‘Live in New York City’ – following in the footsteps of YouTube and the BBC in cutting ties.
His most recent stand-up special, ‘Russell Brand Re:Birth,’ remains available on Netflix. Netflix has not commented.
Paramount+’s move came after YouTube suspended lucrative adverts on his channel, he was dumped by his book publisher and agent, and discarded by charities.
The tour dates for his one-man stage show have also been axed.
Brand’s book publisher Bluebird, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, ‘paused all future publishing’ with him, while Comic Relief, where he took part in its BBC telethons, said ‘it would not be appropriate for us to work with Russell Brand’.
The Charity Commission is examining Brand’s role at his addiction foundation the Stay Free Foundation following the revelations.
The actor and stand-up comic has strenuously denied any wrongdoing and blamed the ‘mainstream media’ for the ‘litany of astonishing rather baroque attacks’.
Russell Brand’s comments in full:
Hello there you awakening wonders. Now this is not the usual type of video we make on this channel where we critique, attack and undermine the news in all its corruption because in this story I am the news.
I have received two extremely disturbing letters – or a letter and an email – one from a mainstream media TV company, one from a newspaper listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks, as well as some pretty stupid stuff, like my community festival should be stopped and I shouldn’t be able to attack mainstream media narratives on this channel.
But amidst this litany of astonishing rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute. These allegations pertain to a time when I was in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies, and as I’ve written about extensively in my books I was very, very promiscuous.
During that time of promiscuity the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual. I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent, and I am being transparent about it now as well.
And to see that transparency metastasized into something criminal that I absolutely deny makes me question is there another agenda at play.
Particularly when we have seen coordinated media attacks before, like Joe Rogan where he dared to take a medicine the mainstream media didn’t approve of and we saw a spate of headlines of media outlets around the world using the same language.
I am aware that you guys in the comments have been for a while saying ‘watch out Russell, they’re coming for you,’ ‘you are getting too close to the truth’, ‘Russell Brand did not kill himself’.’
I know a year ago there was a spate of articles: Russell Brand is a conspiracy theorists; Russell Brand is right wing.
I am aware of newspapers making phone calls, sending letters to people I know. For ages and ages, it’s been clear to me or at least feels to be there’s a serious and consorted agenda to control these kinds of spaces and these kind of voices.
I need my voice along with your voice. I don’t mind them using my books and my stand up to talk about my promiscuous sexual conduct in the past. What I seriously refute are these very, very serious, criminal allegations.
Also its worth mentioning that there are witnesses whose evidence directly contradicts the narratives that these two mainstream media outlets are trying to construct, apparently in what seems to be to me a coordinated attack.
Now, I don’t want to get into this any further because of the serious nature of the allegations but I feel like I’m being attacked and plainly they are working very closely together.
We are obviously going to look into this matter because it is very, very serious.
In the meantime, I want you to stay close, stay awake but more importantly than any of that, if you can stay free.
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