Russell Brand was met with cheers and applause at a sold-out show in London on Saturday evening, even as four women leveled explosive sexual assault allegations against him in a TV documentary.
The comedian arrived late to the show at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre after reportedly getting stuck in traffic. Even as he took to the stage, his alleged victims were featuring in a Channel 4 documentary tearfully recounting alleged instances of sexual abuse, grooming, and rape.
Accused of sexually assaulting four women between 2006 and 2013, including one who was just 16 years old, Brand has denied the allegations. The 48-year-old took the extraordinary step of trying to pre-empt the accusations on the eve of the documentary airing, saying that all his sexual relationships have been consensual.
One of the women who has accused Brand of sexual assault said she was 16 when the comedian approached her in London’s Leicester Square and began making advances. In Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary, she said Brand appeared to have no qualms about her age, telling her, “I don’t give a fuck if you’re 12… I need to know where I stand legally.”
While she was above the age of consent in Britain, she recalled Brand referring to her as “the child” and becoming aroused upon learning that she was still a virgin.
“Russell behaved in the behaviors of a groomer. But back then I didn’t even know what that looked like. He would try to drive a wedge between me and my parents, taught me to lie to them,” the woman, identified only by the alias Alice, told Dispatches. She alleged that Brand used to send a car to pick her up from school so she could meet with him.
Brand’s agent, Tavistock Wood, cut all ties with the comedian this week after the disturbing allegations surfaced. In a statement to Deadline on Saturday, Tavistock Wood appeared to confirm they were made aware of Alice’s allegations three years ago.
“Russell Brand categorically and vehemently denied the allegation made in 2020, but we now believe we were horribly misled by him. TW has terminated all professional ties to Brand,” the statement said.
One woman who worked with Brand in 2013 alleged he chased her around his home before grabbing her and ripping off her clothes while she tried to fight back. The Times reported that he threatened her with legal action if she told anyone.
One accuser said Brand pushed her against a wall in his home and raped her after she resisted his pleas that she have a threesome. “He’s a lot taller than me. And he has that glazed look in his eye again. And I can’t move. And I told him, ‘Get off, get off,’” the woman said.
The fourth woman claims that she was also sexually assaulted by Brand, who she alleges was physically and emotionally abusive toward her.
The comedian took to the platform formerly known as Twitter to “absolutely refute” the allegations on Friday.
“I’ve 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,” Brand said in a video posted online.
“But amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute.”
“These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies,” he said. “And as I’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous. Now during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely, always consensual.”
“I was always transparent about that, almost too transparent,” he added. “And I’m being transparent about it now as well. And to see that transparency metastasized into something criminal, that I absolutely deny.”
The Daily Mirror reports that MBC, Brand’s publicity firm, has removed his name from their public client list—though it’s not clear if they have severed all ties.
Brand claims there are witnesses who can refute the accusations—and he accused the media of conspiring to bring him down, comparing his situation to the criticism Joe Rogan faced for trying to push Ivermectin as a COVID-19 cure.
In what can only be described as a double-edged sword, Brand got some early support from accused rapist Andrew Tate, who tweeted: “Welcome to the club” in response to Brand’s tweeted video statement. He included a meme of a knight with the caption, “On my way to fight the crazy bitch allegations.”