The following article contains discussion of sexual assault.
The Metropolitan police have confirmed they have received a report of a sexual assault allegation against Russell Brand.
According to The Guardian, a Scotland Yard spokesperson acknowledged that while no investigation has been officially launched yet, it had received a report of a new allegation of a sexual offence that allegedly took place in Soho in 2003.
This allegation would be separate from the four women who accused Brand of sexual assault and emotional abuse during this past week's Dispatches investigatory special on Channel 4, which detailed allegations placed between 2006 and 2013. Brand has denied any wrongdoing.
A Metropolitan Police representative said Monday: "We are aware of reporting by the Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches about allegations of sexual offences.
“On Sunday 17 September, the Met received a report of a sexual assault, which was alleged to have taken place in Soho in central London in 2003. Officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support.
“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 offence is aware of how to report this to the police.
“We continue to encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a sexual offence, no matter how long ago it was, to contact us.”
Over the weekend, Channel 4's Dispatches aired a 90-minute special shedding light of allegations from four different women accusing Brand of sexual assault and other issues surrounding "treatment of women". The TV show's reporting team worked with the Sunday Times and The Times in a multi-year joint investigation.
Brand preemptively denied the allegations in his own video statement on Friday night (September 15), where he said his relationships were "absolutely, always consensual".
"I don't mind them using my books and my stand up to talk about my promiscuous, consensual conduct in the past, what I seriously refute are these very very serious criminal allegations," he said in his video statement.
As a result of the Dispatches episode and the newspaper reporting, Brand's live tour has been suspended and publication of an upcoming book has been halted.
The BBC, Channel 4 and Banijay UK — which bought the production company, Endemol, who made Brand's mid-noughties Big Brother spin-off — have each launched internal investigations into Brand's conduct when working for them.
A BBC spokesperson told Digital Spy: "Russell Brand worked for a number of different organisations of which the BBC was one. As is well known, Russell Brand left the BBC after a serious editorial breach in 2008 - as did the then controller of Radio 2. The circumstances of the breach were reviewed in detail at the time. We hope that demonstrates that the BBC takes issues seriously and is prepared to act.
"Indeed, the BBC has, over successive years, evolved its approach to how it manages talent and how it deals with complaints or issues raised. We have clear expectations around conduct at work, these are set out in employment contracts, the BBC Values, the BBC Code of Conduct and the Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy.
"We will always listen to people if they come forward with any concerns, on any issue related to any individual working at the BBC, past or present."
Channel 4 has removed archival content featuring Brand from its streaming service following the Dispatches special.
"Channel 4 is appalled to learn of these deeply troubling allegations including behaviour alleged to have taken place on programmes made for Channel 4 between 2004 and 2007," A Channel 4 spokesperson said.
"We are determined to understand the full nature of what went on. We have carried out extensive document searches and have found no evidence to suggest the alleged incidents were brought to the attention of Channel 4. We will continue to review this in light of any further information we receive, including the accounts of those affected individuals.
"We will be asking the production company who produced the programmes for Channel 4 to investigate these allegations and report their findings properly and satisfactorily to us.
"In the many years since the alleged incidents took place, there has obviously been extensive change in Channel 4's management and commissioning teams. Today, Channel 4 has a zero-tolerance approach to unacceptable behaviour and has a robust Code of Conduct. We require all suppliers to have in place rigorous safeguarding policies and provide whistleblowing support, including Channel 4's Speak Up facility.
"We are committed to ensuring our industry has safe, inclusive and professional working environments."
Brand is best known for his stand-up comedy, but has also appeared in the hit films Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek as well as light entertainment TV projects such as The Great Celebrity Bake Off.
If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
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