Russell Brand has posted a new video online describing the allegations of rape and sexual assault against him in the past week as “extraordinary and distressing” while accusing the government of seeking to censor him.
The 48-year-old comedian and actor thanked his supporters for “questioning the information you are being presented with”, in his first public comments since the allegations were published.
He has denied accusations made by four women in an investigation by the Sunday Times, the Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches last weekend.
Brand said he would return to his regular show on Rumble, an online video platform that refused to follow YouTube in demonetising his content on its site.
In a three-minute video posted on Rumble and X, formerly Twitter, he claimed that moves to block him from receiving advertising revenue for his videos on social media platforms after sexual assault allegations have occurred “in the context of the online safety bill”.
He said: “By now you’re probably aware that the British government have asked big tech platforms to censor our online content and that some online platforms have complied with that request.
“What you may not know is that this happens in the context of the online safety bill, which is a piece of UK legislation that grants sweeping surveillance and censorship powers, and it’s a law that has already been passed.”
On Tuesday, the bill passed all its parliamentary stages but it has not received royal assent so is not yet UK law.
He also spoke of the trusted news initiative, which is a partnership between media groups designed to address disinformation. Brand said: “The trusted news initiative is a collaboration between big tech and legacy media organisations to target, control, choke and shut down independent media organisations like this one.”
Brand did not directly address the claims made against him and said he would continue to speak on topics including “deep state and corporate collusion” and how “big pharma” influences government policy.
“And of course, we’ll be talking about media corruption and censorship,” he said.
“So please follow me on Rumble because that’s the only way that we can keep our voice.”
He said he never imagined that he would need his followers’ support as much as he does now.
The podcaster added: “It’s clear that these organisations [mainstream media outlets] collaborate in constructing narratives, whether it’s about the war or the pandemic, and of course there are other examples.
“It is very clear to me that we have to be very, very cautious indeed.”
Brand’s former employers Channel 4 and the BBC have both said they are investigating the allegations made against him.