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Russell Brand’s response to sexual assault allegations ‘insulting and laughable’, says accuser

Russell Brand (PA Archive)
Russell Brand (PA Archive)

Russell Brand’s response to allegations of sexual assault has been “insulting” and “laughable”, one of the alleged victims has said.

The comedian has been accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuseover a seven-year period relating to four women at the height of his fame.

The former presenter has denied the claims, revealed by a Channel 4 and Sunday Times investigation, saying he “absolutely refutes” allegations of wrongdoing and questioning whether there was an “agenda” at play.

One of the women who has accused Brand of sexual assault, which is said to have occurred when she was sixteen and he was 30, said his response was “laughable”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, the woman, known as Alice, said: “It’s laughable that he would even imply that this is some kind of mainstream media conspiracy. He’s not outside the mainstream.

“He did a Universal Pictures movie last year. He did Minions, a children’s movie. He’s very much part of mainstream media; he just happens to have a YouTube channel where he talks about conspiracy theories to an audience that laps it up.

“It may sound cynical but I do think that he was building himself an audience for years of people who would then have great distrust of any publication that would then come forward with allegations.”

She added that she was not surprised that Mr Brand denied any non-consensual activity, saying: “I knew he would. But he didn’t deny that he had a relationship with a 16-year-old.

“I’ve been preparing myself for a long time that he’s not just going to say: ‘I’m sorry, I did it’ and put his hands up to it.”

Another of Brand’s alleged victims, referred to as Nadia, told the Times newspaper that she did not “feel like a victim now. I feel like a survivor - I’m glad I’m on the other side of it. I’m stronger."

Nadia alleges Brand raped her against a wall at his Los Angeles home in 2012.

She added: “At the time, I was so depleted of everything that I thought I was worth nothing. And that is not true.

“I just want to help make a change because I know it’s not just me that was hurt by this ... When I heard that you were doing this I was like ‘OK, I’m ready - I’m ready to do this now’."

The BBC, Channel 4, and production company Banijay UK - which bought production company Endemol UK - have all launched investigations into the claims.

Downing Street on Monday described the sexual assault allegations as “very serious and concerning".

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman said: “The Met Police has asked anyone who believes they have been a victim of a sexual assault to come forward to speak to officers.

“As the Foreign Secretary said over the weekend, people should feel able to raise concerns where they have them and know they will be treated seriously and treated with sensitivity.

“The Prime Minister has been clear there should never be any space for harassment, regardless of where it is found."

A representative for Brand has been contacted for comment.