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Russell Brand: Metropolitan Police receive sexual assault allegation after media investigation into comedian

Russell Brand: Metropolitan Police receive sexual assault allegation after media investigation into comedian

The Metropolitan Police has received a report of an alleged sexual assault amid allegations about comedian and actor Russell Brand.

Scotland Yard said the alleged assault took place in Soho in central London in 2003.

A Met Police spokesman said: “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."

More women were on Monday reported to have come forward to make allegations against Brand, while remaining shows in his tour were postponed.

Earlier Caroline Nokes, the chair of the Commons’ women and equalities select committee, called for police to begin a criminal investigation into his conduct.

“Several” new alleged victims were said to have contacted The Times and The Sunday Times in the wake of the claims of sexual assaults, including rape, made by four women to the papers and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme. The Sunday Times also disclosed that it had compiled a list of least 10 more potential victims whose cases had yet to be brought to public attention.

Brand has denied the allegations against him. He claimed in a video posted online on Friday night that all his relationships have been “consensual”.

One of his alleged victims, a woman being referred to as Nadia, claimed to The Times that Brand had raped her in 2012 at his Los Angeles home and said she was relieved that she and other women had finally come forward because he needed “to be stopped”.

“He cannot hurt me any more and hopefully he will not hurt anybody else,” she added, telling the paper how Brand had allegedly been “grabbing at my underwear, pulling it to the side” while she was “telling him ‘to get off of me’ and he won’t get off” before “pushing himself in me” with a “glazed look in his eye” as he ignored her demands to stop.

Medical records seen by The Times show that she was treated at a rape crisis centre the same day, while text messages between the comic and Nadia show him saying sorry for his “crazy and selfish” behaviour, although precisely what he was apologising for was not clear. Brand, 48, a former BBC presenter who appeared widely in the media and gave evidence to MPs on drugs, now has huge followings on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. He has strongly denied the allegations, insisting that all his sexual relationships were consensual.

But, as further claims emerged that BBC licence fee money had been used to pay for a car sent to pick up a 16-year-old girl from school to take her to Brand, disturbing clips of his past conduct on his Radio 2 show deepened the controversy about the previous apparent tolerance of his behaviour.

In one clip broadcast on air, he fantasises about getting under the desk of a “sex bomb” newsreader to give “hell” to her thighs and says “imagine her just in her knickers”. In another, he promises to send his “attractive” female assistant naked to Jimmy Savile after telling the DJ, later exposed as a serial paedophile, that the woman was required to give massages as part of her job description.

As pressure grew for action against Brand, the Metropolitan Police said it was ready to investigate any sexual assault allegations.

Government minister Laura Trott urged any victims to come forward. “Any woman reading the allegations over the weekend would have shuddered,” she said. “It is vital that any woman who has gone through anything like [what] has been described does speak out, does speak to the police, because that is the way we will make real change.”

Ms Nokes said that a criminal inquiry was needed. “These allegations are incredibly shocking and criminal,” she told the BBC. “I would very much hope that complaints will be made both to the Metropolitan Police and indeed in the States, because this merits and needs a criminal investigation.

“For too long we have seen men, and the perpetrators of these sorts of crimes are almost invariably men, not being held to account for their behaviours and their actions.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “These are very serious and concerning allegations. The Met Police has asked anyone who believes they have been a victim of a sexual assault to come forward to speak to officers.”

It follows the weekend claims by the four women of crimes allegedly carried out by Brand between 2006 and 2013 when he was working for the BBC and Channel 4 and starring in Hollywood films. The allegations made against Brand include a claim by one woman that she was sexually assaulted during a three-month relationship with the comic when she was 16 and still at school. She described his behaviour towards her as “grooming”.

The BBC said that it was “urgently looking into the issues raised” while Brand worked on its shows between 2006 and 2008.

Channel 4 announced that it was conducting “its own internal investigation”. This follows claims that Brand pursued audience members for sex while presenting Big Brother spin-off shows EFourum and Big Brother’s Big Mouth.

A researcher claimed concerns about Brand’s behaviour were reported to production managers at Endemol, the company commissioned by Channel 4 to produce the programmes in 2004 and 2005, but were dismissed. Banijay UK, which bought Endemol in 2020, later announced that it had launched an “urgent internal investigation” and encouraged “anybody who feels that they were affected by Brand’s behaviour” to come forward.

The Met said it had yet to receive any complaints, but emphasised that it was ready to investigate any sex crimes reported by women, however long ago the alleged incidents occurred. It added that it would speak to The Sunday Times and Channel 4 to ensure that “any victims of crime, who they have spoken with, are aware of how they may report any criminal allegations to police”.

Los Angeles Police Department said it did not have an open investigation into Brand over any alleged crimes.

Brand, who appeared in a sell-out show at London’s Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre on Saturday, insisted that he was innocent of any crimes. In a video statement, the comic said he was facing a “litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks” including “some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute” and suggested that “another agenda might be at play”.

Brand’s father Ron also hit out at the “unproven” allegations.