Actor and podcast host Russell Brand on Saturday posted a video online denying allegations of sexual assault, which were reported hours later by The Sunday Times, and accusing the outlet of engaging in a “coordinated attack” to defame him.
The Sunday Times report said four women, whose names have not been disclosed, have accused Brand of sexual misconduct from 2006 to 2013, which was the height of Brand’s mainstream fame. One woman claims Brand raped her, while another alleged victim, who is now 31, says Brand sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old (the age of consent in the UK).
“Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks, are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute,” Brand said on video platform Rumble.
“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. And as I’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous,” he continued. “Now, during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual.”
Notably, the allegations against Brand came from a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times, and Channel 4 Dispatches.
“There are witnesses whose evidence directly contradicts the narratives that these two mainstream media outlets are trying to construct, apparently, in what seems to me to be a coordinated attack,” Brand countered. “I feel like I’m being attacked, and obviously they are working very closely together.”
Brand, at the time of the video, said he had heard from one media outlet and one TV company.
The Sunday Times and The Times said it gave Brand eight days to respond to the allegations, and noted that Brand’s legal team responded by taking issue with the media outlets intentionally choosing to anonymize the names of his accusers, likely making it more difficult for Brand to refute directly.
Brand’s team also told the media that this was a “concerted campaign” and that there is a “deeply concerning agenda to all this, namely the fact that he is an alternative media broadcaster competing with mainstream media.”
According to the report, one woman is claiming Brand raped her in his Los Angeles home. She says she was treated at a rape crisis center on the same day of the alleged rape, and The Sunday Times suggested medical records confirm this. The report also said via text message, Brand replied “very sorry,” when the woman texted, “When a girl say[s] NO it means no.”
Another woman, who is now 31 years old, says she was still in school when she was in a relationship with Brand for about three months. The accuser says Brand referred to her as “the child” and once “forced his penis down her throat,” the report said.
Another woman claims Brand sexually assaulted her and then threatened her with legal action if she were to talk about the allegation. And a fourth woman says Brand sexually assaulted her and was physically and emotionally abusive.
Brand posted his denial video to X (formerly Twitter) as well, where it racked up nearly 32 million views in a matter of hours.
One notable figure, the world’s second-richest man and X CEO Elon Musk, seemed to offer Brand support. “Of course. They don’t like competition,” he wrote, seemingly referring to mainstream media.
Of course. They don’t like competition.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 15, 2023
Tucker Carlson, too, similarly responded, writing, “Criticize the drug companies, question the war in Ukraine, and you can be pretty sure this is going to happen.”
Criticize the drug companies, question the war in Ukraine, and you can be pretty sure this is going to happen. https://t.co/3T7GjBddA5
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) September 16, 2023