News & Current Affairs

BBC Launches Investigation Into Comedian Russell Brand Following Rape Allegations

By Azeezat Okunlola | Sep 18, 2023

Several unnamed women have come forward to accuse the 48-year-old comedian-turned-Hollywood-star of "rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse" during a 90-minute televised investigation that aired on Saturday night.

Since Channel 4's recent Dispatches program, the number of people claiming to have been victimized by Russell Brand has only increased.

It has been reported that these people may only be the tip of the iceberg, despite his vehement denials in a YouTube video the day before. BBC is currently facing "urgent questions" after it was alleged that the father-of-two used his company-provided vehicle to pick up one of the girls (referred to on camera as Alice, whom Russell reportedly referred to as "The Child") directly from school.

"The first time I used it, he told me it was booked to take him to his radio show, but he had a friend taking him instead, so I should use that car," she revealed to The Times. Alice went on to recall the same BBC chauffeur driving her from Russell's house to her grandmother's place, too."

An official BBC statement read as follows in the face of mounting criticism: "The documentary and associated reports contained serious allegations, spanning a number of years. Russell Brand worked on BBC radio programmes between 2006 and 2008 and we are urgently looking into the issues raised."

At least one high-ranking official is accused of ignoring complaints when they were first raised.

Channel 4 is also conducting an internal investigation, with its own statement reading: "We have asked the production company who produced the programmes for Channel 4 to investigate these allegations and report their findings properly and satisfactorily to us. Channel 4 is also conducting its own internal investigation, and we would encourage anyone who is aware of such behaviour to contact us directly."

"We will be writing to all our current suppliers reminding them of their responsibilities under our Code of Conduct, as we are committed to ensuring our industry has safe, inclusive and professional working environments."

On Friday night, Russell addressed the subscribers to his YouTube channel and addressed the allegations made against him, saying, "I've received two extremely disturbing letters... listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks."

"Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute. 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. As I’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very very promiscuous. During that time of promiscuity the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual.

"I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent, and I’m being transparent about it now, as well. And to see the transparency metastasised into something criminal, that I absolutely deny, makes me think, 'Is there another agenda at play?'"