London’s Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation into “non-recent” sex crimes after multiple women accused Russell Brand of past sexual assault.
“Following an investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches and The Sunday Times, the Met has received a number of allegations of sexual offenses in London,” the department said in a statement on Monday, September 25, per CNN. “We have also received a number of allegations of sexual offenses committed elsewhere in the country and will investigate these. The offenses are all non-recent.”
Earlier this month, U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times — in conjunction with Channel 4 and The Times — published a report in which four women accused Brand, 48, of sexual assault between 2006 and 2013. Two of the women claimed their alleged assaults took place in the U.K., while the other two accused Brand of crimes that allegedly took place in Los Angeles.
One of the U.K. women claimed that Brand assaulted her when she was 16 and he was in his early 30s. She alleged that Brand referred to her as “the child” during their relationship and described his behavior as that of “a groomer.”
Brand preemptively denied the allegations against him in a video shared via social media one day before the Times report appeared online.
“Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks, are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute,” he said, noting that the allegations dated from the time he was “working in the mainstream” as an actor. “As I’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous. Now 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.”
Days later, Brand said it had been an “extraordinary and distressing week” for him in the aftermath of the report.
“I thank you very much for your support and for questioning the information that you’ve been presented with,” he said in a Friday, September 22, YouTube video. While he didn’t specifically address the allegations, he did mention YouTube’s decision to demonetize his channel. He asked fans to follow him to Rumble, a video platform that is popular with conservatives.
“Rumble has made a clear commitment to free speech and Rumble is the primary platform that we will be streaming from,” he said, noting that he’d be back with a new episode on Monday.
Brand delivered on his promise and shared a video titled “ARE WE BEING SILENCED!? The Battle For Free Speech!”
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).