The BBC and Channel 4 have vowed to investigate claims about Russell Brand as pressure mounts on the public broadcaster to explain whether red flags have been raised over his alleged behavior.
The Metropolitan Police encouraged potential victims to come forward after the star was accused of rape in a joint media investigation. Four women made separate allegations of sexual assault – claims he vehemently denies.
On Sunday, the BBC said it was “urgently” looking into the issues raised, while Channel 4 said it was conducting its own internal investigation. The alleged sexual assaults occurred between 2006 and 2013, when Mr Brand was working on BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4 programs.
Senior MPs said so The Independent That broadcasters must detail what executives knew about any alleged misconduct by Mr Brand after he was accused of stalking viewers for sex and undressing in the studio.
The Independent understands MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee will discuss whether to bring TV and radio bosses before the House of Commons in the coming days when they meet on Tuesday.
It comes as:
- A production company began investigating allegations that he had used employees as “pimps.”
- Mr Brand was deposed by his agent Tavistock Wood
- The women’s violence charity Trevi also parted ways with him
- The police will speak to him Sunday Times And broadcasts about their investigation
The revelation by the Sunday Times, The times And broadcasts saw Mr. Brand accused of stalking audience members for sex during the presentation EFourum and Big Brother’s Big mouth on Channel 4. Employees who worked with him said they felt like “pimps.”
Another employee of the Channel 4 show accused Mr Brand of flaunting her in his dressing room. One researcher claimed concerns about his behavior were reported to managers at Endemol, the company contracted to produce the programs, but were dismissed.
During his time at BBC Radio, it was claimed the star stripped in the studio and made sexual comments about newsreader Andrea Simmons, telling listeners he would like to “go under the desk” while she read the news.
Senior Tory MP Caroline Dinenage – chair of the culture, media and sport committee – said her committee had said her group would “closely monitor” the broadcasters’ response to the allegations against Mr Brand.
Former justice secretary Robert Buckland said senior staff at both the BBC and Channel 4 urgently needed to “look back” to see if any red flags were being raised. “The BBC and Channel 4 need to ask themselves questions and consider whether a culture of alleged behavior is allowed to be perpetuated,” he said The Independent.
The senior Tory added: “It needs to be handled properly because it cannot be ignored. “The BBC cannot be assumed to be indecisive on something as serious as this alleged behavior.”
This was said by the SNP’s John Nicholson, another senior representative of the culture committee The Independent: “Channel 4 and BBC need to investigate.”
Rosie Duffield, the Labor MP for Canterbury, also said broadcasters should now fully investigate what they knew about Mr Brand’s alleged misconduct. she said The Independent that it would also be a “good idea” for the culture committee to carry out investigations against TV managers in the coming weeks.
Cabinet minister James Cleverly told BBC One Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg that he believes it is “sad” that in the wake of the allegations there are broader questions to be answered for the entertainment industry.
A statement from Banijay UK, which bought Endemol in 2020, said it had launched an “urgent internal investigation” and urged anyone “who feels they have been affected by Brand’s behavior while working on these productions to contact us in confidence.” turn around”.
On Sunday, a BBC spokesman said the investigation “involved serious allegations spanning several years”, adding: “Russell Brand worked on BBC radio programs between 2006 and 2008 and we are urgently investigating the issues raised.”
Channel 4 said it was also conducting its own “internal investigation”, adding: “We would encourage anyone who is aware of such behavior to contact us directly.”
One woman claimed she was raped by the presenter against a wall in his Hollywood home, while another claimed she was in a three-month abusive relationship with Brand when she was 16. Mr Brand denied the claims and said his sexual relationships were “absolutely always consensual”.
Scotland Yard said they had spoken to him Sunday Times and Channel 4 about their investigation and will take “further action” to ensure potential victims of crime know how to report criminal allegations.
“If anyone believes they have been the victim of a sexual assault, no matter how long ago, we would encourage them to contact the police,” police added in a statement.
Amnesty International also urged women to come forward if they were affected by “anything they experienced” when Mr Brand attended the charity’s stand-up events in 2006 and 2012.
Tavistock Wood has dropped Mr Brand, saying in a statement: “We now believe we have been terribly misled by him.” The charity Trevi Women said it was “deeply saddened” by the allegations and would no longer be involved him and his Stay Free Foundation.
In a video released before the reports were published, Mr Brand denied the allegations, describing them as “a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks” against him.
“These allegations relate to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the cinema,” he said.
“As I have detailed in my books, I was very, very promiscuous. Well, during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual.”