The Metropolitan Police says it is investigating a report of sexual assault in Soho in 2003 after allegations were levied against Russell Brand – as the comedian suspended the remaining dates of his latest tour.
On Saturday, The Sunday Times and Channel 4‘s Dispatches reported allegations of abusive and predatory behaviour including rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse said to have been committed by the presenter between 2006 and 2013.
Brand ‘absolutely denies’ the allegations and insists all his relationships have been consensual, taking to the stage on Saturday for his Bipolarisation tour as expected.
But on Monday promoters for the tour confirmed that the remaining dates in Windsor, Plymouth and Wolverhampton had been postponed.
They said in a statement: ‘We are postponing these few remaining addiction charity fundraiser shows, we don’t like doing it – but we know you’ll understand.’
The comedian released a video last week refuting all the allegations against him. Pictured: Brand leaving the Troubabour Wembley Park theatre after a gig on Saturday night
Russell, now 48, is currently facing allegations of sexual assaults and abusive and predatory behaviour between 2006 and 2013. Pictured: Russell Brand hosting Big Brother’s Little Brother in May 2006
The Theatre Royal in Windsor, which says it will be offering refunds to ticket holders
The comedian’s new stand up tour has been postponed following the allegations
The alleged sexual assault in Soho took place three years before the four sexual assaults’ that Brand has been accused of between 2006 and 2013.
A spokesperson for the Met said: ‘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.’
The Bipolarisation tour was touted as a show that would ‘reach conclusions from mass confusion by polling the live audience.’
But the Theatre Royal Windsor has scrubbed all mention of the tour from its website.
A statement from the theatre management said: ‘Theatre Royal Windsor will be offering ticket refunds in line with our terms and conditions of sale.’
Plymouth Pavilions in Devon also said its management had been ‘in talks with the tour promoters’ over the comedian’s scheduled performance at the venue on Friday night.
A statement from the venue, reported by the i, said: ‘All tickets will be refunded direct from point of purchase, tickets purchased from The Ticket Store will automatically be refunded.’
The Times and Sunday Times claim ‘several women’ have come forward with undisclosed allegations about Brand’s behaviour during the early 2000s in wake of their joint investigation with Channel 4 which was published on Saturday.
It is understood the investigation spoke to more women than the four alleged victims who featured in the documentary, but the others eventually decided they did not want to take part.
The latest allegations – which the newspaper says have not been investigated, but will now be ‘rigorously checked’ – follow accusations from four women, including one who claims she was sexually assaulted by Brand during a three-month relationship with him when she was 16 and still at school.
The BBC is now also facing ‘urgent questions’ after it was claimed that Brand, 48, used his company-provided car service to pick the girl up from school.
Former colleagues who had worked with him have also made lurid claims about his behaviour, including acting as ‘his pimps’ to pass messages to attractive audience members.
It comes as both BBC and Channel 4 have launched internal investigations into separate accusations of predatory behaviour by Brand towards staff and audience members during the time of his employment.
Channel 4 has since removed all programmes linked to Brand from its website, including episodes of The Great British Bake Off and Big Brother’s Big Mouth in which he was featured, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Netflix has since been urged to remove his comedy special, titled Re:Birth, from its streaming catalogue.
The maverick actor and stand-up comic has strenuously denied any wrongdoing and blamed the ‘mainstream media’ for the ‘litany of astonishing rather baroque attacks’.
BBC chiefs scrambled to investigate Brand last night after the comedian was accused of rape.
Their probe was announced minutes before Scotland Yard piled on the pressure by announcing that detectives would like to speak to the comedian’s alleged victims.
It came as the Brand scandal threatened to spiral into a ‘MeToo’ crisis for comedy, especially after other comedians were dragged into the scandal as an unverified ‘MeToo’ blacklist circulated online.
Russell Brand pictured leaving the Troubabour Wembley Park theatre on Saturday night after allegations about the comic broke
Brand performed on Saturday at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, hours after The Sunday Times published its first article about the allegations against him. He opened the show by saying there were ‘things I can’t talk about’
Claims it was an ‘open secret’ he was a predator prompted senior MPs to warn broadcasters they face a ‘full-on inquiry’.
Brand, a former star of the BBC and Channel 4, faces bombshell claims from women alleging sexual assaults, abuse and predatory behaviour – including one who was a 16-year-old schoolgirl.
But the claims from one businesswoman – who alleged Brand raped her when she refused a threesome – and another who said she was 16 when he choked her during a sexual act, prompted a firestorm yesterday.
The businesswoman known as Nadia, who alleged to The Times she was raped against a wall by the star, told of her relief that others were now coming forward, saying: ‘He cannot hurt me any more and hopefully he will not hurt anybody else.
‘I’m super-proud of all the women who have come forward. I know how hard it is, thinking ‘I’m the only one’ and ‘Who is going to believe me’.’
Among the complaints raised in the investigation were allegations by a woman, referred to as Alice to protect her identity, who claims she was sexually assaulted by Brand as a 16-year-old.
She alleges he was ‘preoccupied’ with her being ‘innocent and pure’, and often referred to her as ‘The Child’.
Alice described his behaviour towards her as ‘grooming’ as Brand would allegedly provide her with scripts on how to deceive her parents into allowing her to visit him. She also claimed he would send his ‘BBC car’ to her secondary school to pick her up.
‘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 told The Times.
She claimed the chauffeur once took her from Brand’s home to her grandmother’s house and that on a separate occasion the same car ‘picked me up from school’.
Alice added: ‘It was the same car…I knew that that was a BBC car.’
The BBC did not initially commit to an inquiry but amid the growing outcry, it shifted its position last night and a spokesman said it was ‘urgently looking into the issues’.
In a statement, a BBC spokesman said: ‘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.’
One accuser, Alice (pictured), alleges that Russell Brand sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old. She claims he would send a car to pick her up from secondary school, which she has since claimed was a ‘BBC car’
The broadcaster yesterday launched an internal investigation into what was known about Brand’s alleged behaviour following claims that at least one senior executive was aware of complaints against the comedian and seemingly dismissed them.
Pressure for police to act also came from the chairman of the Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee, Caroline Nokes, who told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘These allegations are incredibly shocking and criminal. 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.’
Later, she told Times Radio that the women who have come forward with allegations against Brand ‘need to be brave again’ and go to the police.
‘I think what matters most is that there is a formal police investigation and that if there is good cause, criminal charges be brought’, she said.
Meanwhile Spencer Kuvin, a Florida lawyer who represented nine victims of US financier Jeffrey Epstein, said American police could investigate a rape case if the businesswoman Nadia opted to pursue it.
Nadia has claimed Brand raped her at his home in Los Angeles in July 2012 when she refused to join him in a threesome with ‘a friend’.
She told how she was treated at a rape crisis centre that same day, and kept a text message from Brand allegedly apologising for his ‘crazy and selfish’ behaviour.
The rape centre also informed the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Brand denies the claims.
Mr Kuvin said: ‘If the facts are accurate as stated then it would appear that police would likely have a case.’
There has been no sign of Brand at his £5million riverside home in Henley-on-Thames, but his father Ron Brand (pictured with Brand in 2014), 80 – who introduced his son to prostitutes aged 17 – called the accusations ‘unproven’
Mark Bederow, a criminal defence lawyer in New York, added: ‘Russell Brand should be very concerned about an LAPD investigation. Also you have statements [allegedly] made in texts by Russell Brand which are not helpful for him.’
Over the weekend, his literary agent Tavistock Wood dumped him while the Trevi Women and Children’s Charity also cut ties.
Yesterday Noreen Oliver, the director of drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity BAC O’Connor, said it too had severed links.
There has been no sign of Brand at his £5million riverside home in Henley-on-Thames, but his father Ron Brand, 80 – who introduced his son to prostitutes aged 17 – called the accusations ‘unproven’.
He declared: ‘Is this seriously the most important thing happening in this world?’. He suggested dark forces including the BBC were pursuing a ‘vendetta’ against his son.
Social media star Andrew Tate, who has also been accused of rape, also leapt to Brand’s defence.
Caroline Dineage, chairman of the Commons’ culture committee, told Times Radio there could be ‘a full-on inquiry into this kind of behaviour at the heart of television’.