The BBC announced on Sunday that it is conducting an urgent investigation into allegations of sexual assault made against Russell Brand, a British comedian and actor who previously worked for the broadcaster. Brand, 48, who was once married to U.S. singer Katy Perry, was employed by the BBC for radio programs from 2006 to 2008.
He has vehemently denied unspecified “very serious criminal allegations” that were raised against him just hours before accusations of sexual assault, including rape, were published by the Sunday Times newspaper and later broadcast on Channel 4 television.
According to reports from The Times and the documentary show Dispatches, the alleged incidents occurred between 2006 and 2013.
One woman has accused Brand of rape, while another alleges that he assaulted her when she was just 16 and still in school.
The paper also noted that two of the accusers claim the incidents took place in Los Angeles.
A BBC spokesperson released a statement acknowledging the gravity of the allegations, stating, “The documentary and associated reports contained serious allegations, spanning a number of years.
Russell Brand worked on BBC radio programs between 2006 and 2008, and we are urgently looking into the issues raised.”
Banijay UK, the production company responsible for a television show previously hosted by Brand, also initiated an internal investigation in response to the allegations.
They expressed concern over the “serious misconduct” alleged in the Dispatches and Times/Sunday Times investigations, which pertain to Brand’s behavior while presenting shows produced by Endemol in 2004 and 2005.
In response to the allegations, women’s charity Trevi, which supports individuals affected by violence and abuse, severed its ties with Brand.
Additionally, Tavistock Wood, a talent agency, announced the termination of all professional associations with the comedian, stating that they had been misled by his previous denials.
As of now, London’s Metropolitan Police have not received any reports related to these allegations.
However, they encouraged anyone who believes they have been a victim of sexual assault, regardless of when it occurred, to come forward and contact the police.
The situation surrounding Russell Brand continues to evolve as investigations and reactions unfold.