Russell Brand has told his online followers it has been a “distressing” week, in a video breaking his silence after sexual assault allegations were made against him.
In a short video shared on YouTube and other social media websites, he briefly addresses the claims levelled at him by the Channel 4 Dispatches and Sunday Times investigation, saying: “Obviously, it’s been an extraordinary and distressing week.”
It comes after a Sky News exclusive, in which one woman has alleged Brand “ripped holes” in her tights and “refused to call her a taxi until she performed a sex act”.
The comedian appeared on stage in London last weekend and referred to the allegations coming out against him. But he told fans at the time there were “certain things” he “can’t discuss” and has otherwise kept a low profile.
Companies and charities have cut ties with him, as further claims have come out throughout the week.
Before the first allegations were published, Brand published a video insisting his relationships had always been consensual.
In the new video released tonight, Brand claims the British government “asked big tech platforms to censor our online content”.
He talks about the government’s Online Safety Bill, which he said has been passed. The law in question has not yet received Royal Assent.
Brand also urges people to follow him on an alternative platform, Rumble – which has not demonetised him, unlike YouTube, owned by Google, which limited Brand’s ability to make money from his content, generally derived from adverts, earlier in the week following the allegations against him.
The video ends with Brand saying – “I need your support now more than ever – more than I ever imagined I would” – and the comedian implores his followers to “stay free”.
More allegations have been made since the original claims emerged last weekend, and the Metropolitan Police has since had a complaint.
New claims in Sky News exclusive
Sarah, whose name has been changed, claims she met Brand on an aeroplane where he “seemed friendly and charming”.
He invited her for breakfast and a walk after the flight and she agreed to travel in his limousine.
“He changed,” she says, “like he wasn’t friendly and charming in the limo. He was aggressive and I felt very vulnerable and intimidated.”
She describes Brand “jumping” on her.
“The limo driver was turning around a few times because I was saying no, but he ripped a hole – more than one hole – in the tights that I was wearing,” she says.
Sarah says they drove straight to Brand’s house where they had consensual sex.
“I mean, it was consensual. I didn’t say no,” she said, “but I feel like there’s a fine line between being forced and being coerced, you know, like being in a situation where the only way out is just to get it over and done with and leave.”
She claimed Brand then refused to call her a taxi until she performed oral sex on him.
Sky News has reached out to Russell Brand’s representatives for comment.