Russell Brand Faces Multiple Sexual Assault Accusations

His defense involves conspiracy theories

Russell Brand
Russell Brand in 2012.
Mark Davis/WireImage

On the afternoon of September 15, Russell Brand posted a video on his Instagram account accompanied by three words of text: “This is happening.” Brand was posting the video, he explained, because he had “received two extremely disturbing letters, or a letter, and an email, one from a mainstream media TV company, one from a newspaper, listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks.”

What Brand was referring to were the results of an investigation conducted by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches. Said investigation involves multiple women accusing Brand of having sexually assaulted them. In addition to that, the report — which covers the years 2006 and 2013 — describes a host of unprofessional behavior on Brand’s part when dealing with colleagues and employees.

There’s also one woman’s account of her relationship with Brand when she was 16 and he was 30, which involved him giving her a copy of Lolita to read. (Which begs the question of whether Brand has actually read the novel in question; pro tip: the narrator of Lolita is not a good person.) The entire article abounds with abuses of power and abusive behavior in general, including the aforementioned accusations of sexual assault.

In his statement on social media, Brand denied the accusations, stating that the accusations coincide with a period in his life when “I was very very promiscuous” and that “during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely, always consensual.”

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Brand’s defense seems to be that the media is out to get him because of his recent shift into what Slate’s Lili Loofbourow dubbed “a dangerous embrace of public health skepticism.”

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“I’m aware of news media making phone calls, sending letters to people I know for ages and ages, it’s been clear to me, or at least it feels to me, like there’s a serious and concerted agenda to control these kind of spaces, and these kind of voices, and I mean my voice along with your voice,” Brand said in his video post. It feels like doubling down, with Brand throwing one more conspiracy theory into the mix. Whether it’ll be enough to work is another question entirely.

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