Met Police investigates sexual assault as woman comes forward to report alleged attack in Soho in 2003 – in the wake of Russell Brand sex scandal
The Metropolitan Police has said they have received a report of a sexual assault that took place in Soho in 2003 following The Sunday Times and Channel 4‘s Dispatches reporting into Russell Brand‘s alleged sexual offences.
Over the weekend, the comedian has been subject to multiple claims from women accusing him of abusive and predatory behaviour, including rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse, between 2006 and 2013.
Brand ‘absolutely denies’ the allegations and insists all his relationships have been consensual.
A spokesperson for the Met said: ‘We are aware of reporting by The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches about allegations of sexual offences.
‘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 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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.