Russell Brand called Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski a ‘shaft grasper’

Russell Brand is seen in resurfaced video calling Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski a ‘shaft grasper’ for the way she holds her water bottle – forcing her to go to commercial break

  • Russell Brand appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in the summer of 2013
  • Brand, 38 at the time, dominated the interview and skewered the hosts
  • He ended by making an innuendo at how Mika Brzezinski held her bottle of water

Russell Brand is seen in resurfaced footage calling Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski a ‘shaft grasper’ for the way she holds her water bottle – forcing her to cut to a break.

Brand was 38 at the time and promoting his Messiah Complex stand-up tour, which begun in Abu Dhabi in August 2013.

He appeared to enjoy the awkward interview, in which he pretended to do the hosts’ jobs and mocked them for their dress sense, later tweeting: ‘This is me on a mad American program. Quite funny.’

But after he was accused in a bombshell report on Sunday of rape and sexual assault by four women, Brand’s comments are being seen in a new light.

Russell Brand is seen in an awkward appearance on Morning Joe from the summer of 2013

Brand is seen on Saturday night leaving the Troubabour Wembley Park theatre in north-west London after a comedy set. He has denied the allegations, but has been dropped by his management

The comedian and actor opened with a riff on the media and said that he enjoyed stand-up because it gave him a direct connection to audiences.

‘Don’t think about what I’m wearing – these things are just a distraction,’ said Brand, in response to Brian Shactman joking that he intended to come into work the next day dressed like Brand, with an open shirt and multiple necklaces.

‘I’m distracted,’ interjected host Mika Brzezinski. ‘Be distracted,’ Brand said. ‘What do you think that gesture means – the way you’re touching that bottle? What’s the subtext of that?’

To loud laughter from the studio, Schactman said: ‘We’ve got to go to a break.’

Brand continued: ‘You need to lose that ring, Mika, because it don’t mean nothing to ya’. She’s grasping for the shaft. She’s a shaft-grasper.’

Brzezinski looked somewhat stunned, and picked up her coffee mug to hide her shock.

‘Russell…’ began the other woman on the panel, fellow Brit, Katty Kay. Schactman, laughing, said: ‘That was free, but it was great. We’ll buy tickets.’


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