English actor and comedian Russell Brand has been accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse by five victims, four of whom remain anonymous. The allegations date back to a period between 2006 and 2013, when Brand was at the peak of his career and married to singer Katy Perry. The allegations emerged during a joint investigation by the Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches, which was shown in a documentary on Saturday 16 September.
One of the alleged cases of abuse allegedly occurred when Brand was 31 years old and the victim was a 16-year-old student. Allegations of emotional abuse and control during their three-month relationship were confirmed by one of the women, followed by statements from four other victims. However, Brand denied all accusations and declared his complete innocence. After initial silence from the press, he posted a video on his social networks responding to the allegations. He admitted that during that period he was promiscuous, but assured that all his relationships were consensual.
In the video, Brand also mentions his marriage to Katy Perry, which lasted only 14 months. Perry initially blamed herself for the divorce, but later referred to Brand’s “abusive and controlling” behavior towards her. Those statements may now have a darker meaning in light of the allegations against him.
The brand is known for its political activism and social media posts on spirituality, health, and interviews. He has also worked on issues such as drug rehabilitation and mental illness awareness. It will be interesting to see how these allegations affect his reputation and involvement going forward.