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Channel 4 Found “No Evidence” Top Execs Knew of Russell Brand Allegations

Channel 4, the U.K. network where Russell Brand found early career fame, has revealed the findings of an internal investigation into whether its staff knew of “deeply troubling allegations” before they were revealed in a Dispatches doc last year.

The probe was opened after Channel 4’s Russell Brand: In Plain Sight: Dispatches program, which investigated sexual assault and misconduct allegations against the actor and TV host, aired on Sept. 16 of last year.

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“The investigation found no evidence to suggest that there was knowledge within the channel of the allegations contained in the Dispatches program about Russell Brand’s behavior while he was a presenter on Big Brother’s Big Mouth and Kings of Comedy between 2004 and 2007,” the Channel 4 probe revealed.

After making a name for himself as a stand-up comic, Brand rose to fame on Channel 4 as the host of Big Brother spin-off Big Brother’s Big Mouth in the mid-2000s, after which he hosted his own short-lived shows Russell Brand’s Got Issues (which aired on Channel 4’s youth-skewed channel E4) and The Russell Brand Show.

Having launched the internal investigation to see whether people at the channel “had knowledge of the alleged behaviors,” Channel 4 in its summary report said “no evidence was found to substantiate the allegation in the program that Russell Brand’s behavior had been discussed in a commissioning meeting in 2014.”

In a joint investigation by The TimesThe Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches, the Channel 4 documentary indicated four women had come forward with allegations of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse against Brand.

The Dispatches doc claimed the women had been abused between 2006 and 2013, while Brand was a BBC presenter and acting in Hollywood films. The program also spoke of controlling, abusive and predatory behavior by the star, who has vehemently denied wrongdoing.

The Channel 4 report unveiled Tuesday also addressed whether senior network execs were aware of allegations against Brand when the Dispatches program was being researched and produced after going into development in Dec. 2019.

“While the investigation found that the recollections of former and current Channel 4 staff interviewed varied about when concerns around Russell Brand started to circulate within the commissioning team, the investigating team found no written or corroborated evidence to show that suspicions of serious allegations about Russell Brand’s behavior were held within the channel before the special was broadcast,” the report stated.

“No record was found of concerns being raised within Channel 4, or in public, at the time of Russell Brand’s casting in the Celebrity Bake Off Stand Up to Cancer special or after its broadcast in March 2019,” the British network added in its report.

At the same time, Channel 4 disclosed a former network employee “made a serious and concerning allegation about Russell Brand in 2009” that was not brought to the attention of senior management “nor investigated as it should have been,” Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4, said in a statement. The Channel 4 boss has since apologized to the individual.

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