Russell Brand Allegations: A Complete Timeline Of Everything That's Happened This Week

Russell Brand on stage in January 2020
Russell Brand on stage in January 2020

Russell Brand on stage in January 2020

The past week’s news has been dominated by Russell Brand, following allegations from multiple women accusing him of rape, sexual assault and abuse.

While Brand has denied the accusations made against him, which were published in a joint report from Channel 4’s Dispatches and the Sunday Times, as the days have gone on, the fall-out has continued to snowball.

Here’s a breakdown of everything that’s happened in this still-developing story in the past week…

Friday 15 September

Speculation about a supposed “explosive” exposé in a weekend newspaper began last week, which was exacerbated when a mysterious Dispatches special was then added to Channel 4’s schedules.

On Friday evening, before any of the allegations about him were made public, Brand posted a two-minute video on his social media channels, saying he’d received “extremely disturbing” letters and emails “listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks”.

“Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks, are some very serious allegations, that I absolutely refute,” he told his followers.

“These allegations pertain to the time that I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies, and as I’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous. Now, during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual.”

“I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent,” he claimed. “And I’m being transparent about it now as well. And to see that transparency metastasised into something criminal that I absolutely deny makes me question: is there another agenda at play?”

Saturday 16 September

Accusations about Brand were first made public in a Channel 4 Dispatches special on Saturday night, after which they were then published by The Sunday Times.

The joint report said that the comedian and actor had been accused by four women, who knew him over a seven-year period, of rape, sexual assault and abuse.

Russell Brand during a TV interview in 2017
Russell Brand during a TV interview in 2017

Russell Brand during a TV interview in 2017

One woman alleged she had been raped, while three others accused him of sexual assault. One of the four women quoted within the report also said he had been physically and emotionally abusive towards her. One accuser also alleged that she had a relationship with Brand when she was 16 and he was 30.

As reported by the Associated Press, the women in question “said that they only felt ready to tell their stories after being approached by reporters”, with some claiming that Brand’s “prominence as an online wellness influencer” was a contributing factor in their decision to speak out.

Saturday night also saw Brand going ahead with a performance in Wembley, around the time of the Dispatches broadcast.

After apologising for his lateness, which he put down to traffic, he told the crowd: “I really appreciate your support, I love you, I want to do a fantastic show for you.

“I’ve got a lot of things to talk to you about. There are obviously some things that I absolutely cannot talk about and I appreciate that you will understand.”

The fall-out from the accusations was pretty much immediate, and on Saturday, it was revealed that Brand had been dropped by his talent agent.

One of the comic’s accusers said she had previously contacted the agency in 2020 about her alleged experiences with the performer, with a spokesperson telling Deadline that while he initially “categorically and vehemently denied the allegation made in 2020”, they “now believe we were horribly misled by him”.

Sunday 17 September

Russell Brand leaving a party in September 2017
Russell Brand leaving a party in September 2017

Russell Brand leaving a party in September 2017

After more details of the allegations about Brand were published in the Sunday Times, the Metropolitan Police urged “anyone [who] believes they have been the victim of a sexual assault” to come forward.

We are aware of media reporting of a series of allegations of sexual assault,” a police spokesperson said.

“We have not received any reports in relation to this. If anyone believes they have been the victim of a sexual assault, no matter how long ago, we would encourage them to contact police.”

The BBC – a former employer of Brand’s – also said they would be “urgently looking into the issues raised” by Dispatches and The Sunday Times’ joint reporting.

Monday 18 September

After the weekend, the recoil from the allegations continued, as it emerged that Brand had been dropped from a planned book of poetry put together by Jeremy Corbyn and Len McCluskey.

Despite his performance on Saturday going ahead as planned, it emerged that the remaining dates of Brand’s UK tour were being postponed, while charities he’d previously been associated with severed ties with him.

Channel 4, who employed the stand-up during his time at the helm of Big Brother’s Big Mouth and the comedy series Russell Brand’s Ponderland, announced it was going ahead with an internal investigation.

Russell Brand on the set of Loose Women in 2018
Russell Brand on the set of Loose Women in 2018

Russell Brand on the set of Loose Women in 2018

While a number of MPs called for a police inquiry into the accusations, a rep for prime minister Rishi Sunak said: “These are very serious and concerning allegations. The Met Police has asked anyone who believes they have been a victim of a sexual assault to come forward to speak to officers.

“As the Foreign Secretary said over the weekend, people should feel able to raise concerns where they have them and know they will be treated seriously and treated with sensitivity. The Prime Minister has been clear there should never be any space for harassment, regardless of where it is found.”

Meanwhile, one of Brand’s accusers gave an anonymous interview on Woman’s Hour, during which she heavily criticised his “insulting” response to the allegations.

Tuesday 19 September

Late on Monday evening, it was revealed that police had received a report of an alleged sexual assault in 2003, following the publication of the Brand allegations.

Although the police did not name Brand, a spokesperson said: “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.”

The police also confirmed they were providing the accuser “with support”.

Around this time, YouTube confirmed they would be immediately demonetising Brand’s videos on the platform, with the BBC removing select old shows featuring the comedian from its catch-up services (Channel 4 had already taken similar action earlier in the week).

The BBC pulled content featuring Brand from its iPlayer and Sounds services this week
The BBC pulled content featuring Brand from its iPlayer and Sounds services this week

The BBC pulled content featuring Brand from its iPlayer and Sounds services this week

A representative for the book publisher Bluebird also confirmed: “These are very serious allegations and in the light of them, Bluebird has taken the decision to pause all future publishing with Russell Brand.”

Wednesday 20 September

As the allegations against Brand became more widespread, old clips of him, as well as comments made about him by other public figures, were reshared on social media.

Many of these were then picked up by mainstream media, including one from 2013, featuring actor Katharine McPhee.

In the clip from Jimmy Kimmel’s US talk show, Brand was seen pulling his fellow guest onto his lap, after being told to allow the Smash performer to have his seat.

Linking to an article about the clip on their Instagram, the Daily Mail wrote that Katharine “looks so uncomfortable” in the footage, prompting a response from the former American Idol runner-up.

Addressing the Daily Mail directly, she wrote in the comments: “I know nothing [of] what you are trying to claim here but this specific incident was over 10 years ago and it was harmless.

“Please don’t try and use me for whatever purpose you are trying to serve.”

Thursday 21 September

Similarly, remarks made by stand-up performer Katherine Ryan about an undisclosed “predator” within the comedy world have also resurfaced in the past week, and been re-examined within the media.

During the latest episode of her podcast, Katherine did not reference Brand explicitly, but told listeners: “This is all you’re going to get from my podcast, it is a very underproduced string of consciousness about what myself, my husband, and I have been doing throughout the week.”

Katherine continued: “If you came here for anything else, I should put you out of your misery now and let you know that I have nothing else to say about anything... apart from, I guess, passing observation, when a woman says ‘no I don’t want to engage in that conversation and I have no comment on that story, no I won’t be confirming or denying or participating about anything in the news right now’, her consent is not valid.”

Later, she added: “Why is my consent totally unimportant when we are speaking a lot in the press right now speaking about the importance of consent? No is a full sentence, ladies, gentlemen. No.”

Friday 22 September

Brand on stage in 2020
Brand on stage in 2020

Brand on stage in 2020

A week after Brand’s initial denial of the accusations, it was revealed that the BBC was investigating another claim about the comedian, following an allegation he exposed himself to a woman in 2008, then made light of it on his former Radio 2 show.

“We’re very sorry to hear of these allegations and we will look into them,” a BBC spokesperson said. “We are conducting a review to look at allegations of this nature and if the woman who has shared her story is willing to speak to us, we would be very keen to hear from her and anyone else who may have information.

“A key part of the review is to understand what complaints were made at the time, if there was knowledge of Russell Brand’s conduct while he worked on BBC radio, and what was done as a result.

“We will, of course, speak to the bureau team and anyone who was working there in 2008 as part of this.

“Further, the director general has been very clear that some broadcasts from that period were, and are, inexcusable and totally unacceptable, and would never be aired today.”

HuffPost UK has contacted Brand’s lawyer for comment. He previously insisted that all of his relationships had been consensual, in his initial video denying the accusations made against him last week.