Brand's behaviour 'tolerated as © Associated Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Brand's behaviour 'tolerated as "Russell being Russell"

New report finds female co-workers felt 'uncomfortable' with him

Concerns were raised about Russell Brand’s behaviour on Big Brother’s Big Mouth two decades ago –  but were not properly addressed, a new report has found.

An investigation commissioned by production company Sanjay said concern were raised about him ‘asking runners to obtain phone numbers of audience members and female crew members feeling uncomfortable or intimidated by his behaviour’.

It was also rumoured that he made colleagues wait outside his dressing room while he masturbated – although there is no evidence of any complaints from the time.

The report from legal firm Lewis Silkin found that despite the production company (then Endemol) being aware that Brand was a ‘recovering drug addict with a reputation for being "edgy"… no particular safeguards were put in place to protect Brand, those who worked with him or those who otherwise came into contact with him.’

The 49-year-old comic was accused of rape, assault and emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013 in an investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme and The Times last year. Brand has strongly denied all accusations.

The new report said the comic had sexual relationships with audience members and colleagues – understood to have been consensual – and was sometimes naked in front of colleagues, but suggests it was ‘tolerated as "Russell being Russell"’.

The investigation also found evidence that staff felt ‘largely unable to raise concerns’ because of Brand’s importance to the show and fears for their own jobs.  

This is the third report into Brand’s behaviour since last year’s claims were raised, with further concerns raised by BBC  aand Channel 4 probes. 

Brand vehemently denies the claims and has said all of his relationships were consensual. Although he has been questioned by police, no charges have been bought. 

Banijay UK chief executive said ‘industry protocols, duty of care and expectations of behaviour have vastly improved in recent years’.

But he added: ‘We are extremely sorry to anyone who was impacted by this behaviour and felt unable to speak up or that their voice was not properly heard.’

Last week Brand announced he was to be the support act for Tucker Carlson – the prominent Donald Trump cheerleader who was axed by Fox News last year – on his US speaking tour. 

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Published: 14 Jun 2024

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