Accused of rape, British comedian Russell Brand speaks of ‘distressing’ week

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British comedian and actor Russell Brand on Friday spoke of an “extraordinary and distressing week” in his first public comments since rape and assault allegations were aired against him, but did not address the claims.

“Obviously it’s been an extraordinary and distressing week and I thank you very much for your support and for questioning the information you are being presented with,” he said on a video posted to his YouTube channel, which has 6.64 million subscribers.

“I need your support now more than ever, more than I ever imagined I would,” he added.

But he did not comment on the joint investigation by The Times, Sunday Times and Channel 4 television in which four women made claims of rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse against him.

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Then on Thursday, a woman accused Brand of exposing himself to her in 2008.

Brand criticized the British government for asking tech companies to take action against him.

Denouncing what he described as “deep state and corporate collusion” and “media corruption and censorship,” he said he would post a longer video on Monday.

In a video released last week, just before the story broke, Brand, 48, denied the allegations against him, which are said to have taken place between 2006 and 2013.

He said his relationships had always been “consensual,” even during a period when he admitted he was “very, very promiscuous.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman called the allegations “very serious and concerning.”

Sunak “has been clear there should never be any space for harassment, regardless of where it is found,” he added.

Brand’s publisher Bluebird announced that “all future publishing” with the comedian had been put on hold.

Video-sharing platform YouTube has also demonetized his content.

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