Russell Brand: Did he dress as Osama Bin Laden? What was RE:Brand? Did he live with a prostitute?
Russell Brand has been making concerning decisions for more than 20 years
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In the days since serious sexual allegations since comedian Russell Brand were revealed, much has been said about the numerous times over his career he found himself at the centre of controversies.
The examples are countless; he caused outrage in 2008 by leaving lewd voicemails on the answering machine of actor Andrew Sachs with presenter Jonathan Ross, an incident which became known as Sachsgate, in the same year he allegedly received death threats by being very outspoken and making a few risky comments when he presented the MTV VMAs, including calling then US President George W. Bush a "retarded cowboy”.
In more recent years, he’s become known for sharing his polarising opinions on his social media, from speaking out against the Covid-19 vaccinations to saying he believed the entire process of food, from growing to selling, can be patented and controlled by Bill Gates.
But there are two particularly shocking examples of Brand’s attempts to push the boundaries, which were at best inappropriate and distasteful, but also disrespectful - even before the allegations, which he denies, came to light as a result of a year-long joint investigation by The Times, the Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches. They are when he dressed as terror leader Osama Bin Laden and stayed with a prostitute and her family as part of a TV show. Keep reading to learn more about these incidents.
When did Russell Brand dress as Osama Bin Laden?
At the time of the September 11 terror attacks in America Russell Brand, who was then in his mid-twenties, worked as a video journalist for MTV. He turned up to work the day after the atrocity dressed as the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who had been the mastermind behind it all. Brand, who was then a substance abuser, went on to blame his crack and heroin addictions.
Resurfaced footage shows Brand talking about the incident in an interview with American talk show host Chelsea Handler on her show Chelsea Lately. He discussed why he chose to dress as the extremist leader.
Brand confirmed to Handler that he did get fired from his job as a result of the decision. He said: "When I was a crack and heroin addict I made some unusual decisions. They included dressing in an inappropriate way on 11 September.
“Now before I talk about this, remember I was on crack and heroine Chelsea, and I challenge any of you to take crack and heroin and see how it affects your personal, private and professional life. So, having taken a lot of crack and heroin, on 12 September 2001, I went to work dressed as Osama Bin Laden. Now, I know, the worst time to do it, in many ways."
When did Russell Brand live with a prostitute?
Brand lived with a prostitute and her family as part of his early 2000s programme called RE:Brand, which was billed as taking a “challenging look at cultural taboos” at the time. It was a seven-part series which only aired for one series on a station called Play TV, which no longer exists.
One of the episodes, from the 2002 series, showed Brand moving in with a sex worker called Ali, her boyfriend and her baby in a supposed experiment to see if he would want to pay her for sex after getting to know her and living together for several days, according to The Telegraph.
Other concerning behaviour from the series included Brand taking an 81-year-old pensioner called Wendy to Eastbourne for a “dirty weekend”. He went to a strip club with her and then asked her for sex, a proposition which she declined. He even punched his own dad so hard in the stomach that he winded him and tried to turn his mother into a brothel madam.