Russell Brand: ‘Alice’ says she feels 'insulted' by Brand's denial of abuse allegations on BBC Woman's Hour

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 show, ‘Alice’ also said ‘'this is just the tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to allegations against Brand

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The woman known as ‘Alice’ who says comedian Russell Brand groomed her and then assaulted her during a relationship they had when she was 16 and he was 30, has said it is “insulting” that he has denied the allegations against him.

The woman, who is now in her 30s, was speaking on Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 earlier today (Monday 18 September). She also said that she expected him to deny all the allegations, which include rape, sexual assaults and abuse.

Referring to the video he broadcast on his social media channels on Friday night (15 September) to deny what were then undisclosed “criminal allegations” ahead of The Times publishing its article and the Dispatches documentary being aired on Channel 4 on Saturday (16 September), she added: “I expected him to do something outside of the usual press release or statement via a publicist or drafted by a lawyer. What I’ve been preparing myself for a long time is that he’s not just going to say ‘sorry, I did it’ and put his hands up to it.”

‘Alice’ also said it felt “surreal” to see her story everywhere” and admitted she thought it was “something that would never be realised” but said “it feels like it was a long time in the coming." She added: “I can’t say that I’m glad because it’s been an unpleasant experience but I hope that we can have conversations that can lead to protecting people in the future.”

The Times have revealed that more people have come forward to speak to them about claims against Brand since the airing of the documentary, which is called Russell Brand: In Plain Sight, and ‘Alice’ said this does not surprise her as Brand’s alleged abuse is “the biggest open secret going”.

She said: “You don’t have to be an investigative journalist to have conversations with somebody who has an awful experience with him, or somebody [who] knows something. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

‘There was exceptions made for him and we need to ask ourselves why’

Alice, whose words were voiced by an actor during the interview, had already told The Times that her relationship with Brand lasted for about three months when he was a BBC radio presenter, and that he referred to her as “the child” and alleges that he became increasingly controlling, and then emotionally and sexually abusive. She also alleges that a chauffeur BBC car was sent to her school to collect her to take her back to Brand’s home. She told Woman’s Hour host Emma Barnett that she knew it was a BBC car because she had seen them previously.

When asked about questions she would like the BBC to answer, she said: “I’d like to know why more wasn’t done at the time. He had a very well-known record of doing things that were inappropriate on the air, having inappropriate conversations. I don’t think he was being held to the same standards as other presenters. There was exceptions and allowances made for him and we need to ask ourselves why.”

During the 20-minute interview, she also said that Brand’s agent at the time was aware of the relationship, and talks were had with his team regarding how their public appearances together could be explained before it was decided that the pair should stay inside, away from view.

 “After a few days his agent told him not to be seen out and about because they said it wasn’t a good look for him and his career. There was some kind of discussions . . . ‘maybe we can say she’s your goddaughter. We can’t say she’s a niece because people know you’re an only child’ . . . Then it was ‘well, why don’t you just stay inside’ and then we only met within the four walls of his room. They were advising him that ‘you’re not doing anything illegal, but because people would disapprove, just don’t risk being seen out and about publicly’.”

A spokesman for John Noel management, who represented Brand from 2002 to 2017, said that "for legal reasons on which they cannot elaborate" they were not in a position to respond to questions.

She also said that her mum tried to stop the relationship, but that “there was nothing she could do to protect her” because she was legally allowed to be with Brand, even though he was almost twice her age. She also said that Brand “groomed” her and told how to make sure their communication was undetected by her parents.

She said: “My mum did try. She followed all those motherly impulses; she took my phone away, she grounded me, she would try to keep me confined to the house.  But, I’m 16 years old so she can’t do that indefinitely. I need to go to school, I need to see my friends . . . and then it was within those times that I would sneak off and see him. Russell groomed me and told me to save his number in my phone under a different name so that nothing’s flagged when there’s messages coming up. He coached me in what to say to my parents. My mum had breakdowns about it and people would say ‘well, just call the police’, but then what - I was legally allowed to be there.”

The woman known as 'Alice', who says she was assaulted by Russell Brand at the age of 16, has spoken to BBC Woman's Hour. Image of an actor. Photo by Adobe Photos.The woman known as 'Alice', who says she was assaulted by Russell Brand at the age of 16, has spoken to BBC Woman's Hour. Image of an actor. Photo by Adobe Photos.
The woman known as 'Alice', who says she was assaulted by Russell Brand at the age of 16, has spoken to BBC Woman's Hour. Image of an actor. Photo by Adobe Photos.

‘He knew it was coming for a long time’

Commenting further on Brand’s video, in which he said he  believes he is a part of a “co-ordinated attack” from the mainstream media, she said it was “laughable”  that he would even imply that this is some kind of mainstream media conspiracy.

She added: “He’s not outside the mainstream. He did a Universal Pictures movie last year, he did Minions, a children’s movie, he’s very much part of the mainstream media. He just happens to have a Youtube channel where he talks about conspiracy theories to an audience that laps it up.”

Brand has gathered a following of people across his social media platforms, including X, Youtube and Rumble, where gained a reputation for speaking about various conspiracy theories he believes in. He’s caused controversy in the past, for example, by sharing Covid-19 conspiracy theories. ‘Alice’ said she believes this was intentional.

“It may sound cynical but I do think that he was building himself an audience for years of people that would then have great distrust of any publication that came forward with allegations. He knew it was coming for a long time and then, as for him denying that anything non-consensual happened, that’s not a surprise to me. These men always deny any of these allegations brought to them, I knew he would.”

‘I don’t have confidence that things are changing’

‘Alice’ said that she went on to work in television herself later in her life, but that she found herself talking about Brand and his inappropriate behaviour in her professional role. This, she said, was even after various revelations had been made about shocking and criminal behaviour by people in postions of power, such as Operation Yewtree, which was a police investigation into sexual abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile and others. Because of this, she does not believe changes have been made when it comes to the behaviour of some stars and what happens if allegations are made.

She said: “I’m not sure across all television companies and across all media organisations if things have changed. We went through operation Yewtree and several revelations and then, after that, I was working in television and I was party to conversations about employing Russell on a TV show and taking women off those shows too so that he didn’t assault them because he had done before. 

“This was post-Yewtree, post-Saville so I don’t have confidence that things are changing. I think we have these moments, these little landmarks in history of people coming forward, and it feels like there’s going to be a big movement and it maybe lasts a few months, and then we sort of slip back into our old ways.”

When asked which organisation had discussed removing women from a show so that Brand could be employed she named Channel 4. Channel 4 said in a statement that they were "appalled to learn of these deeply troubling allegations" and said they would also be investigating.

Comedian Russell Brand 'absolutely' denied the allegations in a video Picture: PAComedian Russell Brand 'absolutely' denied the allegations in a video Picture: PA
Comedian Russell Brand 'absolutely' denied the allegations in a video Picture: PA

‘I can’t even imagine finding 16-year-olds sexually attractive’

Now in her thirties herself, ‘Alice’, who said during the interview that she “felt used up, cheap [and] dirtied” by her relationship with Brand, is calling for the law around the age of consent to be changed. Currently, anyone aged 16 or over in the UK is legally allowed to have sex and, as long as encounters between two people are consensual, then it is legal. Factors such as the age difference between the two people or the fact that those aged 18 and over are legally viewed as adults while 16 and 17-year-olds are viewed as minors, are not taken into account, and ‘Alice’ would like to see that change.

She said that she “can’t even imagine finding them [16-year-olds] sexually attractive” and also that she “can’t imagine thinking of them as a potential mate in any way”. She added: “The only feelings I have towards them are maternal protective feelings, I couldn’t even imagine. .  . you just don’t even put them into that category in your head.”

She said that as she got older herself and got to around the age that Brand was when he started a relationship with her, that’s when she “really started to feel angry”. Speaking further about how teenagers differ from adults, she said: ““Your brain isn’t fully developed [as a teenager] and you don’t have the capacity to understand what adult relationships entail. You don’t have a voice yet to advocate for yourself because you haven’t had these experiences yet so it’s very difficult to say that it’s appropriate in any way for a 16-year-old to be with a 30-year-old.”

Calling for a change in the law relating to age of consent, she said that she thought the idea of staggered ages of consent should be discussed. She added: “There’s a reasonable argument that individuals between the ages of 16 and 18 can have relations with people within that same age bracket so that we don’t have adults exploiting a 16/17-year-olds capacity for sexual determination. You’re allowed to make mistakes as a teenager, they should be with other people your own age and they shouldn’t be able to be manipulated by somebody that might have ulterior motives.”