Russell Brand: The Metropolitan Police receive report of alleged sexual assault following investigation
The Met Police had previously encouraged victims to contact them - and Downing Street have also called the allegations 'concerning'
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The Metropolitan Police have received a report of an alleged sexual assault in Soho in 2003 following the allegations against comedian Russell Brand, the force has said.
This comes two days after The Times and Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches revealed a joint investigation accusing Brand of multiple allegations of rape, sexual assaults and abuse against numerous women.
The investigation revealed that "four women, including one who was just 16", made allegations against Brand and also said "Brand has been accused of rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse during a seven-year period at the height of his fame" between 2006 and 2013".
The Met had previously said they had not received any reports relating to Brand, but had encouraged any victims to come forward, adding that they would speak to the documentary investigation team to ensure “any victims of crime who they have spoken with are aware of how they may report any criminal allegations to police”. Brand denies the allegations against him.
One of the woman has said she was raped against a wall at Brand’s home in Los Angeles. A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) told the PA news agency they do not have an open investigation into Brand, and another confirmed there have been no arrests following two allegations concerning claims that are said to have happened in the US.
The news from The Met comes at the same time as Downing Street has described the allegations as “very serious and concerning”.
Prime MinisterRishi Sunak’s official spokesman 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.”
The BBC, Channel 4 and Banijay UK, which bought Endemol, the company commissioned by Channel 4 to produce the Big Brother spin-off shows Brand hosted, have all launched investigations into Brand’s behaviour while he was working on their programmes.
Downing Street has urged the BBC and Channel 4 to set out the results of their investigations into Brand “transparently”. The No 10 spokesman added: “It’s right that this is looked into and I think both of the broadcasters have said they would investigate, and that is the right step. I’m not going to prejudge that, it will be for them to set out what they find and do so transparently.”
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer is expected to speak to broadcasters about their investigations into Brand at the first available opportunity. It is understood she will seek assurances that their inquiries will be carried out thoroughly and transparently.
'A full-on inquiry may be needed'
Questions are now also being asked about whether TV chiefs were aware of any concerns about Brand’s behaviour while working on their programmes.
Caroline Dineage, chairwoman of the Commons Culture, Media, and Sport Committee, told Times Radio there may be a “full-on inquiry” into the culture of “open secrets” in the TV industry and behaviour of media “giants”, as reported by the PA news agency.
She also said TV executives could be invited to give evidence in front of the select committee, adding: “We’re going to be writing to the TV companies and asking them to set out the process for the inquiries that they’re making, and we need a kind of sense of timelines on this. But we’re not ruling out inviting them in to give evidence to the select committee if we don’t feel that we’re getting a satisfactory response.”