Thursday, September 21, 2023 – A police unit is set to probe the Russell Brand case after another woman came forward to claim the British comedian ‘switched and became very nasty’ when she refused him sex in a locked dressing room.
Brand has been accused of a series of lurid allegations from four women including rape and sexual assault. He vehemently denies the claims, which were first disclosed by Channel 4’s Dispatches and The Sunday Times.
Officers from the specialist unit – Operation Hydrant, which became the Hydrant Programme in July 2022 – have confirmed that it is supporting the Met Police in its inquiries.
A national hub coordinating inquiries into historical abuse, it was set up in 2014 after the Jimmy Savile scandal.
On Saturday, The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches reported allegations of abusive and predatory behaviour including rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse said to have been committed by the presenter between 2006 and 2013.
And since these were aired another alleged sexual assault has been reported to the Met Police, which claims to have taken place in Soho three years before the four sexual assaults that Brand has been accused of between 2006 and 2013.
‘We are working with the Metropolitan Police in support of their response to recent allegations and would urge any victim or survivor who feels ready to report any allegations of sexual assault to come forward and speak to officers,’ a spokesperson for the Hydrant Programme told The Times.
Officers working as part of the operation had collected more than 9,300 alleged suspects by March 2022.
250 of these were people with a ‘public prominence’ – making up 3 per cent of everyone who had been notified to the organisation.
58 of these were from TV, film, or radio, 40 were from the world of sport, 37 were national or local politicians and a further 30 were from the music industry.
Savile’s horrific reign of abuse dated back to 1959 when he raped a 13-year-old girl before attacks followed ‘in the corridors, canteens, staircases and dressing rooms of every BBC premises’.
Other vile crimes exposed included the rape of both a virgin teenager in a hotel and a 15-year-old work experience girl he met in the BBC canteen over a cup of tea.
Twenty-one of Savile’s female victims were aged 15 or younger, the youngest being eight, while young boys including an eight-year-old – were also preyed on.
It comes as another woman has come forward, claiming Brand locked her in his dressing room and pinned her to his sofa with a ‘glazed’ look on his face.
The alleged incident – in 2008 when the comic was 33 – is alleged to have happened after a gig in West London.
She claims he asked her and a friend to perform sex acts on each other – and he held her down and kissed her on the neck after she tried to push him off.
‘I was trying to push him off and saying, “I have to go, I have to find my friend,”‘ she told the Sun.
‘He was kissing me on my neck and holding me down.
‘Something in him switched and he became very nasty, very fast. He started saying, “Don’t you know who I am? Why wouldn’t you want to do this?”’
The Times and Sunday Times claim ‘several women’ have come forward with undisclosed allegations about Brand’s behaviour during the early 2000s in the wake of their joint investigation with Channel 4 which was published on Saturday.