Russell Brand investigation finds ‘no evidence’ staff knew about allegations, Channel 4 says

By Staff

An investigation into the allegations against Russell Brand found “no evidence” that Channel 4 staff were aware of accusations about the comedian and actor, the broadcaster said. In September, the 48-year-old was accused of rape, assault and emotional abuse after a joint investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches and The Times and The Sunday Times.

Brand has strongly denied all accusations while at the height of his fame between 2006 and 2013. He recently told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a YouTube video that the claims were “very, very hurtful”.

A report, released by Channel 4 on Thursday, said: “The investigation found no evidence to suggest that there was knowledge within the channel of the allegations contained in the Dispatches programme about Russell Brand’s behaviour while he was a presenter on Big Brother’s Big Mouth and Kings Of Comedy between 2004 and 2007.

“No evidence was found to substantiate the allegation in the programme that Russell Brand’s behaviour had been discussed in a commissioning meeting in 2014.”

Following the Dispatches documentary airing in September, two reports were made to the broadcaster’s Speak Up facility. An allegation made in 2009 by a staff member, which concerned Russell Brand’s conduct towards them, revealed “specific shortcomings” by Channel 4, according to the report.

The report said: “That allegation was not passed up Channel 4’s senior management chain, nor investigated as it ought to have been in accordance with the procedures in place at the time. Channel 4 also acknowledges delays in its ongoing communications with the former employee in 2023 due to the length of its investigation.

“Channel 4 has apologised to the former Channel 4 staff member for the breakdown in 2009, communication delays in 2023 and the distress this matter has caused.”

One anonymous report with “limited information” was not “substantiated”, the investigation said. Investigators also examined what was known by “senior levels” at the broadcaster, when Brand was a contestant on The Great Celebrity Bake Off: Stand Up To Cancer, which was filmed in 2018, but not broadcast until March 2019. The Russell Brand: In Plain Sight: Dispatches programme was commissioned in December 2019.

“While the investigation found that the recollections of former and current Channel 4 staff interviewed varied about when concerns around Russell Brand started to circulate within the commissioning team, the investigating team found no written or corroborated evidence to show that suspicions of serious allegations about Russell Brand’s behaviour were held within the channel before the special was broadcast,” the report said.

“No record was found of concerns being raised within Channel 4, or in public, at the time of Russell Brand’s casting in the Celebrity Bake Off Stand Up To Cancer special or after its broadcast in March 2019.”

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