Women’s charity cuts ties with Russell Brand amid rape and sexual assault allegations

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

A charity that aims to end violence against women has cut ties with supporter Russell Brand after he was accused of rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse during a seven-year period at the height of his fame.

Four women have alleged sexual assaults between 2006 and 2013, while he was a presenter for BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4 and then as an actor in the US.

The allegations were made as part of a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches.

The 48-year-old actor and comedian is also facing claims of controlling, abusive and predatory behaviour.

Brand vehemently denies the allegations and, in a video posted online, stated all of his relationships have been “consensual”.

Following the allegations, which were aired during a Channel 4 Dispatches special titled Russell Brand: In Plain Sight, the Trevi Women & Children’s Charity in the UK announced it had ended its association with Brand and his charity, the Stay Free Foundation.

A statement on Instagram said: “Russell became aware of our charity in 2022 after hearing about some of the incredible mothers we have helped to become drug-free over the years.

“He wanted to support our cause and raise money through his Stay Free Foundation.”

The charity said it had been “deeply saddened and upset” following the allegations against Brand, adding: “We have ended our association with Russell Brand and the Stay Free Foundation.”

On Brand’s website, the Stay Free Foundation is described as a charitable organisation that focuses on “supporting people through recovery from addiction, their mental health issues and the non-profit organisations that help them”.

It states it makes “regular donations” to treatment centres such as Friendly House in Los Angeles and BAC O’Connor in the UK, while also supporting the Trevi charity and the Treasures Foundation, “who are the only residential rehabilitation centre in the UK exclusively for mothers and their children”.

A statement from the Treasures Foundation to the PA news agency said: “At Treasures Foundation we only know Russell Brand in the capacity of him wanting to make amends and give back to women, hence the desire of his to give to our charity.

“We are part of a programme that practices forgiveness and making amends. Many of us have been through sexual trauma and some of us have been perpetrators.

“We need to take this time to process what is going on, we are talking to the women we support and will be issuing feedback from them, as always the voice of the women we support is of the upmost importance.”

It added: “We can’t make an opinion on what has come out right now. We just know him for the good that he does now.”

The allegtions made against Brand were aired during a 90-minute Channel 4 dispatches film.

One of the women claims that she was sexually assaulted during a three-month relationship with him when she was 16 and still at school.

The woman, who was of the age of consent at the time, described his behaviour towards her as "grooming" as he would allegedly provide her with scripts on how to deceive her parents into allowing her to visit him.

In 2020, the woman contacted Brand's literary agent at the time, who was also the co-founder of talent agency Tavistock Wood.

A statement given to the PA news agency by Tavistock Wood said: "Russell Brand categorically and vehemently denied the allegation made in 2020, but we now believe we were horribly misled by him. TW has terminated all professional ties to Brand."

Another woman alleges that Brand raped her at his Los Angeles home while a third claims that Brand sexually assaulted her while she worked with him in Los Angeles and threatened to take legal action if she told anyone of the allegation.

A fourth woman claims she was sexually assaulted by Brand and alleges that he was physically and emotionally abusive towards her.

While not directly addressing the allegations, audience members told the PA news agency that Brand said he hoped they could "appreciate" there were things he could not talk about during the set.

In a video statement, posted online ahead of the publication of the claims, Brand claimed he was facing a "litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks".

He continued: “These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies and, as I have written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous.

“Now, during that time of promiscuity the relationships I had were absolutely, always consensual. I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent, and I am being transparent about it now as well.

“To see that transparency metastasised into something criminal, that I absolutely deny, makes me question is there another agenda at play.”

On Sunday, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly suggested there are wider questions for the entertainment industry to answer.

While he did not comment specifically on the allegations, he told BBC One's Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg: "I think there are some real challenges where you have these very, very acute differentials in power, whether that be in the entertainment industry, whether that be in politics and we see this in the commercial world as well.

“I think we have to be particularly careful when we listen to the voices of the people who are relatively powerless because we, I think, collectively have missed opportunities to do the right thing and intervene much, much earlier, and we've got to be better at this.”

Brand was married to US pop star Katy Perry from 2010 to 2012 but is now married to Laura Gallacher, the sister of presenter Kirsty, and the pair have two children, Mabel and Peggy - with a third on the way.

In recent years, Brand has seemingly become a prominent conspiracy theorist, using his YouTube channel with millions of followers to cover topical news stories, including alleged misinformation surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and being an outspoken sceptic of the vaccine.

His new live comedy show, Russell Brand Bipolarisation, has three dates left in September.