The bombshell rape and abuse allegations blighting Russell Brand have made headlines far beyond British shores as international media speculate on the claims brought against the comedian, actor and political commentator.
The scandal ballooned this weekend after ‘several women’ contacted The Times and The Sunday Times in the wake of a joint investigation with Channel 4 Dispatches that saw separate allegations of sexual assault from four women.
Brand, 48, vehemently denies the allegations, which also include claims of controlling, abusive and predatory behaviour, and said that all of his relationships have been ‘consensual’ in a video posted online on Friday night.
None of his accusers have yet approached the police with a formal complaint.
German media have taken a particular interest in the Brand saga, with Welt penning an article questioning whether the prominent YouTuber is an ‘abominable predator’ – or was simply living through an ‘age of promiscuity’.
Meanwhile German tabloid Bild were eager to publish images of Brand leaving his latest gig at Wembley on Saturday hours after the allegations were made and emblazoned them with the headline: ‘Here Russell Brand sneaks away’.
Russell Brand leaves the Troubabour Wembley Park theatre in north-west London after performing a comedy set on Saturday
German tabloid Bild were eager to publish images of Brand leaving his latest gig at Wembley on Saturday hours after the allegations were made and emblazoned them with the headline: ‘Here Russell Brand sneaks away’
In Scandinavia, the media zeroed in on Brand being dropped by Tavistock Wood , with Swedish outlet Expressen pointing out that the talent agency had previously stood by the comedian when one of his accusers had approached them in 2020
German media have taken a particular interest in the Brand saga, with Welt penning an article questioning whether the prominent YouTuber is an ‘abominable predator’ – or was simply living through an ‘age of promiscuity’
In Scandinavia, the media zeroed in on Brand being dropped by Tavistock Wood, with Swedish outlet Expressen pointing out that the talent agency had previously stood by the comedian when one of his accusers had approached them in 2020.
In a statement to MailOnline, the agency 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.’
Spain’s El Mundo newspaper drew a sensational comparison to Jimmy Savile, writing that the BBC’s decision to open an internal investigation into Brand’s behaviour during his time at the public broadcaster ‘resurrected the ghost’ of the comedian who after his death was accused of dozens of instances of child sex abuse.
Norway’s VG highlighted the support Brand’s wife Laura Gallacher offered, reposting his video in which he denied the allegations on her social media – though it was later removed – while Dagbladet explained that the Metropolitan Police confirmed they had not yet received any complaints from alleged victims, but urged anyone who felt they had been abused by Brand to come forward.
French and Italian media meanwhile took a very straight approach to covering the saga, reporting the details of the case devoid of slant, but Le Monde, Le Parisien and La Stampa made mentions of Brand’s ‘repeated escapades’ and recapped how the 48-year-old previously said he had ‘no regrets’ over his sexual past and claimed to have slept with hundreds of women.
Brand, a recovered drug addict and alcoholic, developed a reputation as a promiscuous firebrand during the peak of his fame which saw him feature in a slew of films and TV series while appearing as a regular guest on various primetime panel shows.
Comedian and actor Russell Brand poses at the 26th Annual ARIA Awards 2012 on November 29, 2012 in Sydney, Australia
The allegations reported by the newspapers and Channel 4 cover the period between 2006 and 2013, when Brand was a major star in Britain with a growing US profile.
Known for his unbridled and risqué standup routines, he hosted shows on radio and television, wrote memoirs charting his battles with drugs and alcohol, appeared in several Hollywood movies and was briefly married to pop star Katy Perry between 2010 and 2012.
Brand was suspended by the BBC in 2008 for making lewd prank calls to ‘Fawlty Towers’ actor Andrew Sachs in which he boasted about having sex with Sachs’ granddaughter.
He quit his radio show in the wake of the incident, which drew thousands of complaints to the publicly funded broadcaster.
The BBC, Channel 4 and the production company behind the ‘Big Brother’ reality series – spinoffs of which were hosted by Brand – all say they have launched investigations into Brand’s behaviour and how complaints were handled.
Yet in 2017, Brand told ITV’s Lorraine Kelly that media corporations encouraged lewd behaviour.
In an appearance on Kelly’s show to talk about his book ‘Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions’, the host asked Brand whether ‘[media bosses] sort of allow you to work in a certain way. You’re enabled.’
Brand replied: ‘I think the point of the book is to explain why I stopped taking drugs, stopped being obsessed with sex, with money.
‘If you’re in a position of some success, people will allow you to be a nutter if they’re making money out of it – drinking, drugs, it’s not good to live like that.’
MailOnline has contacted Brand’s former employers the BBC and Channel 4 for comment.
In recent years Brand has largely disappeared from mainstream media but has built up a large following online with videos on spirituality, wellness and offering different takes to the mainstream media. He also continues to tour as a comedian.