The four women who have made rape and sexual assault claims against comic Russell Brand could be “just the tip of the iceberg”, industry insiders believe.
Police yesterday urged any other women with complaints to come forward after the 48-year-old was accused of being a serial sex offender in a bombshell TV and newspaper expose.
Brand strenuously denies all allegations made against him and insists the mammoth number of relationships he encountered while a self-confessed sex addict, were “consensual”.
But former colleagues have laid bare his alleged predatory behaviour while working at Channel Four, the BBC and in Hollywood, with Brand’s attitude towards women an “open secret in radio and TV production”.
The Express understands a number of high profile women who have also been involved with the star are considering speaking out – with the comedy circuit awash with rumours of his behaviour.
One senior TV insider told the Express: “There have been so many rumours about this man’s behaviour and attitude towards women that it felt inevitable the lid would be lifted at some stage. It has been a case of very many influential people turning a blind eye, but now that the first alleged victims have spoken out it could finally empower other women to make a complaint.
“We saw with Jimmy Savile how a small number of brave victims quickly became an avalanche of complaints. These four women could be just the tip of the iceberg for Brand.”
Yesterday the Met Police confirmed it is “aware” of the accusations and has encouraged any alleged victims to speak out as advisors, charities and associates began to abandon the star en-masse.
A spokesman said: “We are aware of media reporting of a series of allegations of sexual assault.
“At this time, we have not received any reports in relation to this.
“If anyone believes they have been the victim of a sexual assault, no matter how long ago it happened, we would encourage them to contact police.”
Brand previously boasted: “It’s the scale of my sexual endeavours that causes all the problems. I’m a bloke from Grays with a good job and a terrific haircut whose been given a Wonka ticket to a lovely sex factory cos of the ol’ fame”.
Brand’s alleged victims’ claims range from rape to sexual assault, to emotional and physical abuse.
One said: “I think he was very skilful – making his identity be ‘I’m the womaniser, I’m a sex addict, I’m inappropriate but it’s all just a joke – it’s funny.’ It’s, you know, it’s a smokescreen for a lot more of his dark behaviour.”
One woman claims Brand raped her against a wall in his Los Angeles home and she went straight to a rape crisis centre for treatment. She subsequently sent the star a text message stating: “When a girl say(s) NO it means no”. Brand replied saying he was “very sorry” and would “make it up to her with love and kindness”.
A second alleged victim said that the then 30-year-old forced her to perform oral sex until she choked when she was aged just 16 and that she had to punch him in the stomach to make him stop.
She sobbed and he made a comment about her mascara running – material he used in a vile live performance routine about violent sex.
The girl, given the pseudonym Alice, also claimed he referred to her as “the child” during a three-month-long abusive relationship.
The third alleged victim, who said that she worked with Brand, claimed he sexually assaulted her before threatening legal action if she spoke out.
And the fourth woman accused him of sexually assaulting her as well as being both emotionally and physically abusive.
A fifth potential victim, Jordan Martin, previously wrote in a book about the alleged abuse she endured in February 2007.
She claims he subjected her to emotional abuse, sexual abuse and made her brush her teeth so hard her gums bled.
Brand, who had a brief high-profile marriage to American pop star Katy Perry, has boasted of his many relationships, including having sex with five different women-a-day.
After their marriage ended Ms Perry said: “I felt a lot of responsibility for it ending, but then I found out the real truth, which, I can’t necessarily disclose because I kept it locked in my safe for a rainy day.”
Brand’s former agency Tavistock Wood announced they “now believe we were horribly misled by him”, adding: “TW has terminated all professional ties to Brand.”
Trevi Women & Children’s Charity in the UK also announced it had ended its association with Brand and his charity, the Stay Free Foundation.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly suggested there are now wider questions for the entertainment industry to answer.
He said: “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.
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“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.”
Just hours after the allegations emerged, Brand went ahead with a stand-up show in Wembley on Saturday night – telling the crowd “there are things I absolutely cannot talk about”.
Brand looked ashen-faced as he arrived at the venue in West London, but as he walked out on stage he was met with applause and cheers from fans.
Earlier on Saturday Brand denied all the allegations against him, slamming them as “aggressive attacks”.
In a video posted to YouTube he admitted to being “promiscuous” during the height of his fame but denies criminal behaviour.
He said: “Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque, attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute. 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’m being transparent about it now as well.”
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