Production company launching urgent investigation into Russell Brand allegations

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    Production company Banijay UK has announced it is launching an urgent internal investigation into the allegations surrounding Russell Brand.

    The comedian, 48, has been accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse of four women following a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4's Dispatches.

    The Times claimed as part of the investigation that they "watched and listened to hundreds of hours of his shows on the BBC, Channel 4 and YouTube to corroborate allegations".

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    The alleged incidents โ€“ which Brand strongly denies โ€“ are believed to have taken place between 2006 and 2013, during which he was a presenter on BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4.

    It has now been announced that Banijay UK, which owns the company behind shows like Big Brother and its spin offs, is launching an investigation into the allegations.

    They released a statement which said: "In light of the very serious allegations raised by Dispatches and the Times and The Sunday Times investigation relating to the alleged serious misconduct of Russell Brand while presenting shows produced by Endemol in 2004 and 2005, Banijay UK has launched an urgent internal investigation and will co-operate with any requests for information from broadcaster partners and external agencies.

    "We also encourage anybody who feels they were affected by Brand's behaviour while working on these productions to contact us in confidence."

    The actor presented the Big Brother spin off, Big Brother's Big Mouth in 2004 and during his time working on the show, he is believed to have left his colleagues "in tears" with his behaviour.

    Two of the former crew members claimed they felt like "pimps" after he would allegedly get them to approach audience members so he could meet them after filming.

    Another revealed that she went to collect the host from his hotel room where he would appear in his underwear, suggesting they had a "quickie" before filming.

    Brand released a video statement on Friday (September 16) denying all of the allegations against him, saying his relationships were "absolutely, always consensual".

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    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've 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."

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