Timeline of events around Russell Brand allegations
Russell Brand was last night in emergency talks with lawyers as he faces financial turmoil after YouTube cut off his ad income. The online video-sharing platform – said to be his biggest earner – acted over rape and sexual assault allegations against him.
The comedian, whose net worth has been estimated at between £15million and £40million, is still allowed to post videos but will not receive any advertising revenue.
In a statement, Google-owned YouTube said Brand had “violated” its “creator responsibility policy”.
It added: “If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community.”
The 48-year-old is bracing himself for further allegations to emerge in the coming days as business associates, charities, agencies and publishers sever all ties.
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Yesterday the BBC said it had removed some content featuring the star from its iPlayer and Sounds apps which “now falls below public expectations”.
The corporation added: “The BBC does not ban or remove content when it is a matter of public record, unless we have justification.”
Channel 4 – where Brand shot to fame presenting Big Brother spin-off shows – has also removed episodes featuring him. And podcasting company Acast has confirmed it turned off ads on Brand’s Under The Skin podcast following news of the allegations.
Since his TV, radio and Hollywood heyday, Brand has repositioned himself as an online guru, posting about spirituality, wellness, anti-establishment politics, conspiracy theories and UFOs.
He is estimated to have made millions from YouTube. He has 6.6million subscribers and was believed to be making up to £4,000 per video.
Social media analyst Sara McCorquodale told the BBC: “He was probably making more from YouTube than any other platform.” He still has a presence on rival Rumble, where he has 1.4 million followers and hosts a regular show at 5pm, but there have been no new episodes since the weekend.
His most recent video on Rumble is a short clip from Friday when he denied the allegations against him, which were published the next day.
He also has a dedicated subscribers’ area on the online community platform Locals. Members can sign up for £48 a year to access special bonus content from Brand, as well as the opportunity to interact with him directly.
Four women have accused him of sexually assaulting them between 2006 and 2013 after a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.
The star is also accused of controlling, abusive and predatory behaviour when he was at the height of his fame at the BBC, Channel 4 and starring in films.
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One woman said she was attacked during a three-month relationship, which started when she was a 16-year-old schoolgirl. Another woman claimed she was raped against a wall at Brand’s home in Los Angeles.
A third alleged he sexually assaulted her in LA, became very angry when she complained and threatened legal action if she told anyone. The fourth woman says he assaulted her in the UK.
On Monday the Daily Express reported how a senior TV source believed the weekend revelations were the “tip of the iceberg”. Hours later the Met Police confirmed a fifth woman had claimed he sexually assaulted her in Soho, central London, in 2003.
The accusations led to the postponement of the three remaining shows of Brand’s Bipolarisation stage tour in Windsor, Plymouth and Wolverhampton.
The Times has also reported that several other women have since come forward with fresh claims.
One told the paper the comedian had sung about Soham killer Ian Huntley during a consensual sexual encounter in 2008.
Another woman said he had been threatening and verbally abusive when she refused sex.
Brand used social media to strongly deny the sex assault allegations, saying he was “very very promiscuous” in the past but all his relationships were consensual.
Dame Caroline Dinenage, chair of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, has written to the BBC, Channel 4 and TikTok to ask what action they are taking over the allegations and to GB News in relation to their coverage.
TikTok has said Brand does not receive income from the platform, where he has 2.3million followers. The BBC and Channel 4 have launched investigations
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