Billy Connolly’s Confrontation with Russell Brand
Billy Connolly is believed to have addressed Russell Brand with firm words while collaborating on Eric Idle’s musical, “What About Dick?” in 2012. The root of this was reportedly the inappropriate behaviour of Brand towards a wardrobe assistant. According to the Irish Mirror, Brand, famous for his role in “Get Him To The Greek”, allegedly pestered the assistant to reveal her breasts. He implied that he wouldn’t resume work until she complied.
Upon hearing about this incident, Connolly, aged 80, confronted Brand regarding his alleged conduct. An insider revealed to The Sun, “Billy got annoyed when he found out and gave Russell a stern ticking off. Russell is a charming scoundrel and everybody let him get away with murder on set – except Billy.”
Moreover, the source elaborated on the aftermath of their discussion, stating, “But after their heart-to-heart, he settled down and gave a great performance and filmed the scenes like a consummate professional.” Sometime later, in an ITV documentary celebrating Connolly’s illustrious career, Brand described Billy as “a true hero and pioneer” and “Glasgow’s finest trickster shaman”.
Recent Controversies Surrounding Brand
Fast-forwarding to recent times, Brand found himself in the limelight again, but for less positive reasons. A combined inquiry by The Times, Sunday Times, and Channel 4’s documentary series Dispatches brought him to the fore. The investigation revolves around allegations from four women who have accused him of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse.
Responding to these accusations, Brand released a video statement where he refuted the ‘criminal’ and ‘very serious’ claims. He mentioned that these allegations were conveyed to him through a letter and an email from an unidentified television programme and newspaper.
Adding another layer to the saga, Piers Morgan, during his TalkTV show, recollected a 2006 interview with Brand. Morgan recalled asking Russell a question in jest, saying, “I asked, for reasons I’m not entirely sure other than it must have been jocular at the time, ‘Are you a more successful sexual predator now you don’t drink?’”. Piers then elaborated on Brand’s reply: “He said ‘Yes, but I resent the word predator. I like to think of myself as a conduit of natural forces. After all, the most natural thing in the world for people to do is f**k, isn’t it? And people want to do it, so all you have to do is remove all the reasons why women don’t actually go through with it, like pride and reputation. You just have to unpick the conditions stopping women going straight to bed with you’.”
Brand, via a statement on his YouTube and through The Sunday Times, denied all the allegations. He remarked, “I’ve received two extremely disturbing letters or a letter and an email… But amidst this litany of astonishing rather baroque attacks, often very serious allegations that I absolutely refute… 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. And to see that transparency metastasised into something criminal that I absolutely deny makes me question, is there another agenda at play?”