Comedian Keith Lemon, real name Leigh Francis, has addressed the serious allegations against Russell Brand. At 48, Brand faces accusations of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse at the peak of his fame. Recent investigations by The Times, The Sunday Times, and Channel 4’s Dispatches have intensified scrutiny on Brand.
The Dispatches documentary recently showed, looking more into the claims against the famous Hollywood star. Allegations rocked the entertainment industry, claiming incidents took place between 2006 and 2013. Taking matters into his own hands, Brand turned to his YouTube platform, fiercely contesting the claims made against him. Brand called the claims a “coordinated attack,” stating his innocence and that he always was clear in past relationships.
Keith Lemon, in a candid chat with Mail Online, lamented the whole situation. He confessed, “I promised myself I wouldn’t comment on it – it’s just sad, isn’t it? It’s a saddening thing for everyone. It’s sad for the ladies, it’s sad for his family and it’s sad for him.”
The backlash following the Dispatches reveal has been swift and unyielding. With tour dates postponed and Brand’s content stripped from Channel 4, the ramifications are tangible. Following the Sunday Times and Dispatches revelations, the Metropolitan Police confirmed a 20-year-old sexual assault report from London.
Adding to Brand’s woes, YouTube suspended his channel’s monetisation for violating their “Creator Responsibility policy.” YouTube said: “We have suspended monetisation on Russell Brand’s channel for violating our Creator Responsibility policy. If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community.”
Russell Brand spoke to his millions of followers online saying, “I’ve received two extremely disturbing letters or a letter and an email. One from a mainstream media TV company, one from a newspaper listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks, as well as some pretty stupid stuff like community festival should be stopped, that I shouldn’t be able to attack mainstream media narratives on this channel.
“But amidst this litany of astonishing rather baroque attacks, often 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. 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 metastasized into something criminal that I absolutely deny makes me question, is there another agenda at play?”
The storm shows no sign of abating. Dame Maria Miller MP urged a review of entertainment industry NDAs on Sky News, citing misuse concerns.
Dame Maria Miller explained, “I also want to dig more into some of the comments that were made over the weekend about people not feeling still able to speak out about these instances and particularly comments from both the BBC and also the talent company which made me feel that maybe non-disclosure agreements had been used potentially leading to people being silenced about things which are now patently issues that could be criminal allegations.”
With Russell Brand under scrutiny, the scandal prompts questions about entertainment industry practices, pushing the Government to rethink NDAs’ use. She continued, “We’ve seen not only in this case but in other instances where media organisations have routinely been… been using industry standard non-disclosure secrecy provisions within contracts that they use when people suffer unlawful wrongdoing at work. I hope this isn’t the case here, but if it is I hope it gives impetus to the Government to take action.”
“There’s been action taken to stop use of NDAs in universities and perhaps this instance with Russell Brand, if there are non-disclosure agreements involved, would indicate we need to take the same action to outlaw their use across… the entertainment industry too.”
Only time will reveal the saga’s outcome, but the Brand controversy is far from over.