The Metropolitan Police has launched a sex crimes investigation following assault allegations against Russell Brand. According to the Associated Press, the force reportedly received “a number of allegations of sexual offences” after the comedian was accused by four women of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse. Brand himself was not directly named in the statement.
“We continue to encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a sexual offence, no matter how long ago it was, to contact us,” Detective Superintendent Andy Furphy of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, who is leading the investigation, shared in a statement on Monday. “We understand it can feel like a difficult step to take and I want to reassure that we have a team of specialist officers available to advise and support.”
The allegations being investigated may also span outside of London.
News of the investigation comes after the Metropolitan Police confirmed they received a report of a sexual assault that allegedly took place in Soho, an area in central London, in 2003. Brand was also not named in that report. Withholding the names of investigation subjects, as well as victims, is standard practice for the police force.
The four women who have accused Brand of sexual assault and rape were similarly not named in the breaking reports from The Times UK/Channel 4, which spanned 2006 to 2013. Among the allegations are reports from a woman who claims the actor raped her in his Los Angeles home in 2012. A second woman said she was sexually assaulted by Brand, who then threatened her with legal action if she ever went public with the encounter, and a third detailed serious allegations of emotional and sexual assault sustained when she was 16 years old, and Brand was 31 years old.
Before the reports were shared, Brand shared a video on social media denying the reports and preemptively defending himself against what he called “extremely egregious and aggressive attacks” that he “absolutely refutes.”