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Russell Brand: BBC says it received five misconduct complaints about comedian

The British public broadcaster offered an update on its review into Brand's time at the network following allegations of sexual assault and rape

By Jon Blistein

Russell Brand performs live in 2020 (Picture: Getty)

The BBC has said it received five complaints about Russell Brand’s behaviour from when the comedian hosted radio shows on the British public broadcaster between 2006 and 2008. 

Two of the complaints were submitted over the last two months, after the BBC launched a review of Brand’s time at the network following allegations against Brand of rape and sexual assault (the comedian has denied these accusations). One complaint was brought in 2019, but was related to an incident that allegedly took place in 2008. And the final two complaints were raised between 2006 and 2008, and again after Brand left the BBC.

Peter Johnston, the BBC’s director of editorial complaints and reviews, said the majority of complaints being investigated “have been reported in the media.” This includes the alleged 2008 incident, which was reported in 2019, in which a woman claimed Brand exposed himself to her at a BBC location in Los Angeles, then laughed about it moments later on his radio show. 

Of that claim, Johnston said, “We have established that a complaint was formally reported to the BBC in 2019. We have spoken to a number of individuals, including some who were based in Los Angeles at the time, but the work on this continues. Alongside understanding the extent of any knowledge of that incident within the BBC prior to 2019, I am also looking at what was broadcast at the time.”

Johnston also offered an update on his review into widely reported claims that Brand used BBC cars to take teenage girls to his home. While Johnston said they have “heard accounts” that Brand had access to “a car or cars provided by third parties for the BBC,” because of the “passage of time the BBC’s records of car bookings are no longer available.”

He continued: “This means that we have not been able to identify the precise details of this or any records or details of specific journeys or bookings made for Russell Brand. We have spoken to a number of individuals who either had knowledge of the BBC car arrangements at the time, or who drove vehicles for the BBC at or around the time. No one we have spoken to so far recalls driving Russell Brand at the time. Our investigations are continuing.”

In his update, Johnston categorized some of the other complaints against Brand as “allegations of inappropriate conduct in the workplace,” including claims of “urinating in bottles in a BBC studio.” It was noted that there were “further allegations of conduct in and around the studio falling below the standards expected of someone engaged by the BBC,” though no specifics were given. 

Reps for Brand did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

The update on the BBC investigation comes more than a week after Brand was hit with a new lawsuit in New York, filed by a woman alleging he exposed himself to her on the set of the movie Arthur in 2010 and then sexually assaulted her in a bathroom. Police in the U.K. have also launched their own investigations tied to the allegations made against Brand.

From Rolling Stone