Past comments about Russell Brand from high-profile women – including his ex-wife Katy Perry – have resurfaced after he was accused of rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse.
Four women claim Brand sexually assaulted them between 2006 and 2013 – with the allegations coming to light as part of an investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches over the weekend.
The 48-year-old comedian denies all claims against him – and says all his past relationships were consensual.
In 2006, pop star Dannii Minogue called Brand a “vile predator” while describing an appearance with him on his MTV chat show 1 Leicester Square.
The Australian singer, who had been promoting her album The Hits & Beyond, told The Mirror: “[Brand] is completely crazy and a bit of a vile predator. I certainly don’t think he has cured his sex addiction, that’s for sure. He wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“He’s obviously very intelligent – but he wears more make-up than I do. Normally, I love guys with eyeliner on. It can be very sexy, but not on Russell. Absolutely no way, never, he’s just not my type.
“Throughout the whole interview, he kept making shocking remarks that I can’t even repeat. Just uttering the words would make me blush.”
Another past interview from Brand’s ex-wife Katy Perry has also resurfaced, with the pop star described Brand’s behaviour as “very controlling”, and talking about what she called the “real truth” about him that she would not disclose.
Brand and Perry were married between October 2010 and July 2012.
In the Vogue interview from 2013, speaking about their former relationship, Perry said: “I felt a lot of responsibility for it ending, but then I found out the real truth, which I can’t necessarily disclose because I keep it locked in my safe for a rainy day.”
Brand got his big TV break in 2000, presenting several shows on MTV. He went on to host the Big Brother spin-off show on Channel 4 from 2004.
He became one of the biggest comedians of the 2000s – eventually breaking the US and carving out a career in Hollywood.
More recently he has rebranded as a wellness influencer, attracting millions of followers on social media.
Following the accusations against him, Brand has been dropped by his London-based agent Tavistock Wood as well as several charities he was associated with.
Brand’s supporters include tech billionaire Elon Musk and controversial influencer Andrew Tate – both of whom have defended the comedian online.
Brand performed a sold-out comedy gig in northwest London on Saturday night, and is due to perform again in Windsor on Tuesday evening.
The Metropolitan Police say they are not currently investigating any allegations against him, but have encouraged victims of sexual assault to contact them, no matter how long ago it happened.
Music Venue Trust makes plea to Jeremy Hunt amid fears over prospects of UK’s future music stars
The UK’s small music venues are experiencing a “full-blown crisis” – with many forced to close over the last year, a music charity has said.
The Music Venue Trust says the future of “world-beating” artists is under threat and has asked the chancellor for an extension of the 75% business rates relief introduced in April this year. It is due to come to an end in March 2024.
In an open letter to Jeremy Hunt, the charity said: “The grassroots music sector is in the middle of a full-blown crisis.
“One hundred and twenty-five venues have shut their doors for live music in the last 12 months, 15.7% of all such spaces in the UK.
“It represents the loss of 4,000 jobs, 14,250 events, 193,230 performance opportunities, £9 million of income for musicians, and £59 million in lost direct economic activity.”
Calling the closures “an immediate economic, social, and cultural blow” to local communities, they said the now dark venues had been “treasured places that bond our communities together, foster pride in the places we live, drive creativity and create aspiration”.
The UK music industry brings billions of pounds into the economy, attracting both domestic and international tourists to live events.
Earlier this year, Culture secretary Lucy Frazer announced an additional £5m investment into Arts Council England’ Supporting Grassroots Live Music fund, in recognition of the importance of its role to both boost the country’s economy as well as its soft power.
In January 2020, the then Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced a special 50% business rates relief for grassroots music venues.
This was then extended to 100% during the COVID pandemic, and finally reduced to 75% in the post-pandemic economic climate.
The charity says removing the 75% rate would increase costs to the sector by £15m. They say the sector returned a profit margin amounting to just £1million in cash terms last year.
Warning that the removal of the 75% rate would “plunge the entire grassroots sector into the red,” they warned more venues would close as a result.
The open letter to Mr Hunt concludes with a heartfelt plea: “Artists will have nowhere to start their careers. The UK risks producing fewer world-beating artists as a direct result of the decision you make on this issue in your Autumn Statement.
“You have said you don’t have the economic conditions to consider tax cuts. Grassroots Music Venues don’t have the economic conditions to allow tax rises.”
The Music Venue Trust – which represents more than 900 grassroots music venues across the UK – has previously voiced concerns that emerging artists with the potential to be the next Ed Sheeran or Adele – both of whom started out playing in grassroots venues – could find their careers cut off at ground level, never realising their full potential.
Russell Brand: Metropolitan Police investigating sexual offence claims in London and elsewhere
A number of sexual offence claims relating to London and elsewhere in the UK have been made against Russell Brand.
Metropolitan Police said the allegations were all non-recent.
A statement said: “Following an investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches and The Sunday Times, the Met has received a number of allegations of sexual offences in London.
“We have also received a number of allegations of sexual offences committed elsewhere in the country and will investigate these.”
There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.
Last Monday, the Met said it had received one report of alleged sexual assault from 2003 and encouraged other potential victims to come forward.
He has admitted being very promiscuous in the past, but called the reports “very serious allegations that I absolutely refute”.
In a video last week on YouTube – which has cut off his advertising revenue – he said it had been a “distressing” time.
Brand appeared on video platform Rumble on Monday and criticised an MPs’ committee for asking other social media firms if they intended to demonetise him.
He called it a “bypassing of judicial process” and suggested there was a conspiracy to silence him and “independent media voices”.
Brand told viewers: “What we appear to be looking at here are a set of collaborating institutions that have an agenda, and pursue that agenda, even when in pursuing it they have to bypass, obstruct, or absolutely ignoring existing judicial or regulatory bodies by moving straight to punitive measures.”
The claims against the 48-year-old include an allegation of rape, and that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl he was seeing.
Another woman told Sky News he made her feel “vulnerable and intimidated” and alleged he refused to call her a taxi until she performed a sex act.
The fallout from the claims has caused Brand to suspend his tour, as well as reigniting a debate about how stars are managed and monitored by the entertainment industry.
Dr Uchenna Okoye: TV dentist died ‘suddenly’ from bleed on brain
Celebrity TV dentist Dr Uchenna Okoye died from a bleed on the brain, a coroner’s report has found.
The 53-year-old, who starred on Channel 4 makeover show 10 Years Younger and was a regular contributor on ITV’s This Morning, died on 15 September after falling ill at home.
In a statement based on a coroner’s report, and released by Dr Okoye’s personal assistant, it said her “sudden death” was caused by a subarachnoid haemorrhage.
According to the NHS, this is an uncommon type of stroke caused by bleeding in the space between the brain and thin tissues that surround the brain.
The condition was caused by an aneurysm and “can happen for no apparent reason”, the statement read.
A family spokesperson said: “We are devastated, and our hearts are broken that her beautiful, full life has been cut so short.
“As a family, our priority right now is to take care of her young daughter and continue her legacy and keep her memory alive. A private celebration of her life will be held in the coming weeks.”
Dr Okoye ran two London dental practices and had her own range of dental products.
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According to an online profile of Dr Okoye, she qualified at Guy’s Hospital in London and was an expert in cosmetic dentistry.
She was an honorary clinician at St George’s Hospital in London and clinical director of London Smiling Dental Group.
After the news of her death, tributes flooded in from those who worked closely with her in the industry.
Cherry Healey, a presenter on 10 Years Younger, was among those paying tribute.
“There aren’t really the right words to say how much this absolute force of a human being will be missed and how sad this news is,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I was so fortunate to work with Dr Uchenna on @10yearsyounger for many happy years, and to then got to know her as a beautiful friend.”
This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby said: “Sending my love to her friends and family… so very sorry for your loss.”
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