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Charity ends Russell Brand role after rape allegation

A charity that aims to end violence against women has cut ties with supporter Russell Brand after he was accused of rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse during a seven-year period at the height of his fame.

Four women have alleged sexual assaults occurred between 2006 and 2013, when Brand was working for BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4 as well as starring in Hollywood films.

The 48-year-old actor and comedian is also facing claims of controlling, abusive and predatory behaviour, following a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches.

Brand vehemently denies the allegations and, in a video posted online, stated all of his relationships have been “consensual”, before accusing the media of a “co-ordinated attack”.

Following the allegations, which were aired during a Channel 4 Dispatches special titled Russell Brand: In Plain Sight, the Trevi Women & Children’s Charity in the UK announced it had ended its association with Brand and his charity, the Stay Free Foundation.

“Russell became aware of our charity in 2022 after hearing about some of the incredible mothers we have helped to become drug-free over the years,” the charity said in a statement on Instagram.

“He wanted to support our cause and raise money through his Stay Free Foundation.”

The charity said it had been “deeply saddened and upset” following the allegations against Brand, adding “we have ended our association with Russell Brand and the Stay Free Foundation”.

On Brand’s website, the Stay Free Foundation is described as a charitable organisation that focuses on “supporting people through recovery from addiction, their mental health issues and the non-profit organisations that help them”.

It states it makes “regular donations” to treatment centres such as Friendly House in Los Angeles and BAC O’Connor in the UK, while also supporting the Trevi charity and the Treasures Foundation, “who are the only residential rehabilitation centre in the UK exclusively for mothers and their children”.

Brand was rehabilitated from heroin addiction in 2003 and has since released his part personal memoir and part self-help guide titled Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, as well as setting up his Community festival, profits from which are donated to the Stay Free Foundation.

The allegations made against Brand include one woman who claims she was sexually assaulted during a three-month relationship with him when she was 16 and still at school.

The woman described his behaviour towards her as “grooming” as he would allegedly provide her with scripts on how to deceive her parents into allowing her to visit him.

In 2020, the woman contacted Brand’s literary agent at the time, who was also the co-founder of talent agency Tavistock Wood.

“Russell Brand categorically and vehemently denied the allegation made in 2020, but we now believe we were horribly misled by him,” a statement given to the PA news agency by Tavistock Wood said.

“TW has terminated all professional ties to Brand.”

Another woman alleges Brand raped her at his Los Angeles home while a third claims that Brand sexually assaulted her while she worked with him in Los Angeles and threatened to take legal action if she told anyone of the allegation.

A fourth woman claims she was sexually assaulted by Brand and alleges he was physically and emotionally abusive towards her.

The allegations were made in a 90-minute Channel 4 Dispatches film in which other women spoke of their experiences working with Brand on TV sets, including his former personal assistant Helen Berger, who called him a “narcissist”.

As the film aired, Brand appeared as scheduled at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre in north-west London to perform a sold-out comedy gig.

While not directly addressing the allegations, audience members told the PA news agency Brand said he hoped they could “appreciate” there were things he could not talk about during the set.

In a video statement, posted online ahead of the publication of the claims, Brand claimed he was facing a “litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks”.

-PA

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