Accused of several rapes and sexual assaults, British actor and host Russell Brand came out of his silence Friday night by posting a video on Youtube and X (new name of Twitter). In this intervention, he describes "the week as extraordinary and trying", without alluding to the facts of which he is accused. And suggests that the media relentlessness against him was a conspiracy.
"Obviously it's been an amazing and painful week, and I thank you so much for your support and for questioning the information presented to you," he said in a video posted on his YouTube channel, which has 6.64 million subscribers. "I need your support more than ever, more than I ever imagined," he added, without commenting on the joint investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4 published last week.
In this investigation, four women accused him of rape, sexual assault and psychological violence. On Thursday, a woman accused him of exhibitionism in 2008.
The provocative comedian who turned anti-establishment guru has criticised the British government for asking tech giants to take action against him. "The law in which this censorship is part allows for extensive state surveillance," he laments. The star of the comedy Without Sarh, nothing goes! has railed against "collusion between the deep state and corporations" and "corruption and media censorship," indicating that he will release a longer video on Monday.
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Russell Brand has been particularly aggressive against the Trusted News Initiative, a partnership of international news organizations aimed at combating disinformation. "Trust is the last thing you should offer," the comedian said, saying the group's goal was to "target, control, stifle and shut down independent media organizations."
The 48-year-old artist has strongly rejected accusations from at least five women. He claims that his relations were always "consensual", even during a period when he admitted to being "very, very shameful".
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's official spokesman called the allegations "very serious and concerning," adding that the leader "has made it clear that there should never be a place for harassment, no matter where it occurs."
Several companies and charities cut ties with the presenter. His publisher Bluebird announced that "all future posts" with the comedian had been suspended, and video-sharing platform YouTube also demonetized its content. Russell Brand has also asked his fans to follow him on an alternative video platform, Rumble.