It is the opposite of surprising that no-talent comedian turned no-talent radio host turned no-talent actor turned no-talent Greenwaldian political commentator turned you-don’t-really-need-“talent”-for-this woo-woo wellness guru Russell Brand is a serial sexual predator. And as usual this was pretty much an open secret:
As her taxi approached Russell Brand’s home, Alice remembers the driver begging her not to go inside. Recognising the destination, he had started to ask questions. Alice admitted she was 16 and still in school.
She says the driver replied that his daughter was the same age and entreated Alice: “Please, I’m asking you not to go in there, you could be my little girl, and I would want someone to do this for her.” He offered to take her home without charge, but Alice insisted she was fine. “He had just such a sad look in his eyes,” she recalls.
Alice, whose name we have changed to protect her identity, now realises that she wasn’t fine. During a relationship that lasted for about three months when Brand was a BBC radio presenter, she says that he referred to her as “the child” and alleges that he became increasingly controlling, and then emotionally and sexually abusive.
Brand, then 30, sent a car to her secondary school to take her out of lessons and to his home, she says, and asked her to save his name in her phone as “Carly” to deceive her parents. Brand’s management knew that he had a teenage girlfriend and advised him not to be seen with her in public, she says. Alice alleges that Brand once forced his penis down her throat, making her choke, and that after trying to push him off he only stopped after she hit him in the stomach. She says she was visibly upset after the incident.
Brand: “I need a car to pick up the teenager I’m screwing from school.”
Management: “OK, but keep it quiet.” Great work all around here!
Many, many more acts of assault and harassment later, we get this scene:
In May 2007, Brand called Jimmy Savile, who suggested the pair could meet if Brand brought along a sister. Brand doesn’t have a sister, so instead offered to bring a female employee — agreeing, on Savile’s request, that she should be naked.
“I’ve got a personal assistant,” he said. “And part of her job description is that anyone I demand she greet, meet, massages, she has to do it. She’s very attractive, Jimmy.” This was four years before Savile’s death and five years before details of the Jim’ll Fix It presenter’s crimes were exposed.
According to insiders who were working for BBC radio at the time, complaints were made about Brand’s behaviour in the studios to Lesley Douglas, then the BBC’s controller for Radio 2 and 6 Music, but nothing appeared to be done as a result.
My challenge to the BBC is to go one whole year without employing someone who is not widely known in the relevant circles to be a sexual predator.