Russell Brand

Concerns about Russell Brand‘s behaviour while hosting Big Brother spin-off programmes were “not adequately addressed”, an investigation has found.

The comedian and actor presented shows including Big Brother’s Big Mouth and Big Brother’s Celebrity Hijack on Channel 4 between 2004 and 2008.

An investigation by production company Banijay UK has said managers were alerted to allegations that Brand asked staff to get audience members’ phone numbers, and that his behaviour made female crew members feel uncomfortable or intimidated.

However, the production company said that no formal complaints were made and the concerns were “not properly escalated”.

Banijay said (via BBC News): “We are extremely sorry to anyone who was impacted by this behaviour and felt unable to speak up or that their voice was not properly heard.”

Russell Brand
Russell Brand – CREDIT: Cassandra Hannagan/WireImage/Getty

Banijay is one of several broadcasting organisations to have investigated whether any complaints were made about Brand’s behaviour during his employment. The company asked law firm Lewis Silkin LLP to conduct the investigation.

Lewis Silkin’s head of investigations Karen Baxter concluded: “No formal complaints were made about Brand during the programmes.”

“There were, however, concerns regarding Brand’s behaviour which were raised informally with senior members of staff, particularly in relation to him asking runners to obtain phone numbers of audience members and female crew members feeling uncomfortable or intimidated by his behaviour while working in Bristol in 2004/2005. These concerns were not properly escalated or adequately addressed.”

The Banijay investigation said Brand was understood to have had sexual relationships with some audience and staff members, and these were all believed to be “consensual”.

It added that producers knew the comedian was a “recovering drug addict with a reputation for being ‘edgy”‘ but “no particular safeguards were put in place to protect Brand, those who worked with him or those who otherwise came into contact with him.”

Banijay UK chief executive Patrick Holland said: “Industry protocols, duty of care and expectations of behaviour have vastly improved in recent years and continue to be reviewed and progressively updated on a regular basis.”

A Channel 4 spokesman said: “We thank Banijay for their thorough investigation and have noted their findings.”

Last September, Brand accused of rape, assault and emotional abuse as part of the joint investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, The Times and Sunday Times. The comedian has strongly denied all accusations, which relate to a period between 2006 and 2013.

In March, Channel 4’s chief executive, Alex Mahon, apologised on behalf of the broadcaster for not properly investigating a “serious” allegation made against Brand, relating to an incident from 2009.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

The post Russell Brand concerns “not adequately addressed” by Channel 4, investigation finds appeared first on NME.


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