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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

YouTube suspends monetisation on Russell Brand’s channel

Russell Brand in a still from his most recent video

YouTube has suspended monetisation on Russell Brand’s channel following allegations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. 

The company said it was taking action “to protect” its users, and monetisation would be dropped on “all channels that may be owned or operated” by Brand. 

“If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action,” said a YouTube spokesperson on Tuesday (19 September), in a statement given to PinkNews.

The comedian was accused of rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse over a seven-year period, by four women, following an investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches.

Since the allegations came to light, a fifth person has come forward with similar claims. 

Brand has denied the allegations and said all his relationships, which took place during a “promiscuous” time in his life, were “always consensual”. 

In recent years, he has repositioned himself as a YouTuber, posting about politics, spirituality, COVID-19 vaccines and even UFOs. He has been criticised by some of pushing conspiracy theories.

Russell Brand said the allegations are a “concerted campaign” against him as an “alternative media broadcaster competing with mainstream media”. 

One woman claimed the star raped her against a wall in his Los Angeles home.

A second alleged that he assaulted her when she was just 16 and he was 31. Known only as Alice, she said Brand would send cars to pick her up from school and called her “the child”. Speaking to The Times, she claimed he engaged in the “behaviours of a groomer”. 

A third woman said Russell Brand assaulted her while she was employed by him and threatened her with legal action if she told anyone. 

The fourth woman alleges sexual assault, as well as physical and emotional abuse. 

The latest woman to come forward has reportedly told the Metropolitan Police that she was sexually assaulted in central London about 20 years ago.

Police ‘aware’ of ‘allegations’

A spokesperson for the Met told The Guardian: “We are aware of reporting by The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches about allegations of sexual offences.

“On Sunday 17 September, the Met received a report of a sexual assault, which was alleged to have taken place in Soho in 2003. Officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support.

“We first spoke with The Sunday Times on Saturday 16 September and have since made further approaches to The Sunday Times and Channel 4 to ensure that anyone who believes they have been the victim of a sexual offence is aware of how to report this to the police.

“We continue to encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a sexual offence, no matter how long ago it was, to contact us.”

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