Podcaster and comedian Russell Brand is now facing another legal problem—a second investigation. The news comes just days after another law enforcement agency in the United Kingdom announced it would be investigating allegations of sexual assault.
The latest probe was announced on Monday:
Russell Brand is facing a second investigation over allegations of harassment and stalking.
On Monday, a spokesperson for the Thames Valley Police in South East England told ABC News in a statement that "in the past two weeks, [we] received new information in relation to harassment and stalking allegations dating back to 2018."
"This information is being investigated; as such it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation," the Thames Valley Police added.
This means that two British law enforcement agencies are currently investigating the comedian, who is known for his anti-establishment commentary. The original allegations came to light in a collaborative documentary created by three different news outlets, which explored claims of rape and sexual assault made by five women. Brand’s alleged actions purportedly occurred between 2006 and 2013 while Brand was at the top of his acting career.
Initial statements made by law enforcement indicated that no official reports against Brand had been filed, but they announced that they were looking into “a number of allegations of sexual offences.”
In a political and cultural climate in which the #MeToo movement still holds some influence, the accusations against Brand have garnered a significant level of attention. Brand has emphatically denied all of the allegations, attributing them to a “coordinated media attack” intended to discredit him.
Last week, one of Brand’s former lovers came to his defense during an interview on a prominent YouTube channel.
I never recognized, witnessed, or experienced any abusive, violent, or manipulative energy or behavior with Russell sexually or anything peripheral within that whole scope of whatever people are saying. I did not experience witness any of that. It was completely consensual. I can tell you, Russell did not need to force himself on anyone. If someone didn't want to have sex with him, he would just call somebody else, literally. I'm telling you; he had plenty of women that he could have called upon. He did not need to force anybody. So, I absolutely never, never experienced or saw him treat me or anyone or any other woman around me in that way. And I was in scenarios where there were other women around, and there was nothing abusive.
Despite the fact that no evidence has been produced showing Brand is guilty of sexual assault, rape, or stalking, there have been concerted efforts to de-platform and demonetize his digital presence. YouTube demonetized his channel shortly after the allegations came to light. A member of the United Kingdom’s government tried to pressure video-sharing platform Rumble into doing the same. The company refused.
Even further, Brand’s book deal with U.K. publisher Pan Macmillan is now in limbo. Adding to his woes, his talent and literary agency has cut ties with him.
Many high-profile influencers have chimed in on the story. Some indicated that the allegations were true, while others have pointed to the lack of evidence and timing of the allegations to argue that this is a coordinated hit job. The final verdict, after all the evidence is weighed, will ultimately be the deciding factor in Brand’s popularity—and potentially his freedom.