YouTube Suspends Monetization Across All Of Russell Brand’s Channels Following Sexual Assault Accusations
In light of the actor being publicly accused of sexual assault by multiple women, YouTube has announced that it has completely suspended Russell Brand’s ability to make money from any of his various channels.
These claims of assault against the Forgetting Sarah Marshall star were first brought to public attention on September 16th, courtesy of a joint investigation conducted by UK news outlets The Times, The Sunday Times, and broadcaster Channel 4’s investigative series Dispatches.
Per both a published report and an accompanying documentary produced by Dispatches titled Russell Brand: In Plain Sight, Brand is said to have attacked four separate women “between 2006 and 2013, while he was a presenter for BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4 and then an actor in Hollywood films.”
One woman, referred to by the outlet as Alice, alleged that during a relationship she had with the then 31-year-old Brand when she was 16-years of age – the legal age of consent in Britain – the actor forced her into giving him oral sex.
“I was sat up in the bed up against the headboard, and he forced his penis down my throat and I couldn’t breathe,” said Alice. It was just choking me and I couldn’t breathe, and I was pushing him away and he wasn’t backing off at all.”
“I ended up having to punch him really hard in the stomach to get him off,” the woman continued. “I was crying and he said, ‘Oh I only wanted to see your mascara run anyway.’ Then I knew at that point that he didn’t care about hurting me physically or emotionally.”
“It shouldn’t take you having to punch someone and to wind them to get them off you,” she added. “It shouldn’t be a physical fight.”
Another woman, Nadia, claimed that amidst a consensual sexual relationship with Brand, the actor once begged her to come over to his house late at night – but when she arrived, she discovered that he had supposedly only done so with the intention of instigating a threesome between themselves and another individual.
Insulted by this proposition, Nadia said she attempted to leave, only for Brand to respond by sexually assaulting her.
“I’m like, no, that’s not happening, I don’t care, that’s not happening, we’re not doing that,” detailed the woman. “I tried to get away from him and I slipped away from the wall. And then I went to another wall that had a painting on it. A huge painting. And my bag got actually stuck underneath that, and it’s still on my arm. And at this point he’s grabbing at my underwear, pulling it to the side.”
“I’m stuck underneath the painting and he’s pushing up against me,” Nadia continued. “He’s a lot taller than me. And he has that glazed look in his eye again. And I can’t move. And I told him, ‘Get off, get off.’”
It was at this point Nadia claimed Brand, without protection, forcefully inserted himself inside of her.
She further asserted that, upon completion, Brand “[blocked] the door that I’ve come into because he doesn’t want me going. He’s like, ‘Are you OK?’ I’m like, ‘No I’m not OK, you need to get away from me.’ And he’s like, ‘Let’s calm down.’”
Eventually, Nadia manged to remove herself from Brand’s house. A few hours later, Brand is alleged to have apologized for the act via text message.
“I’m sorry,” Brand can be seen writing, per a screenshot of the exchange provided to The Times by Nadia. “That was crazy and selfish. I hope you can forgive me, I know that you’re a lovely person. X.”
“You scared the shit out of me,” Nadia can be read replying. “You’re right I am a lovely person and for you to take advantage of me like that is unacceptable. You have a problem, you need help. It’s dangerous that you think you can get your own way all the time.”
“Do you know how scary you are when that glaze look comes over you?” she continued. “When a girl says NO it means no. Do I have to go and get myself tested? Last time you asked me condom or no condom. When I say condom that doesn’t mean it’s optional. You don’t have the best reputation, I pry myself on being safe and trying to make the right decisions. Obviously this was a bad one. I’m so disappointed.”
In turn, Brand supposedly admitted, “I’m very sorry.”
“You don’t need to get tested,” he added. “I will make this up you somehow with love and kindness. Not my original idea which was more sex. You’ve been lovely to me and I’m embarrassed by my behavior. Sorry.”
Receiving no written reply to this last text, Brand messaged Nadia a month later to ask, “Will you ever forgive me?” It is unknown if or how she responded.
According to treatment records apparently reviewed by the outlets, Nadia was seen by the UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center’s Rape Treatment Center later that same day.
Along with confirming that she had frozen her underwear and ‘other samples’ for evidence, said records allegedly note that the Center put Nadia in contact with an LAPD officer to make a full report, but she ultimately chose not to as she “didn’t think my words would mean anything up against his”.
The notes also make a record of the fact that “she was worried that, if her assailant’s name is somehow released, then her name will be dragged through the dirt”.
A third woman, Phoebe, told The Times that she first met Brand at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting before going on to both work with him professionally and share in a brief sexual relationship.
It was at some point after this relationship, while she was at Brand’s home under the auspices of working on an unspecified project, that Phoebe said the actor attempted to force himself upon her.
“I was screaming, and I was like, ‘What are you doing, stop, please, you’re my friend, I love you, please don’t do this, I don’t want to do this’,” recalled the woman. “I think he had his hands down my trousers but I was fighting so hard and I was screaming so hard, hoping that I could get through somehow.”
“I don’t know what the actual definition of ‘sexual assault’ is, but it feels like that,” she further clarified. “He didn’t rape me.”
As for the fourth woman, little is currently known about her, as her experience was not detailed in The Times piece.
Rather, the publication simply noted that she “described being sexually assaulted by Brand and him being physically and emotionally abusive towards her.”
In response to this report, Brand’s lawyers blasted its publication as a “concerted campaign” against their client, who they said expressed concern over the potential that there was a “deeply concerning agenda to all this, namely the fact that he is an alternative media broadcaster competing with mainstream media”.
As for the actor himself, Brand took to his personal YouTube channel on September 15th – the day before the report went public – to offer his own recorded statement on the entire ordeal.
“Hello there you awakening wonders,” Brand began his video, per a transcript provided by The Times. “Now this isn’t the usual type of video we make on this channel where we critique, attack, and undermine the news in all its corruption, because in this story, I am the news.”
“I’ve received two extremely disturbing letters, or a letter, and an email, one from a mainstream media TV company, one from a newspaper, listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks, as well as some pretty stupid stuff like, my community festival should be stopped, that I shouldn’t be able to attack mainstream media narratives on this channel, but amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute,” he continued.
“These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies, and as I’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very very promiscuous,” said Brand. “Now during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely, always consensual. I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent, and I’m being transparent about it now as well, and to see that transparency metastasized into something criminal, that I absolutely deny, makes me question, is there another agenda at play?”
“Particularly when we’ve seen co-ordinated media attacks before, like with Joe Rogan, when he dared to take a medicine that the mainstream media didn’t approve of, and we saw a spate of headlines from media outlets across the world, using the same language,” the comedian-slash-actor then asserted.
“I’m aware that you guys have been saying in the comments for a while, ‘watch out Russell, they’re coming for you, you’re getting too close to the truth, Russell Brand did not kill himself’,” said Brand. “I know that a year ago there was a spate of articles, ‘Russell Brand’s a conspiracy theorist’, ‘Russell Brand’s right wing’. I’m aware of news media making phone calls, sending letters to people I know for ages and ages, it’s been clear to me, or at least it feels to me, like there’s a serious and concerted agenda to control these kind of spaces, and these kind of voices, and I mean my voice along with your voice.”
“I don’t mind them using my books and my stand up to talk about my promiscuous, consensual conduct in the past, what I seriously refute are these very very serious criminal allegations,” he then admitted. “Also it’s worth mentioning that there are witnesses whose evidence directly contradicts the narratives that these two mainstream media outlets are trying to construct, apparently in what seems to me to be a co-ordinated attack.”
“Now, I don’t want to get into this any further because of the serious nature of the allegations, but I feel like I’m being attacked, and plainly they are working very closely together,” the actor concluded. “We are obviously going to look into this matter, because it’s very very serious. In the meantime I want you to stay close, stay awake, but more important than any of that, if you can, please stay free.”
It was in light of this controversy that, on September 19th, YouTube announced they would be demonetizing all of his channels – Russell Brand, Football is Nice, Awakening With Russell, and Stay Free With Russell Brand – on the platform.
“We have suspended [monetization] on Russell Brand’s channel for violating our Creator Responsibility policy,” YouTube, in a statement to The Hill, explained of their decision. “If a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community.”
“This decision applies to all channels that may be owned or operated by Russell Brand,” they additionally clarified.
As of writing, Brand has yet to present his aforementioned exculpatory evidence.