Piers Morgan has shared his reaction to the allegations of rape, sexual assault, and predatory behaviour made against Russell Brand.
The controversial TV presenter, 58, also revealed that he spoke to Brand, 48, just ‘weeks ago’ with the hopes of sitting down with him for an interview.
It comes as investigations are underway into accusations from several women about Brand’s behaviour between 2006 and 2013, when he was at the height of his fame with appearances in TV and radio shows, as well as Hollywood films.
One alleged victim says she was just 16 years old when Brand assaulted her. He would have been in his thirties at the time.
Speaking during a special episode of Uncensored on Monday night (September 18), Morgan said he has known Brand for two decades.
‘I’ve known Russell Brand, 20 years, probably. I’ve interviewed him for my Life Stories show, I’ve interviewed him for GQ, many, many times…
‘I was actually texting with him a few weeks ago about potentially doing an interview.
‘I’ve known him a long time, so I was shocked when I read this.’
Also in the programme, Morgan expressed his views on the ‘court of public opinion’ as he stressed that, while accused, Brand has not been convicted.
‘I do think there’s a real danger, we saw it with Cliff Richard, we saw it with a young man I interviewed a few months ago who was a victim of a total fantasist who ended up doing two months on remand… I’m not saying that’s the case here, they might all be absolutely telling the truth.
‘It’s certainly very compelling and convincing, but they remain allegations and he’s entitled to defend himself.’
Brand has vehemently denied all allegations against him, having uploaded a YouTube video ahead of a Dispatches special that aired this weekend.
A product of an investigation by Channel 4 and The Times, the film detailed the harrowing allegations in full.
However, Brand has maintained that the sexual acts he engaged in during those years were ‘consensual’, but admitted he was ‘promiscuous’ and struggling with a sex addiction.
He is yet to issue any other public statement following the documentary’s release and as more women come forward with claims.
But, he did take to the stage at Wembley on Saturday night for a sold-out gig, where he was met with applause and cheers.
Audience members told the PA news agency that Brand expressed his love for them and told the crowd he hoped that they ‘appreciate’ that there were certain things that he could not talk about during the performance.
The rest of his tour will not be continuing, though, despite previous uncertainty as the gigs remained on venue websites.
It has now been confirmed by the venues themselves that Brand’s Bipolarisation show will not be performed, as he was listed to take the stage at the Theatre Royal Windsor tomorrow, before giggino at Plymouth’s The Pavilions on September 22, and Wolverhampton’s The Civic at the Halls on September 28.
Meanwhile, the BBC, Channel 4 and Banijay UK, which bought Endemol, the company commissioned by Channel 4 to produce the Big Brother spin-off shows Brand hosted, have all launched investigations into Brand’s behaviour while he was working on their programmes.
Additionally, the Metropolitan Police has received a report of an alleged sexual assault following allegations against Brand.
The Met said they have received an allegation of sexual assault in Soho, central London, in 2003.
A statement issued said that ‘officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support.’
‘We first spoke with The Sunday Times on Saturday, September 16 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,’ they added.
Uncensored airs on TalkTV.
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