Russell Brand thanked his supporters in a new video for helping him through an “extraordinary and distressing week” as he floated a new media conspiracy about the rape and sexual assault allegations made against him.
The embattled TV personality took to Twitter to talk directly to his fans about the sexual misconduct allegations detailed by four women last weekend. The BBC has launched an investigation into claims he exposed himself to a woman in their Los Angeles office building.
Brand has already vehemently denied the allegations and said that all of the interactions were consensual.
“Obviously it has been an extraordinary and distressing week and I thank you very much for your support and for questioning the information that you have been presented with,” said Brand in the three-minute video.
He used the video to attack the UK government and social media platforms which have shut down his ability to make money from his accounts.
“By now you are probably aware that the British government have asked big tech platforms to censor our online content and that some online platforms have complied with that request,” he said.
Brand then told his supporters that it had been done in the “context of the Online Safety Bill” in the UK, which he said “grants sweeping surveillance and censorship powers” in the country.
The comedian and former BBC presenter then warned his followers about the “Trusted News Initiative”, which is a partnership of international news organisations that aims to tackle disinformation.
“Trust is the last thing you should be offering,” claimed Brand as he said the group’s aim was “to target, control, choke and shut down independent media organisations, like this one”.
“It is clear that these organisations collaborate in constructing narratives, whether that is around the war or the pandemic, and of course there are other examples. And it is very clear to me that we need to be very, very cautious indeed.”
Brand then urged his followers to follow him on Canada-based Rumble, the only social media platform where he is still able to monetise his videos.
“I need your support now more than ever and more than I ever imagined I would,” he said.
YouTube announced on Tuesday it had blocked Brand from making money from his channel on the site, which has 6.6 million subscribers.
Caroline Dinenage, chair of the UK parliament’s culture, media and sport committee, wrote to Rumble’s chief executive Chris Pavlovski asking if Brand was able to monetise his content on the site.
“If so, we would like to know whether Rumble intends to join YouTube in suspending Mr Brand’s ability to earn money on the platform?” she said.
Mr Pavlovski branded the letter “extremely disturbing”, and said it was “deeply inappropriate and dangerous that the UK parliament would attempt to control who is allowed to speak on our platform or to earn a living from doing so”.
A joint investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times, and Channel 4’s Dispatches highlighted the stories of four women – including one who was 16 years old at the time – who say Brand either raped or sexually assaulted them between 2006 and 2013.
One of the accusers told the publishers that she was 16 at the time of her alleged sexual relationship with Brand, who was 30 years old at the the time. She claims Brand referred to her as “the child” and selected clothing for her to wear during their dates.
Another woman claims Brand raped her in his Los Angeles home in 2012 after she declined to engage in sex acts with him and a “friend”. The woman said she had to visit a rape treatment centre after the incident and spend five months in therapy to move past what happened.
Alleged texts between her and Brand were made public over the weekend. The number she says is Brand’s apologises in the messages for acting “crazy and selfish”.
The BBC announced on Friday that it was investigating a claim that Brand exposed himself to a woman at the corporation’s Los Angeles office building before laughing about it on his radio show.
The incident allegedly happened in 2008 when the woman was working in the same building, BBC News reported.