Russell Brand has published a video across his social media channels in which he preemptively denies a “litany” of allegations about unspecified criminal behavior at the height of his celebrity.
The Forgetting Sarah Marshall star said two UK “mainstream media” publications had sent him notice of their intention to publish stories about his alleged misconduct.
Deadline understands that Channel 4 and Rupert Murdoch-owned newspapers The Times and The Sunday Times are behind the stories.
Brand claimed that the right of reply letters contain “astonishing, rather baroque attacks” on his character, as well as “very serious” criminal allegations about his well-known sex addiction.
“The relationships that I had were absolutely always consensual,” Brand said. “I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent. And I’m being transparent about it now.”
He claimed that this openness was being “metastasized into something criminal” and suggested that it was a “serious and concerted agenda” to silence him.
Brand has in recent years reinvented himself as a counter-culture guru, who questions mainstream media reporting and endorses conspiracy theories.
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
Brand claimed that he was aware of witnesses whose evidence “directly contradicts the narrative that these two mainstream media outlets are trying to construct.”
It is not clear when Channel 4 and The Times newspapers intend to publish, though the timing of Brand’s video suggests that the stories will be released on Saturday.
Channel 4 has a special episode of its investigative journalism brand Dispatches scheduled to broadcast tonight at 9PM UK time. It has not released details of the show’s subject.
Brand appears to have parted ways with his UK agent Tavistock Wood. His profile is no longer on the agency’s website having been available as recently as June. Tavistock Wood, which also represents Lily James and Dominic West, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X (formerly Twitter), appeared to sympathize with Brand. “Of course. They don’t like competition,” he replied to the comedian’s video on X.
Brand shot to fame in the UK in the noughties as a TV and radio presenter, hosting series including Channel 4’s Big Brother’s Big Mouth and a BBC Radio 2 show.
The 48-year-old comedian later graduated to Hollywood, starring in films including Rock of Ages, Get Him to the Greek, Despicable Me, and more recently Death on the Nile.
Along the way, he has written bestselling books and had a string of high-profile relationships, including being married to Katy Perry for little more than a year in 2010.