Runners 'felt like pimps' after allegedly 'approaching women for Russell Brand' on Big Brother show
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Production staff on a Channel 4 show that Russell Brand presented have said that they felt as if they were working for a ‘pimp’ and spoken out about the entertainer’s alleged behaviour.
During a Channel 4 special Dispatches investigation, a number of incredibly serious allegations were made against Brand, who has released a video in which he denies and refutes all claims against him.
As well as dealing with the claims of individual women, who claim Brand raped and sexually assaulted them, the film also talks about Brand’s behaviour at work, with specific reference to his time on a Big Brother spin-off show.
Junior members of the show’s crew were allegedly asked to approach women that they say Brand had selected from the audience to pursue for sex.
On the show, some of those crew members said they felt like ‘pimps’ for Brand and as if they were ‘taking lambs to slaughter’.
One runner is quoted as having said: “He did wrong things. But it's almost as if there's no retribution for that...Russell seems untouchable."
In a pre-emptive video before the TV programme and article in The Times, who also worked on the investigation, Brand said that he ‘seriously refutes these very, very serious criminal allegations.’
He added: “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 coordinated attack."
Other runners, such as one called Rachel, said that she went into Brand’s dressing room to see him flashing his penis at her.
He also allegedly suggested that she perform oral sex on her, which she refused.
She also claims that she did start a relationship with Brand, having consensual sex with him.
However, she was told to keep their relationship ‘a complete secret’ because of an alleged clause in his contract banning him from having sexual relations with anyone on Big Brother.
A spokesperson for Channel 4 said: "Channel 4 is appalled to learn of these deeply troubling allegations including behaviour alleged to have taken place on programmes made for Channel 4 between 2004 and 2007.
"We are determined to understand the full nature of what went on. We have carried out extensive document searches and have found no evidence to suggest the alleged incidents were brought to the attention of Channel 4.
"We will continue to review this in light of any further information we receive, including the accounts of those affected individuals."
The statement continues: "We will be asking the production company who produced the programmes for Channel 4 to investigate these allegations and report their findings properly and satisfactorily to us. In the many years since the alleged incidents took place, there has obviously been extensive change in Channel 4’s management and commissioning teams.
"Today, Channel 4 has a zero-tolerance approach to unacceptable behaviour and has a robust Code of Conduct. We require all suppliers to have in place rigorous safeguarding policies and provide whistleblowing support, including Channel 4’s Speak Up facility.
"We are committed to ensuring our industry has safe, inclusive and professional working environments."
If you have been a victim of sexual assault or rape, you can contact www.rapecrisis.org.uk or call the national telephone helpline on 0808 802 9999, where help and resources are available.