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Could Russell Brand’s defenders and accusers both be right?

Russell Brand has this weekend been accused of rape and multiple assaults. Credit: Getty

September 17, 2023 - 3:45pm

Allegations by four women that comedian, actor and social media star Russell Brand assaulted them between 2006 and 2013 have caused a furore, after their release in a Dispatches documentary and Sunday Times story as part of a joint investigation. One of the women was reportedly just 16 at the time. 

The court of public opinion instantly polarised between Brand haters who assume the allegations are true, and Brand supporters who view the report as a hit job, with some claiming that it is politically motivated payback for “questioning the system”. Yet it’s possible that they’re all right. And in this case the only clear lesson of the story concerns not Brand, nor his supposed enemies, but instead our collective public hypocrisy where sex and power are concerned.  

Did he do it? Who knows. Brand, who once bragged that his sex addiction saw him sleep with thousands of women, claimed in a video response to the allegations that every one of his prolific encounters was consensual. Though at that rate of throughput it’s hard to see how he could remember every detail of each incident, perhaps he believes this. Meanwhile, I’ve had my share of encounters that seemed okay at the time but which were, in hindsight, pretty abusive — especially as public norms have shifted since #MeToo. (Brand was repeatedly awarded the Sun’s title “Shagger of the Year”, a testament to how differently pathological womanising was treated even relatively recently.) 

So everyone in this story could well be telling the truth as they see it. Unsurprisingly, then, many Brand supporters have been quick to pivot from the allegations to the question of timing. 

Why did everyone ignore this supposed “open secret” until now? Why, indeed. This question, and the indifference it demonstrates to the substance of the allegations, both highlights and enacts an endemic form of public hypocrisy concerning sexual wrongdoing. 

The report itself recounts that everyone around Brand knew what he was like, and did their best to avoid exposing young women to his attentions. No one spoke out, often for fear of reprisals or professional difficulties. This repeats a pattern seen in sex scandal after sex scandal, from Savile through Epstein to (perhaps) Brand: high-status predators benefit from a kind of wilful unseeing that lets their actions go noticed but unpunished. 

On this metric, we can also extend the definition of “status” beyond wealth and power, to castes which are protected for other reasons. Sexually abusive priests, for example, benefitted for a long time from this kind of selective blindness. More recently, we’ve seen added partial invisibility and benefit of the doubt granted to accused sexual abusers based on race (as in the British grooming gangs), or gender identity (as in cases like this). And on this calculus, too, sexual wrongdoing becomes magically visible again only when it is politically useful. It’s no coincidence that the most vocal defenders of Rotherham’s abused girls are often also campaigners against immigration

This is not to say that grooming gangs should be ignored — only that it’s almost always true that people care more about politics than about the suffering of women who have been assaulted or raped. Whatever the truth in Brand’s case, many on the Left who knew his reputation perpetuated this dynamic for years while he was endorsing Labour. And his fans are still doing so now, in their insistence that the value of his political voice remains a mitigating factor against reports of his sexual wrongdoing.

The same is true of his enemies, including the women who came forward. The Sunday Times report indicates that Brand’s new social media direction, a video channel whose content ranges from wellness to Covid and Net Zero “dissident” material, was a factor in inspiring several to speak out.  

Everyone, in other words, subordinates the question of sexual misbehaviour to a political assessment of the accused. And perhaps it was ever thus, #MeToo or no #MeToo. In this case, the only takeaway from this ugly story is a warning to pretty young women. Be careful out there: for no one will care if you’re assaulted by a high-status sexual predator, except that predator’s political enemies.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
7 months ago

“Everyone, in other words, subordinates the question of sexual misbehaviour to a political assessment of the accused.”
To my surprise (given the subtlety of Ms. Harrington’s writings on modern sexual politics), I think this article overlooks a key issue here.
The reason the political and the sexual are intermingled in these contexts is because our modern sexual ethic depends on the fragile and elusive notion of ‘the consent of the participants.’ This is also the fragile and elusive notion which undergirds our political notions, there called ‘the consent of the governed.’
In both cases, ‘consent’ is an inadequate idea to bear all the weight we place on it. People change their minds inexplicably, aren’t sure what they think, depend on others, recast their views of themselves, adapt their memories to their later wisdom, are subject to pressures of every kind, etc. (In the political sphere this is one reason why we don’t or at least shouldn’t govern by polling and referendum.)
And now consent is treated as something like a feeling – meaning that if cases of sexual assault turn on how the woman felt at the time, then most men will be at risk for an assault claim, since society no longer accepts any evidence of how a woman felt then other than what she says now.
Ironically, to a sexual conservative like me, this is almost OK – it puts the burden on the man to absolutely positively not have sex unless he has complete confidence the woman will not change her mind. (Personally I’ve never had any worries at all that I would be accused of sexual assault.) So as a matter of sexual ethics this rule probably results in healthier sexual choices.
But I’m also a one-time criminal defense attorney – and to that part of me, it’s a terrible violation of the rule of law to allow such serious accusations to be prosecuted and convicted on the basis of such inadequate evidence.

Last edited 7 months ago by Kirk Susong
Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
7 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Very well said.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
7 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

“it puts the burden on the man to absolutely positively not have sex unless he has complete confidence the woman will not change her mind.”
That can cut both ways. I look forward to the first prosecution of a woman where the claims he was too drunk to consent

Pedro the Exile
Pedro the Exile
7 months ago

Great theory but there is a very strong correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed and the ability of a man to “perform” so an inherent contradiction?….M’lud,I had consumed 25 pints of Ruddles Old Peculiar but was still like a rock

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
7 months ago

I know someone this happened to. The woman got pregnant and he then got pursued by the child support agency

RM Parker
RM Parker
7 months ago

Had to laugh, but Old Peculier is brewed by Theakston’s, oop there in t’broad acres (and is spelled reet funny). I would get out more, but my legs appear to be unsteady for some reason…

William Shaw
William Shaw
7 months ago

When men and women have been drinking, it’s the woman who is assumed not to be able to consent to sex while the man remains fully responsible, even when both are equally inebriated. Any sex that ensues is statutory rape and the man is the guilty party.
In effect, women are officially being defined as less capable than men. They are legally stripped of all power and treated like children.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
7 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

There’s a reason women are the ‘weaker sex’… they do in fact need protection.

Maighread G
Maighread G
7 months ago

I believe British law defines rape as the intentional penetration of vagina, a**s or mouth with a p***s, without consent, so you will be waiting a while for a woman to be thus charged.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
7 months ago
Reply to  Maighread G

There are alternative charges

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
7 months ago

I have no idea if Brand is guilty or not. I’ve seen enough of this to suspect it’s a smear job, but he could very well be guilty of all these things and more. I have no idea.

The widespread distrust of institutions is a real problem, and we can see it with a case like this. We seem to have forgotten that people are innocent until proven guilty.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I’ve seen enough of this to suspect it’s a smear job

No need to suspect. The article says that the Sunday Times even admitted this – the women “came forward” (read: decided to make things up) due to the popularity of his YouTube channel which attacks left wing shibboleths.
The whole #metoo stuff was like that from the start, and it needs to stop. Men need to get way more aggressive about private prosecutions for false claims (as the government isn’t going to help). A legal fix would be to change the statute of limitations for claims of sexual crimes to something much shorter, say six months. If you can’t get up the energy to file a police complaint within that time it is never prosecutable, and any public claims are automatically considered to be libel.

Peter D
Peter D
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

This goes to more than distrust of institutions. A distrust amongst people is forming. As a man, it is becoming increasingly difficult to trust women. Toxic femininity is on the rise and they are combing through their past and anything that does not match up to 2023 is weaponised.
Things like this just drive men away from women. It might be in drips and drabs now but with every case, more and more men will say they are done. Eventually sex robots and cloning will take more and more men off the table. Add to this, sperm banking and a young man has no need for a woman.
This might seem far fetched but Mary Harrington herself said that sex robots are getting better and better and eventually men won’t need a woman to reproduce. She believes that these should be banned, but I think that women need to learn an important lesson first. There are too many self centred abusive women shooting their mouths off at the moment, even at the ground level where most of us live.

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

Can I just check if you are saying that the only thing men need women for is sex?

Terry Davies
Terry Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

It’s certainly not the only thing, but it sure does help…..

Mark V
Mark V
7 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

Men and women need each other for the continuation of the species. Sex, at least until recently, is pretty integral to that end.

Peter D
Peter D
7 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

Not at all. Not even remotely.
However, women are constantly slagging men off as if they are a burden. Women take men for granted. Maybe the time has come for men to stay away from women until they stop taking men for granted.

On your point about men needing women for sex. Yes it helps, but where men genuinely benefit from having a woman in their life is that we make each other better. We are together, greater than the sum of our parts.
Women have forgotten this. They are now rude and obnoxious.

Abi Hardy
Abi Hardy
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

I am a woman, married, mother of five, stay at home mum, university educated (useless) and penniless, just for context. I agree. I really do. I think women’s attitudes generally these days are so awful towards men. It’s paralysing the younger generation especially – they are too terrified to even approach a woman and with good reason. It is so sad.
I actually did suffer abuse myself many years ago as a result of putting myself into a stupid situation. I am
not saying it was my fault and I am certainly not making light of rape – it is one of the most horrific degraded things I can think of. However – where does it come from? Why does it happen and how do we handle it? I didn’t pursue it then for my own reasons and won’t now – I am married to a wonderful man and my past is my past. Did it mean I should hate all men? No. Not at all. I have four daughters and one son, and I worry for them all. It isn’t clear cut – social media, porn saturation, these things all have much to answer for – but it’s part of a bigger picture where all this nonsense is perpetually espoused in order to basically bring about the degradation and destruction of humanity. We need to go back to boy meets girl and the love story ensues, at least for a good portion of society, or we will not hold onto what matters most. As a stay at home mum I also suffer constantly being told I am worthless and don’t work – it’s part of the same picture – the degradation of an ancient biological model that is actually human survival and human thriving. Family means nothing anymore. There’s a large cohort of young women who just do my head in with their man hate, whilst young men often flounder and then fall back on porn and fantasies meaning they will never ever develop a real understanding of what a real woman can be. They likely came from a broken marriage/home anyways. The messages are recycled and worsened until it’s just one big morass of confused and destructive anti sexuality.

Last edited 7 months ago by Abi Hardy
Alison Wren
Alison Wren
7 months ago
Reply to  Abi Hardy

Well said Abi. However I would like you to substitute “not in paid employment “ because I would assume, as a mother of 5 with, presumably, a working husband, you will be working very hard (unpaid!) to keep everything and everyone ticking over nicely!!

Last edited 7 months ago by Alison Wren
Danielle Dowling
Danielle Dowling
7 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Spot on. And yes a hard working husband. I never stop. I also home educate and have an age spread from 14-1, including a child with what they call “special needs”, but I prefer, ‘demanding levels of intensity’. I gave up sleeping several years ago and opt for an hour’s quiet and exercise at four am instead….

Danielle Dowling
Danielle Dowling
7 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

….and I have two names on unherd – my actual name lifted from Google and a screen name lifted from my profile – but I am the same Abi! The wonders of technology not computing…… and the problems of google supremacy.

RM Parker
RM Parker
7 months ago
Reply to  Abi Hardy

Easily one of the truest (and bravest) BTL comments I’ve read: thank you. I concur with all that you say, adore my amazing wife and worry like hell for my kids in the current situation.

Chipoko
Chipoko
7 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

What do women need men for (if at all)?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

So banking his sperm means he will not need a woman to reproduce? Uh, what about the egg? A womb? Do sex robots have eggs and wombs?

Mark V
Mark V
7 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Not yet

Abi Hardy
Abi Hardy
7 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

There’s a whole industry around just this. It won’t be long.

Last edited 7 months ago by Abi Hardy
Alison Wren
Alison Wren
7 months ago
Reply to  Abi Hardy

I’m preparing a speech for “Let Women Speak” at the weekend about womb transplants and pregnancy. Many men who hanker after a womb appear to believe you can slot one in, like a new clutch in a car, and it will work……Fools!!! Mother Nature is FAR more complex!!

S Wilkinson
S Wilkinson
7 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Did you see the reports of the Brazilian (I think) researcher who is proposing that women in a persistent vegetative state could be kept ‘alive’ and used as gestational vessels to satisfy the demand for surrogate wombs?

RM Parker
RM Parker
7 months ago
Reply to  Abi Hardy

Sadly, repellently, that’s probably a likelihood. Heaven help us.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Allegations have not been allowed to tarnish the reputations of JFK or MLK

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
7 months ago

Once again, proving Mary’s point about the political usefulness of these allegations.

V Solar
V Solar
7 months ago

Or Jean Luc Goddard

S Wilkinson
S Wilkinson
7 months ago

Or Alfred Kinsey, inducted on the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor in 2019 despite his falsified research and his well documented ‘professional’ associations with paedophiles (in which he encouraged their activities).

William Shaw
William Shaw
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Any reasonable person would agree that there should be a statute of limitations on rape.
Accusing someone and destroying their life 15 years after the event is ludicrous.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
7 months ago

I don’t understand why the presumption of innocence is so difficult to grasp. It means that it doesn’t matter whether Brand is an obnoxious, promiscuous man who upsets women with is callousness, what matters is if he assaulted those who claim he did.
This can only be tested in law, the accusations are meaningless (even if true) if no evidence is brought against him and if it were and he were acquired, he would, by our long standing tradition, be innocent.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
7 months ago

He never claimed to be a saint, but he cleaned up his act years ago …. He dropped drugs, alcohol, got married, had children, started following a spiritual path. Got wiser. Started to have real influence AND peed off MSM and other big players. Oops. My first inclination is cynicism.

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
7 months ago

It’s really, really sad that his transformation seems to be completely irrelevant to the media and public, especially the fact he has a family now who will be affected by these accusations.

Pedro the Exile
Pedro the Exile
7 months ago

Unfortunately in a world dominated by febrile social media obsession,the legal verdict is increasingly academic.I noticed that Mason Greenwood who has had to go to Spain to restart his football career was roundly jeered when making his debut at the weekend-despite all charges against him being dropped.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
7 months ago

Yes, we are moving more swiftly towards the Idiocracy.

Glyn R
Glyn R
7 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Warren, we arrived some time ago, we’re now deep into The Age of Stupid.

Clueless
Clueless
7 months ago

Jeered by the opposition fans…who jeer/joke/verbally abuse anyone from the other team .

Steven
Steven
6 months ago

I believe the charges were dropped by the original accuser. And there was a tape/video of the actual alleged crime. If you have seen it, or heard the words he used, whilst charges may have been dropped, and that is more of decision by the girl to get on with her life, but HE is definitely one a-r-s-e-h-ol-e to women — so he is to be jeered, and every game too, as he is, like so many of these footballers, an overpaid under-educated slob!

H H
H H
7 months ago

Actually, I think it matters quite a bit whether men are obnoxious and callous in their treatment of women, just not in the eyes of the law. This might sound terribly old fashioned, but isn’t there something to be said for the old idea of raising our boys to be gentlemen? Indeed, isn’t there something to be said for raising our girls to be ladies? I’m not coming from a place of puritanical judgement of sexual behaviour, but rather suggesting that the current state of relations between men and women is deeply dysfunctional and we need to hold our girls and boys to a higher standard.

Jim Denham
Jim Denham
7 months ago

The “presumption of innocence” applies in legal cases heard in the criminal courts (not in the civil courts) but not to the opinion of ordinary, reasonable people who having weighed the evidence, taken possible alternative explanations into account, then reach a rational conclusion based upon balance of probability. If we can only reach an opinion once a criminal case has been proven in court “beyond reasonable doubt” then all rational discussion is impossible.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
7 months ago

Why now? This reeks of agenda. He is a very powerful anti-establishment voice and is becoming more and more influential. His podcasts are backed up by data and facts and there is no doubt that he is smart as a whip.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
7 months ago

The regime media mostly consists of people who do not share Brand’s ideology and are offended by people like him. They are more likely to dig deep for dirt on people they detest, rather than people they support. I don’t think there’s any campaign to deplatform him – it won’t work anyway because he’s too big now. It’s just some ideological reporters digging into rumours about someone who offends them.

Yvonne Hayton
Yvonne Hayton
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Hope you’re correct that he’s now too big to de-platform. He’s too important a voice to lose at this stage, in a battle which I believe is between good and evil, between the common man and global tyranny.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
7 months ago

Of course it reeks. Just like when that woman claimed Brett Kavanaugh (U.S. Supreme Court) groped her way back in High School (35 years prior)! The left cried “execute him”!

Bill Meadows
Bill Meadows
7 months ago

A good piece. Ms. Harrington’s premise — that Brand can be both a sexual predator and the victim of a contrived PR campaign to destroy him because of the current content of his cultural influence — is obvious to my mind, but seems to be lost on others. Those of the online dissident right, or, at least some of them, appear to have completely skipped the possiblility that Brand did some or all of the despicable, and potentially criminal, acts of which he is accused. Jordan Peterson immediately comes to mind. This is disappointing. It betrays a certain absence of fair-minded reasoning to immediately reject the possibility that Brand is the sexual fiend (abuser, predator, criminal — choose your own descriptor) portrayed in the joint investigation. We have: women of different ages from different countries making similar accusations; text messages between one accuser and Brand corroborating that, at the very least, a very unpleasant sexual encounter occurred; one accuser having gone to a rape crisis centre the day after the impugned sexual encounter; several contemporaneous witnesses attesting to directly witnessing or being told of borderline or criminal sexual acts by Brand. These and more create a constellation of direct and circumstantial evidence supporting the claim that Brand is a sexual fiend of some sort. Whether the acts rise to the level of criminality would require a prosecution. I do find it interesting that the news story describes that one accuser went to a rape crisis centre, and that there are medical records attesting to that fact, and that the police called her on the strength of the report generated at the crisis centre (though she ultimately declined to press charges), but the story does not expressly say that the medical report from the rape crisis centre documents likely sexual assault — or did I misread that part?. In any case, unless there are wholesale fabrications by multiple accusers, or wholesale fabrications by the media companies behind the story and documentary (which would attract massive liability), I believe that a fair-minded reader would conclude that Brand is likely a sexual predator to some degree, or at least had been for some time.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bill Meadows
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
7 months ago
Reply to  Bill Meadows

“I believe that a fair-minded reader would conclude that Brand is likely a sexual predator to some degree, or at least had been for some time.”

I haven’t read any of the articles about Brand and I’m not familiar with the specific allegations, but I would think a fair-minded person wouldn’t pass judgement in the first few hours of the allegations. Shouldn’t we all be agnostic this early on, even if we have suspicions either way?

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Would Mary Harrington stand up in court and say that at the risk of perjury?

Arthur G
Arthur G
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I’m pretty confident that the mere fact that he’s slept with thousands of women makes him a sexual predator “to some degree”. That’s predatory in and of itself, even if it wasn’t criminal.

Last edited 7 months ago by Arthur G
Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
7 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

and a woman who does the same?

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
7 months ago

I don’t think Arthur gets what ‘predatory’ is.

Last edited 7 months ago by Dumetrius
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
7 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

That’s a pretty big leap, I think he’s confessed to being a sex addict. Maybe this makes him more likely to be a sexual predator, but I’m sure there’s plenty of sex addicts who only participate in consensual sex.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Correct. And if you like having lots of sex, you’ll be drawn to scenarios and venues where other people who like having lots of sex tend to go.

And, since most everyone in such a scene knows the score, predation is kinda unlikely.

Last edited 7 months ago by Dumetrius
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
7 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Any woman who would put herself in such a situation with such a person has to understand the potential consequences, no? Do they not have “agency”? There are many women who also wish to be involved in very rough play and there are clubs that cater to such individuals. Where do we draw the line anymore? We have crossed the Mendoza line, in my opinion, and when anything goes, anything will go. Can’t have it both ways.

Maighread G
Maighread G
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I imagine that most of his sexual encounters were consensual. I don’t find him sexually attractive myself, but many do. He’s funny. He’s famous. Obviously it was never hard for him to find a date or a shag, but he was a sex addict and he was also a drug addict. With so many drugs and so many sexual encounters, how he could possibly be certain that every encounter was entirely consensual?

Andrew S
Andrew S
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Agreed but abnoxious bastards do deserve a liuttle less tolerance than others. Just a little!

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
7 months ago
Reply to  Bill Meadows

I’m not familiar with the evidence documented against Brand that you refer to (disclaimer: i’m just not a fan of his, so wouldn’t bother to look it up – but not a “hater” as such, a term which i find far too pejorative) but one would think at the very least that having been given plenty of opportunity to reflect upon his behaviour from women with whom he’s been associated, that at the very least he’d have sought to amend it. It’s simply not feasible to claim consensuality in the way that term is meant to be used alongside the repeated misgivings of the type seemingly known to him.
However… the wider point that MH seeks to shine a spotlight upon is how political leanings seem to affect judgement. Can it really be the case that the views of someone like Brand are too important to be negated by those who agree with them, thus allowing potentially criminal acts to be continued? If so, that’s a huge indictment of the societies we live in. The case of the grooming gangs involved a fear of “causing offence” to certain communities, but are the views of one individual really that important, as to over-ride the norms of judgement? I’m not wholly convinced of that. MH reaches the conclusion that women should be more wary of the perils of associating with celebrities whose LQ (libido quotient) is bigger than their IQ or EQ.
Brand is supposed to be supersmart and amusing; i’ve not seen any evidence of that on the few occasions his visage has briefly been brought to my attention although he appeared to be good at generating noise, hence why i’m not a fan.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I honestly find the guy kinda creepy. I didn’t like him back in his movie days – I certainly didn’t find him even remotely funny – and I don’t listen to his podcast now.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

So what? If you had faced such accusations and someone said they thought you were a bit weird, how would you feel?

A rather lonely and unusual man was accused of murdering a young woman (he was a bit weird) completely falsely. Is that okay?

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
7 months ago

I think I’ve been pretty explicit here – innocent until proven guilty. I’m not casting judgement on him, even though I don’t particularly like him.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

What’s the relevance of your view that he’s creepy?
You see, free speech and all that, but this is a man accused of probably the second most heinous crime that there is. For which, if guilty, he would rightly be banged up for many years. For the time being, I think we should keep our views on his character to ourselves.
If he gets convicted, I will join you in condemning him.
The lonely and unusual man I referred to was Christopher Jeffries, he wrote “The Sun’s use of “the strange Mr Jefferies”, “Jo suspect is Peeping Tom” in the Daily Mirror and “Angry ‘weirdo’ had foul temper” in the Daily Star were all among the many false claims levelled.”
I suggest you should not have made that remark

Last edited 7 months ago by Jonathan Andrews
Dumetrius
Dumetrius
7 months ago

Pretty obvious, really. It has to be acknowledged in order to negate it as a relevant factor.

And RB is indeed creepy. A previous essay here talked of him having the addict’s typical combination of softness and savagery. Which he does, in spades, and it makes a lot of people’s skin crawl.

But it isn’t going to be relevant necessarily to his being a sexual predator. Tho it may look very much like it.

So the creepiness needs to be acknowledged in order to carefully distinguish it, and to focus on what is relevant to predatory conduct.

Last edited 7 months ago by Dumetrius
Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
7 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Is being a sexual predator illegal? The phrase seems pretty unclear to me.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
7 months ago

Again, I have explicitly stated don’t cast judgement until he’s proven guilty. I can say creepy all I want and I most certainly will.

Fran Martinez
Fran Martinez
7 months ago
Reply to  Bill Meadows

I guess nowadays liking sex is enough to be called a sexual predator. In any case, what’s a sexual predator anyway?

Arthur G
Arthur G
7 months ago
Reply to  Fran Martinez

People who merely like sex don’t tend to have it with thousands of different partners. That speaks to something different and pathological. Whether it skipped over into the criminal is yet to be known.

David L
David L
7 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Most people don’t have busloads of women throwing themselves at them either.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
7 months ago
Reply to  Fran Martinez

It’s certainly not someone who just has a lot of sex – the vast majority of which is inevitably going to be with other people who also want to have a lot of sex.

Last edited 7 months ago by Dumetrius
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
7 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

…until they are with the one who only curious enough to be alone with him and see if he was really attracted to her. Or the one who just wanted to find out how it would be like to shag a celebrity.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
7 months ago
Reply to  Bill Meadows

It betrays a certain absence of fair-minded reasoning to immediately reject the possibility

It doesn’t, it just requires the obvious inference: that if you don’t care enough to go through the legal processes or say anything at the time but suddenly decide you do care years later when that person becomes your political enemy, then you’re not telling the truth.
If it was serious, they would have taken it seriously back then. Clearly none of them did.

unless there are wholesale fabrications by multiple accusers

You say this like it’s unlikely. Look at the Julian Assange case. You had women who were clearly delighted to bed him, who later suddenly and simultaneously decided they’d been preyed upon when they found out about each other.

which would attract massive liability

If you dig in, you’ll discover that when granted anonymity in interviews, police will estimate about half of all rape claims are false. A huge number are actually recanted by the women themselves. Clearly virtually none of those are ever prosecuted, even though it’s a crime.
Our society allows women to use claims about sex in whatever ways they like. There will be no liability. There never is. The claims can’t be proven one way or another, which is why the women are talking to the press and not the police.

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
7 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

This is the most dodgy thing for me: he is accused via a TV show? What have we come to?

Nuala Rosher
Nuala Rosher
7 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Jimmy Saville was an open secret but no one did anything

Andrew S
Andrew S
7 months ago
Reply to  Bill Meadows

Agreed but if he has seen the error of certain of his past life would he not have been aware of such doubtful issues from his past. Aware also they might catch up.
I hope most bloggers can lookthemselves in the mirror in the morning and know they have never done anything so shocking to anyone as rape.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
7 months ago

I love how the Me Too crowd has destroyed the whole “believe women” thing. Seriously, who did not see this coming? Sexual assault allegations used to be as serious as it got. Now they are just annoying business as usual political ploys. Congratulations feminists! You did this!

S Wilkinson
S Wilkinson
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Not all feminists!
I remain appalled at the excesses of MeToo.
Rewriting the unfortunate mistakes we have made in the past as entirely down to the fault of the man involved is not empowering or liberating.
When it comes to Brand, he may have behaved appallingly but what did these women expect of an alcoholic, drug addled, self confessed serial shāgger?

Tim Smith
Tim Smith
7 months ago

If he’s guilty he should be punished and I have no idea to the truth of the claim.

But I do believe that the timing was spurious enough to make it still like it was a hit job. In which case the MSM are playing a dangerous game which could have massive repurcusions in the future. As it stands they’ve lost too much credibility already. Now they are inciting anger and I don’t really want to see this played out

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
7 months ago

Think we need to avoid the stupid idea that just because you have sex with thousands of people, that this is by definition predatory, in and of itself.

Last edited 7 months ago by Dumetrius
Arthur G
Arthur G
7 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

I’m pretty sure it is. By definition it means he has no relationship with those women, cares nothing for them, and is just using them to satisfy his ego and sexual itch. That’s predatory in my book. Using a human being as a mere object is predatory. The fact that they willingly all themselves to used doesn’t change that.

Last edited 7 months ago by Arthur G
Arthur G
Arthur G
7 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Down votes only indicate how far our society has fallen. I’m sure you’d all be pleased as punch to have your daughters shag Russell Brand.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
7 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

I agree Arthur there seems to be a lot of shitty men on this site.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
7 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

A man seeking to have sex without relationship is sinful, unethical, unhealthy, lots of bad things. But it’s not predatory. The left is so bad about these Orwellian redefinitions of language.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
7 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Or just horny.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
7 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Oh what a cloud of philosophy is condensed in that “just”!

Alan Elgey
Alan Elgey
7 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

‘A predator: someone who ruthlessly exploits others.’
If you are into the thousands, that probably does require a degree of ruthlessness and exploitative behaviour at some points. But that does not make it criminal ‘in and of itself’.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
7 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Then you’re just wrong. Take it from someone who knows these scenarios.

Willingly all themselves to be used’?? Do you mean ‘allow’ ?
They don’t just allow themselves to be used, they are using him also.

You don’t understand human agency.

Down votes indicate bad ideas & poor expression. It’s ever thus.

Last edited 7 months ago by Dumetrius
R Wright
R Wright
7 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Thousands of women used this scruffy oik for his wealth, power and status. It goes both ways.

John Walsh
John Walsh
7 months ago

why is a young man who likes to have sex with young women described as a sexual fiend? isn’t this what all young men would like do?

Arthur G
Arthur G
7 months ago
Reply to  John Walsh

There’s a difference between wanting to have sex and sleeping with thousands of women in transitory one night stands. Most men want a relationship and love too.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
7 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

I understand where you are coming from, and mostly agree, but you are on the verge of being pathologically naive about human depravity. Why is it that when so many men attain the heights of power, fame and fortune they turn to higher levels of sexual deviancy? King David is the ultimate and perhaps the oldest well known example.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
7 months ago
Reply to  John Walsh

It is ridiculous. Men in my era were told that this was fantastic, and still are, by influencers and so on.

I am not at all apologetic at having sex with thousands of other guys. In those environments, I saw virtually no-one who didn’t want to be there.

The few times at a sex party or a club where someone seemed uncomfortable, I’d go and talk to him and ask him if he was okay. If he had emotional stuff going on and wanted to leave, I’d sometimes go too, walk with him and listen to his story.

We’re still human after all and hopefully gifted with more than one talent ; if we are called on to be a gentleman, it’s easy to switch tack.

Mary McCartney
Mary McCartney
7 months ago
Reply to  John Walsh

When she is only 16 and he is 30 something – that’s a whole different thing – and please don’t come back with the ‘ well it was legal’ line – just because something is legal doesn’t automatically make it OK or appropriate .. look at the MP expenses scandal some years ago – they all used that line – ‘ it was within the rules”.. yeah right , a fancy henhouse for your chickens ??!

Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
7 months ago
Reply to  John Walsh

If the young woman who reported that she had this man’s p***s thrust down her throat had bitten it off…

John Walsh
John Walsh
7 months ago

Celebrity has sex with groupies.So what? All of these women are groupies who wanted something from him.It reminds me of the blonde woman who flew across the Atlantic ocean to have sex with Prince Andrew because she had been groomed by him and Epstein.Nobody has ever been groomed to have sex with me.I don’t think that is fair.Meanwhile not a single Me-Too feminist is remotely interested in the real life rapes going on in Europe by migrants, or the grooming scandals in the north of England.Now, millions of pounds will be spent on enquiries into “the shagger of the year”.Is there a man alive who wouldn’t like to have that description? If its trannies v feminists,I’m supporting the trannies.

Arthur G
Arthur G
7 months ago
Reply to  John Walsh

I would not want that description nor would I ever want to have sex with thousands of women. It sounds appalling. Every study ever conducted shows that the sex is better in long term relationships.

Harry Child
Harry Child
7 months ago

What I cannot understand is why these type of articles always hold the man responsible for the sexual acts and seem to suggest that the young women are helpless victims who cannot control themselves. It is further compounded by the fact that many of these complaints are being made years after the event, in some cases decades. Why were they not made at the time?
Come on Mary please explain

Mary McCartney
Mary McCartney
7 months ago
Reply to  Harry Child

Many were!! but they were not taken on board!! But also women, especially very young woman as the 16 yr old here are too shocked and confused to know what to do and frightened .. Also if you are a young woman being pushed up against a wall by a man stronger than you against your will – dont think thats anything to do with not being able to control yourself!! Good grief..

H H
H H
7 months ago
Reply to  Harry Child

Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that while the ostensible aim of feminism is equality, its actual aim is to give women the status of a protected class. But, oh dear, that kind of system sounds rather like a form of patriarchy.(I know that there are many different forms of feminism, and that not all feminists are “equality feminists,” but for the most part this is how feminism is represented in the broader culture.) Unfortunately it has become impossible to use the term patriarchy in a neutral sense anymore. I have to say, if living in a patriarchy means I’m less likely to be raped and that men feel a moral obligation to care for and protect women and children, then I’m not completely averse to the idea of bringing back a form of patriarchy.

Grahame Wells
Grahame Wells
7 months ago

Why were so many attractive women, knowing what he was like, willing to be just another notch on his bedpost? Thousands! There is something to be investigated in the sexual psychology of women here too. Attracted to him just because of his notoriety, the ‘bad boy’ turn on. ‘I can tame him’ fantasies? They’d’ve spurned many other men who were better mates. The Groupie phenomenon is real. So is ‘kiss n tell’. Seeing bedding him as a personal triumph when it was a cinch. Yes he was a star but these women were mostly adults so what real ‘power’ did he have over them? They willingly submitted for at least the most part. The 16 yr old knew sex was part of the deal no doubt. No one will know the truth now years later even if he did do criminal rather than obvious moral wrong. The Telegraph has just published hit piece after hit piece with Comments unavailable. Interesting. Smacks of a co-ordinated Media backlash v lost influence as more people turn to alternatives like his YT channel. Apparently this has been brewing for 3-4 yrs so unlikely his Covid stance prompted it. Also he seems to have repented and changed – isn’t that poss? Such accusations as rape should be tried in a law court.

Mary McCartney
Mary McCartney
7 months ago
Reply to  Grahame Wells

and how do you know they ‘They willingly submitted for at least the most part. ‘?? just how?
All you men writing like this have never been in that reverse role so have no idea …
‘Yes he was a star but these women were mostly adults so what real ‘power’ did he have over them?’
Did none of you read or listen to what Harvey W did?? To adult women?

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 months ago
Reply to  Mary McCartney

To adult women who in many cases wanted showbiz careers, so submitted to him.

It’s only a minority who didn’t submit, who caused Weinstein to be imprisoned.

99% of the women who have had sex with Russell Brand did so perfectly willingly. That is self-evident – there are no armies of women aggrieved with Brand.

The only point at issue is whether the remaining 1% had sex with him consensually or not.

michael harris
michael harris
7 months ago
Reply to  Grahame Wells

If it’s been brewing for years perhaps his covid stance brought it to market.

michael harris
michael harris
7 months ago

I have lived out of the UK for many years and have never seen or heard Russell Brand on any media broadcast here. All I knew of him until now was the Andrew Sachs incident. That made me dislike him since I enjoyed Fawlty Towers so much ( I have stepped out of a Time Machine). Lately I heard he was very much changed, had abandoned leftish cynicism, and used his fame to talk about serious stuff (covid, climate, war). I was sort of aware he had been a big shagger in the days when shagging was a thing (now disapproval is a thing). I had picked up that his stance on those serious issues was similar to my own and the stance of many commentators here and on other conservative sites.
He has…what…six million social followers? He has far more influence than any of us who shout away BTL about what troubles us.
Why would the supporters of war, ‘vaccination’, net zero etc not oppose him tooth and nail? And, since they are always careful to avoid rational and detailed discussion with ‘deniers’ of all stripes, why would they not try to take him down by scandal?
Because he has been very open about his sleazy past this tactic may not work. Still it is a better shot for them than outright assassination – so passe.

Andrew S
Andrew S
7 months ago

I will openly say I detest this man.

I will also say he and the women deserve a fair hearing and justice.

After that it gets difficult. Timing. Mores of the time. Knowing what an ape the man was and spending time with him – what did the women expect: a cup of tea? Leaving it so long to complain. Understandable reluctance by the women to come forward. Predatory behaviour by the MSM who think they can replace the law.

Likely this will engage people a lot for weeks then fade away with no justice either way but several MSM executives will get bonuses and gongs, well hurray for them. If a woman had come to me with such a complaint (but I am no one) I would have taken them straight to the police and a lawyer. MSM – nstraight t o the front page.

Last edited 7 months ago by Andrew S
Mike Downing
Mike Downing
7 months ago

Watch the brilliant docu-drama ‘Capturing the Friedmans’.

The longer it goes on, the less and less convinced you are that anybody ever gets anywhere near the truth or knows what it is. So the basis of the justice system is shaky enough as it is without trial by media.

Moreover, after the media blitz how can anybody think he’s going to get a fair trial anyway ? Is that even the point now?

PS re loadzasex: I’ve a very close friend who fits the bill and they say that this is not necessarily an indication of predatory behaviour although, if drink and drugs are involved, all bets are off.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Yup. People in environments and scenarios where lots of sex is happening are sexually experienced and better equipped than the average to be able to deal with predatory folks.

Maighread G
Maighread G
7 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

People in environments and scenarios where lots of sex is happening may have no boundaries and be really ill equipped to deal with predatory folks.

Mary McCartney
Mary McCartney
7 months ago
Reply to  Maighread G

Agree Maighread G – see my post above from just now
You may not agree with me …

Mary McCartney
Mary McCartney
7 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Not true if you are only 16, don’t matter how much sex participating in .. emotionally and maturity wise you are not fully aware and understanding of what its all about.. even if you think you do…
I do wonder just what place some of you are coming from?..

William Cameron
William Cameron
7 months ago

I hold no brief for the man – never met him.
But I am staggered at the media printing such claims against a person – what happened to innocent until proved guilty ?
Rape is a crime and should be investigated and charged if appropriate. If there isnt a clear case then it will not be.
Sex between people over 16 is not a crime in most circumstances . It may be inappropriate between teenagers and mature people. But if we dont like it change the law.
The thinking seems very confused about this. To make a claim of rape years later makes no sense. It was an either the crime at the time or it was not . No one can judge a rape claim many years later- and no one can defend such a charge either.

Last edited 7 months ago by William Cameron
alexandra frenkiel
alexandra frenkiel
7 months ago

Spot on. After 30 years in television I cannot be alone in knowing about similar others who have sailed through life soaring to high positions as the great and the good and with no fear of getting outed or got, Those who reported their predations 20 and 30 years ago (to anyone who would listen) and who were ignored or rewarded by seeing their tormentor promoted upwards are silent now having moved on to other campaigns while those men enjoy status, power and impunity. I cannot be alone in knowing this, can I?

Xanthe Jay
Xanthe Jay
7 months ago

You make an interesting point. The comments here have focussed on RB and whether or not he is guilty of the accusations of rape / sexual abuse and grooming. I like you, think a more interesting point is the role of Channel 4 and then the BBC in creating RB’s media personna and then promoting him through the ranks. The Dispatches documentary charts his meteoric rise to stardom as a sequence of mysogenistic or debauch events which were in flagrant breach of public broadcasting standards and safeguarding rules put in place to protect staff and the public. The real scandal in my mind is the manner in which TV executives encouraged his ever increasing acts of sexual abuse by promoting him rather than confronting him. They ignored the many complaints and even failed to monitor his output (Sach’s grandaughter scandal). Why? Because RB delivered millions in revenue and ratings – the only thing TV executives see as important. How, given RB’s reputation towards the end of this period, did the BBC think it was a good idea to give RB’s own production company Vanity Projects the contract for RB’s Radio 2 programme Russell Brand? A celebrity with a reputation for being shocking and crude, with a brand of humour linked to his self-promotion as a sexual deviant was being rewarded each time he transgressed. The TV companies took no responsibility for his ever more obsene and insulting attacks on women. From his perspective why would RB have moderated his behaviour? The TV companies not only encouraged it on-screen, but they provided opportunity for his predatory behaviour and gave him immunity from facing any sort of workplace or moral criticism.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
7 months ago

While he was a darling of the Left, no “victim” came forward. For years and years. Now that he has broken ranks and gone conspiracy rogue, MSM have found “victims” with which to launch a media campaign. The timing is worthy of note.

Steve Hall
Steve Hall
7 months ago

I said it might be a bit of both on Twitter. Interestingly, it upset those who think it’s a smear campaign far less than it upset those keen to condemn him as a sex monster before due process.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
7 months ago

“No one spoke out, often for fear of reprisals or professional difficulties.” 
No they did not think it as a big deal at the time and the only way that they can explain the fact that they did not speak up earlier is to claim, as doubt they were encouraged to do, that they feared reprisals or professional difficulties

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
7 months ago

“Meanwhile, I’ve had my share of encounters that seemed okay at the time but which were, in hindsight, pretty abusive” 
Haven’t we all. Abuse is in the eye of the beholder

Last edited 7 months ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Michael Lucken
Michael Lucken
7 months ago

Charm sweet-talk woo tempt seduce cajole coax entice. 
Persuade coerce lure pressurise compel intimidate force  
If people were able to witness individuals’ words actions and behavior leading up to and during sexual interactions and ask them to point out what fits into the above two lists of synonyms I suspect there would be wide variation in the answers.
Being more of a shy retiring type rather than outgoing forceful I think I would likely fit towards the left of the first set. My guess is that it would come as no surprise to most that I have tended towards the bottom of the league in terms of numbers of notches on the bedpost compared to many friends and contemporaries of an opposite nature who perhaps fit further to the right of that line and maybe drift into the left of the second line at times. No surprise if the powerful and famous go further. There does not widely seem to be a direct correlation between who many women say they like and who they choose to hook up, go home and spend the night with. Such as it always has been I guess. What sexual behavior is seen as socially acceptable by those who pose as our moral arbiters in the media changes over time though and quite considerably and increasingly rapidly over the last few decades, the public tend to follow. Politics and power have much to do with it.The odd convenient sacrificial celebrity is part of the game.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
7 months ago

SO somebody who engaged in joking banter with Jimmy Savile about sex has been accused of bad things?

Who could have seen that happening?

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
7 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Allegedly!

Andrew F
Andrew F
7 months ago

I like author writing but her claims about “her previous encounters being with hindsight abusive” is the same argument “justice warriors” use in case of rewriting history.
You can not apply current norms to what happened many years ago.
If your moral compass changed, good for you.
But you can not claim 10 or 20 years later that it should be considered rape or abuse now.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
7 months ago

The Brand complex began with his appearances on the Bill Maher US talkshow. Going beyond YouTube polemics, Brand’s criticism of neoconservatism started to reach a larger American public.
Maher also started to make a few of these videos with him too. And in the last year US public opposition to funding the Ukraine war has started to outweight support for it.
The Times investigation ‘began’ in 2019 according to the journalist involved but seems to have been frozen to a more politically opportune town. His Achilles’ heel of bad sexual behaviour has been weaponised with the Assange Swedish case actually being the closest comparison.

William Cameron
William Cameron
7 months ago

What are todays rules for two adults over 16 unmarried to have sex and be certain no claim will ensue ?

Mark V
Mark V
7 months ago

Trial by the court of public opinion, alone, isn’t very convincing.

Nancy Kmaxim
Nancy Kmaxim
7 months ago

Maybe it’s time to change the term to “predatory people”. I certainly saw predatory behavior by both sexes in the workplace, joined by a contingent of those who although not the instigator, weren’t particularly concerned with the ethics of the situation. It’s a complex system.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
7 months ago
Last edited 7 months ago by Richard Craven
Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
7 months ago

How is this man a threat to the establishment when he attacks those who make incisive and knowledgeable criticisms of it, such as Peter Hitchens? Or those who have genuinely taken it on, such as Nigel Farage?
It’s hardly surprising that women have waited to report their ‘experiences’ until the odds are more in their favour. Now that the old Guardian favourite has gone all conspiracy theorist, perhaps they think there will be a greater willingness to listen.
Yet, they still have no guarantee that all women will turn out in their support. Those ‘non-commissioned officers’. Or those who turn up on Clapham Common to protest at the police but were AWOL when they could have protested against the police’s lack of interest in the allegations made by the girls and women in Rotherham.

Last edited 7 months ago by Citizen Diversity
Gina B
Gina B
7 months ago

There are two things which never seem to be mentioned in the discussion about Russell Brand. First of all there are an awful lot of women who throw themselves at handsome celebrities. Some women think it is a status thing to have slept with the celebrity. In fact there would have been so many of them that it seems unlikely he would expend energy on unwilling or unavailable women. Which leads into the second point that Russell Brand was an addict – a heroin addict, alcoholic and sex addict – which he freely admits and talks about a lot. At some point he got sober and works a program – which he also talks about. He does not use any of those substances any more and is also married with a wife and two children. Obviously he has worked really hard to change and actually seems to have done so. Part of the program he follows involves recognizing and making amends to those people who have been harmed by his actions during the addiction. Addiction is not pretty and it is a mental illness – neither he nor anybody else denies this but nobody seems to mentions that the worst of his behaviour took place while he was still suffering from the active addiction and that he has worked really hard to recover.

Claire D
Claire D
7 months ago

Deleted

Last edited 7 months ago by Claire D
Dumetrius
Dumetrius
7 months ago
Reply to  Claire D

Dan Wootton has been accused of simiilarly grotty behaviour in the past few months, so I doubt it is unique to the TV world of the early 2000s.