A former Big Brother runner who participated on Channel 4 and The Times’ joint Dispatches broadcast examining Russell Brand said that they believe the show’s runners behaved as pimps for the comedian.
The comedian and actor, 48, has faced multiple charges in an exposé this afternoon, as well as a special edition of Dispatches broadcast on Channel 4 as part of a joint investigation with The Times, providing light on the allegations.
Brand, who rejected the’very serious claims’ in a video posted Friday night, has been accused of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse by four women, one of whom said she was 16 at the time.
Russell Brand: In Plain Sight included interviews with the women accused as well as individuals who have worked with the TV star, including past Big Brother runners.
From 2004 to 2006, Brand presented Big Brother spin-off Big Brother’s Big Mouth, and from 2005 to 2007, he hosted Celebrity Big Brother’s Big Mouth.
In Dispatches, a former showrunner said that they and their coworkers were ‘essentially working as pimps to Russell Brands’ demands’ by putting him in contact with ladies in the crowd who were ‘all over 18, but under 22.’
They went on to allege they ‘distinctly remember getting calls from women who had met with Russell’ who were ‘mostly upset they had been used’ by the star, though they said they did not know ‘what went on’ after the show wrapped.
According to the anonymous runner, the act was akin to ‘walking lambs to slaughter,’ and it was ”so dreadful to listen to them being so unhappy and concerned.’
Another staff member who spoke in the video recounted picking up Brand from his dressing room and alleging he displayed his penis at them.
They said Brand recommended they do a “quickie” before shooting, which left them “in tears.”
Speaking to The Mirror, Channel 4 said in a statement: ‘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.
‘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.’
Victim Support offers support to survivors of rape and sexual abuse. You can contact them on 0333 300 6389.