I've got a lot of questions about this. If it really was some kind of open secret that Russell Brand was an alleged sexual predator, then why did the BBC and Channel 4 allow him to stalk their corridors for so long?
It was actually more his views on Covid that stopped the legacy media from putting this guy in front of a camera, not the whispers of sexual misconduct. I think that's quite possibly an interesting case study, isn't it, about the priorities of many people in the industry.
In the hypothetical world that Russell Brand ever goes to court, would he ever be able to get a fair trial after this? He's already had trial by media. It raises again the question of whether the accused should be granted anonymity just the same as the alleged victims are. Should there be a statute of limitations when it comes to bringing allegations against people?
Now I can very much see both sides of this.
I come down on the side of no, I don't think there should be a statute of limitations, mainly because some people, especially if something happened when they were a child, say for example, may take an incredibly long time to be able to feel comfortable pressing charges.
But from Russell Brand's perspective, I don't think that there can be any question that he is a radically different man now than the person that he was when he first shot to fame. And for people who claim to be his victims, I think the idea that he's sitting in a multimillion pound pad in Henley on Thames with a beautiful wife and a lovely family and money in the bank will probably grate on them.
Russell Brand denies the allegationsYouTube/Russell Brand
So I imagine that if I thought that somebody had raped me, I wouldn't really care whether or not they changed as a person, I would still want them to be held to account.
But in terms of where this leaves Brand, well, at the time of me saying this now he's lost his talent agency, I think he's just lost his book publisher. Mainstream outlets won't really have him on. I'm not too sure that he actually wanted them anyway. He hasn't yet lost his marriage. He has lost at least a good chunk of his reputation. And I think it's that point is vital now - his reputation.
He is now in a very difficult situation. Does he not have to try to sue Dispatches and the Times to protect his reputation? That will be interesting to see what happens there, won't it?
One thing is for sure, there are two camps on this.
One, Russell Brand is innocent and is the victim of a hit job, primarily because he is a threat to mainstream legacy media, because he's a successful independent producer of content, and he's been hammering the antiestablishment narratives that make him a threat to the established order of things, and he must be taken down. He's completely innocent.
The second school of thought, of course, is that he's behaved deplorably. The alleged victims are telling the absolute truth and he hid in plain sight for years.