Former Big Brother runner feels they 'acted as pimps to Russell Brands needs'
A former Big Brother runner that appeared on Channel 4 and The Times’ collaborative Dispatches episode investigating Russell Brand revealed they feel like runners on the show ‘acted as pimps’ for the comedian.
The comedian and actor, 48, has faced numerous accusations in an exposé this afternoon as well as a Channel 4 special episode of Dispatches airing in a joint investigation with The Times, shedding light on the allegations.
Brand, who has denied the ‘very serious allegations’ in a video shared on Friday night, has been accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse by four women, including one who claimed she was 16 years old at the time.
The episode, Russell Brand: In Plain Sight, featured interviews with the women behind the allegations as well as those who have worked alongside the TV personality, including former runners on Big Brother.
Brand hosted Big Brother spin-off Big Brother’s Big Mouth from 2004 to 2006, and Celebrity Big Brother’s Big Mouth from 2005 to 2007.
In Dispatches, a former runner from the show claimed they and their fellow coworkers were ‘basically acting as pimps to Russell Brands’ needs’ as they put him in contact with women in the audience of the show that 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.
The anonymous runner said the act was like ‘leading lambs to slaughter,’ and it was ‘‘so horrible to listen to them being so upset and distressed.’
Another staff member speaking in the documentary recalled a time they collected Brand from his dressing room, with them claiming he flashed his penis at them.
They said the encounter left them ‘in tears’ as they claimed Brand suggested they have a ‘quickie’ before filming.
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.
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