Comedian Russell Brand, who was married to pop star and “American Idol” judge Katy Perry from 2010 to 2012, is vehemently denying five women’s allegations of emotional abuse, sexual assault and rape, which were detailed by investigative reporters from multiple British news outlets. But resurfaced comments from Perry made after their divorce have many people wondering how much she actually knew.
The scathing report, published on September 17, 2023, is the result of an in-depth investigation by the Sunday Times, the Times and Channel 4’s “Dispatches” into claims by five separate women that Brand abused or assaulted them between 2006 and 2013. Alerted ahead of time to the impending report, Brand issued a video statement the day before, admitting he was “very promiscuous” during that time, but insisting any sexual encounters he had were consensual.
But with the allegations has come renewed interest in Brand’s past relationships, particularly since his marriage to Perry occurred around the same time as some of the alleged accounts of abuse and assault. The couple met on a movie set and started dating in 2009, according to BuzzFeed, married in October 2010, and then Brand told Perry he wanted a divorce via text in December 2011, she told Vogue. Their divorce was finalized in February 2012, per the LA Times.
Perry has not publicly commented about the new report but she has hinted in past interviews at serious trouble during their relationship, including calling Brand “very controlling” during her 2013 interview with Vogue and cryptically alluding to finding out the “real truth” behind their split. Social media is now buzzing with people wondering what Perry may have known about her ex a decade ago.
Five Women Shared Allegations of Abuse, Assault and Rape by Russell Brand, Who Denies Any Wrongdoing
In the graphic investigative report, one woman alleged she had been raped by Brand and the three other women accused him of sexual assault. One of the women claimed the actor he had been physically and emotionally abusive.
One of the women was just 16 when, she said, Brand asked her out on a date in 2006. One time during sex, she said Brand sexually assaulted her when she wouldn’t comply with what he wanted. She recalled being choked and gagged, crying for help and punching him to get off of her.
“I was crying and he said, ‘Oh I only wanted to see your mascara run anyway,’” she told the reporters.
Another woman said Brand raped her at his Los Angeles home in July 2012, less than four months after his divorce from Perry was finalized, after he answered the door naked and she tried to leave. The alleged victim told The Times that she went to the Rape Treatment Center (RTC) at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center afterwards. The Times was provided with a copy of her medical records, which showed that “she provided her underwear and other samples as evidence, which were frozen.”
Another woman who was a colleague said that in 2013, Brand “grabbed me and got me on the bed,” pinning her down while kissing her and removing her clothes.
“I think he had his hands down my trousers but I was fighting so hard and I was screaming so hard, hoping that I could get through somehow,” she recalled, and then said, “I don’t know what the actual definition of ‘sexual assault’ is, but it feels like that. He didn’t rape me.”
A fourth anonymous woman, another former colleague, recalled a time when Brand intentionally flashed her when she walked into his dressing report.
The report also shared an account of physical and emotional abuse by Brand that was shared by his ex-girlfriend, Jordan Martin, in her 2014 book, “kNot: Entanglement with a Celebrity.” Though the reporters didn’t interview Martin, she confirmed to them that her accusations of assault and abuse during the six months they dated, starting in 2007, were accurate.
On September 16, Russell posted a video statement on his popular YouTube channel, where he passionately advocates for “independent media and independent politics.” In his video, he said that he’d been informed report would be coming out the next day and fully denied the allegations against him.
“These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies,” he said. “And as I’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous. Now during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely, always consensual.”
He continued, “I was always transparent about that then — almost too transparent. And I’m being transparent about it now as well. And to see that transparency metastasized into something criminal, that I absolutely deny.”
Russell accused the news outlets of staging a “coordinated attack” against him and said that he had “witnesses whose evidence directly contradicts the narratives that these two mainstream media outlets are trying to construct,” though his reps did not supply any details when asked by the papers and Channel 4 to do so.
Buzz Grows About What Katy Perry May Have Known
As news spread of the detailed allegations against Brand, old interviews with Perry and Brand began to resurface, with statements that prompted some to wonder what kind of partner Brand had been and whether Perry knew about infidelities or worrisome behavior.
In her 2012 documentary, which included footage of her learning they were divorcing minutes before going on stage for a concert, Perry blamed their breakup on their busy schedules. But according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Brand said in his own 2015 documentary that he and Perry were moving in “possibly opposite” directions, and that she wasn’t interested in the activism work that he was.
Perry blamed herself for their breakup at first, but in her 2013 Vogue interview, in which she recalled Brand being “very controlling,” she said she had learned new information that changed her perspective.
“I felt a lot of responsibility for it ending, but then I found out the real truth, which I can’t necessarily disclose because I keep it locked in my safe for a rainy day,” she said. “I let go and I was like: ‘This isn’t because of me; this is beyond me.’ So I have moved on from that.”
In an August 2023 TV interview, Brand called his relationship with Perry “chaotic” and said he felt “disconnected.”
With the accusations against Brand making headlines, social media started buzzing about how he treated Perry during their relationship and what she may have learned that made her okay with their split.
“We need to know what info about Russell Brand @KatyPerry has ‘locked in a safe for a rainy day,” one person tweeted.
Another person, who tweeted footage from Perry’s documentary in which she took the stage minutes after learning Brand wanted a divorce, wrote, “We have all known Russell Brand is a bad person since the release of the Katy Perry documentary in 2012.”
Perry and Brand have both started families since they were together. Perry is engaged to actor Orlando Bloom and they share a two-year-old daughter, Daisy. Meanwhile, Brand married Laura Gallacher, a woman he had dated briefly prior to his relationship with Perry, according to People. The couple has two daughters, six-year-old Mabel and four-year-old, Peggy. In June, they announced their expecting their third child together.