A TV executive who worked at a company that hired Russell Brand has described the allegations against the star as “depressing”.
Phil Edgar-Jones was creative director of Remarkable Pictures, part of Endemol UK, and oversaw Big Brother during its Channel 4 years.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: “There was never any sense that he had done anything inappropriate, which was certainly pointed out.
“We knew he had a reputation for being promiscuous – and everyone knew that at the time – but that’s as far as we knew.”
He added that the allegations were “quite depressing”.
Edgar-Jones, who is now director of Sky Arts and Entertainment, went on to stress that Remarkable Pictures would “100%” have acted if anything was brought to their attention.
Four women made allegations of rape and sexual assault against Brand in a joint investigation by The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.
Some of the claims date back to when he presented the spin-off show Big Brother’s Big Mouth.
The comedian and actor has said that he “absolutely rejects” the charges against him — and claimed he is being attacked by the mainstream media.
Edgar-Jones said it was difficult to say whether Brand’s behavior at the time would have been considered unacceptable now.
“It’s been 20 years – I guess maybe these things are called a lot more now, for sure. But at the time it didn’t seem like there was anything unreasonable that he was doing,” he added.
The Director went on to confirm that he is happy to participate in the reviews currently taking place – with the BBC and Channel 4 investigating.
In other developments:
• YouTube has suspended ads on videos posted on Brand’s account
• Kanal 4 has removed content with the comedian from its streaming service
• The BBC has also removed some branded content from iPlayer and Sounds
• Brand’s tour promoters have confirmed that his live shows have been postponed
• The Metropolitan Police has received a charge of sexual assault against Brand dating back to 2003
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Brand was at the center of the so-called “Sachsgate” scandal in 2008, when he and TV host Jonathan Ross left creepy messages on the answering machine of Andrew Sachs, the late Fawlty Towers actor.
The voicemails had related to Sachs’ granddaughter Georgina Baillie, who had an on-off relationship with Brand in the 2000s.
The 38-year-old actress went on to say that while she did not know all the details surrounding the allegations, some of the evidence is “compelling”.
Asked for his thoughts on the allegations, Baillie added: “I don’t know what happened there – I don’t know because I wasn’t there. He never did anything like that to me, everything was more than consensual, I promise .”