Russell Brand is making his first public appearance since allegations of sexual assault and emotional abuse

Russell Brand appeared on stage on Saturday for the first time since he was accused of rape, sexual assault and abuse of several women.

The 48-year-old comedian, actor and social influencer performed at a sold-out stand-up show at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theater in north-west London as part of his Bipolarisation tour.

After arriving late due to traffic, Brand thanked his fans for turning up and said there were certain topics he could not discuss, citing the allegations, BBC News reported.

“I really appreciate your support, I love you and I want to put on a great show for you,” he told the crowd of 2,000 people. “I have many things to talk to you about. Of course, there are some things that I absolutely cannot talk about, and I appreciate your understanding.”

His appearance came hours after three British news organizations reported that Brand has been charged with rape, sexual assault and abuse based on allegations from four women who knew him for over seven years at the height of his fame.

The Sunday Times, The Times of London and Channel 4’s “Dispatches” said one woman alleged she had been raped and three others accused him of sexual assault. One of the women also said he had been physically and emotionally abusive.

Before the stories were published, Brand denied the allegations and said all of his relationships have been consensual.

“Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I refute,” Brand said in a statement. “These allegations relate to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the papers all the time, when I was in the movies, and as I’ve written a lot about in my books, I was very, very promiscuous.”

“Now in that era of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely, always consensual,” he added. “I was always transparent about it then, almost too transparent, and I’m transparent about it now.”

Brand also suggested the reports were part of a coordinated attack designed to discredit him because of his views. Brand has been criticized for expressing skepticism about COVID-19 vaccines and interviewing controversial podcasters such as Joe Rogan.

On Sunday, the BBC, Channel 4 and a production company said they would investigate the allegations which took place during Brand’s time as a presenter on BBC Radio’s 6 Music and Radio 2, and as a host of programs on Channel 4.

The BBC said it was “rapidly investigating the issues raised” and Channel 4 announced an internal investigation.

Although none of the alleged abuse was said to have taken place on BBC or Channel 4 premises, there have been several allegations about Brand’s behavior in the workplace, the BBC reported.

London’s Metropolitan Police said on Sunday it was aware of news reports of a series of sexual assault allegations but had not directly received any reports related to the allegations.

“If anyone believes they have been the victim of a sexual assault, regardless of how long ago it happened, we would encourage them to contact the police,” Metropolitan Police communications officer Callum Jones said, adding that the department was in contact with the Sunday Times and channel 4.

Also on Sunday, talent agency Tavistock Wood said it had severed all ties with Brand.

“Russell Brand categorically and vehemently denied the allegation made in 2020, but we now believe we were grossly misled by him,” the agency said in a statement.

Brand rose to fame as a stand-up comic in the UK in the early 2000s, landing starring roles on Channel 4 and BBC Radio, capitalizing on his reputation for outrageous behavior and risqué banter.

Later, he made the jump to Hollywood and starred in films such as “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” in 2008 and the remake of “Arthur” in 2011. Brand was married to pop star Katy Perry from 2010-2012.

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