The woman at the heart of the Sachsgate controversy has reflected on her experience nearly 15 years later.
Georgina Baillie, now 38, was put under the spotlight when Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross decided to leave a string of offensive messages on Fawlty Towers’ star Andrew Sach’s answerphone.
Baillie, who is Sach’s granddaughter, had previously had a fling with Brand when she was 20 and he was 30, admitting she had been “dazzled by his celebrity.”
Now an artist, Baillie has reflected on her experience after a number of women have accused Brand, 48, of rape, sexual assault and emotionally manipulative behaviour. Brand has strenuously denied all allegations.
Speaking to the Mirror, Baillie said: “I was a young girl completely dazzled by celebrity and I would do anything - and I did.
“I thought I was just a 20-year-old girl at a party but looking back on it years later I was already in the throes of addiction myself. I was really lost back then.”
Baillie, who maintained her relationship with Brand was consensual, added she found the experience of reluctant fame difficult to process.
“After Sachsgate, Russell made millions of pounds doing a stand-up routine about it and that was very hard and painful for me - I was the butt of the joke, I was young and didn't know how to process it and I turned to drink and drugs,” she said.
“I hope these alleged survivors get the help that they need. For about ten years after Sachsgate it was very hard because I didn't know whether I was in the wrong, so when he apologised it was a huge weight lifted off me.”
Brand apologised to Baillie several years after the incident, and paid for her to attend rehab.
“I can say from personal experience that addiction makes you act appallingly and hurt people. He knows his behaviour towards me was appalling,” she said.
“I have complete empathy for anyone who is a survivor of sexual assault - while nothing happened like that to me with Russell, I will always believe survivors.”
The allegations against Brand were made public over the weekend, after an investigation by the Times, the Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.
In a video released on his YouTube channel, Brand said: “Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute.
"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 and as I have 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. I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent, and I am being transparent about it now as well.
“To see that transparency metastasised into something criminal, that I absolutely deny, makes me question is there another agenda at play.”
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