Russell Brand’s Book Deal Paused, Channel 4 Launches Internal Investigation Into Sex Abuse Allegations

Russell Brand‘s book projects were paused by publisher Bluebird, an imprint of U.K. book company Pan Macmillan, in the wake of a recent allegations of sexual assault that have also prompted Channel 4 to launch an internal investigation.

Brand’s next live show in the U.K. is also in question as the scandal unfolds.

“These are very serious allegations and in the light of them, Bluebird has taken the decision to pause all future publishing with Russell Brand,” Bluebird said in a statement to TheWrap.

Brand has been publishing with Bluebird since 2017 with the title, “Recovery: Freedom from our Addictions.” A new book, “Recovery: The Workbook,” was scheduled to be published in December but has since been paused.

Channel 4, part of the investigation team behind the original report along with the newspapers The Times and The Sunday Times, has launched its own internal investigation into the comedian.

The U.K. network, which was part of Brand’s rise to fame early in his career, was one of the three publications that contributed to the expose through its Channel 4 Dispatches arm. The network’s “Big Brother’s Big Mouth” was the show where several of the reported incidents took place.

“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,” the network said in an official statement to TheWrap. “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.”

Channel 4 went on to say that it has asked the production company that produced these programs to conduct their own investigations and report their results back to the network. “Channel 4 is also conducting its own internal investigation, and we would encourage anyone who is aware of such behaviour to contact us directly,” the statement continued.

In the years and management changes since the reported incidents took place, the network noted that it now 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.”

The comedian’s performing future is also in question. Though Brand was supposed to perform at the U.K.-based Theatre Royal Windsor on Monday afternoon, the theatre has yet to make a decision about whether the show will go on.

Brand performed on Sunday and was given a standing ovation at Wembley’s Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. Though there was at least one sign that read “We stand by you Russell,” the comedian did not directly talk about the report onstage.

The expose, which was released on Saturday, contained allegations from four women who accused Brand of “controlling, abusive and predatory behavior.” The report has led to an industry-wide backlash against the comedian, including his agency, Tavistock Wood, dropping him. It was later revealed that the talent agency was aware of an allegation made by a 16-year-old in 2020.

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