December 4, 2023


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Police investigate fresh allegations as agent dumps Brand | UK | News#Police #investigate #fresh #allegations #agent #dumps #Brand #News

I would like to say the allegations made about Russell Brand are shocking.

I am appalled by them but not remotely shocked. Which in itself is alarming.

However they clearly are criminal allegations – of rape, sexual assault and grooming.

There is no doubt the police on both sides of the Atlantic should investigate.

But that will not happen without those who have already been very brave showing even more courage.

The Met Police has now received a report of alleged sexual assault in relation to claims against Brand.

I welcome this because only with a full criminal investigation, and a proper judicial process, can the allegations be tested.

There is, inevitably, a terror of coming forward to make this sort of allegation. In all too many cases, victims are blamed and shamed, and often it feels the victim is on trial not the perpetrator.

We have seen that over the last few days, criticisms in both the mainstream media and on social media that it has taken too long for these allegations to surface.

Completely overlooking the genuine fear there is for women to speak out against powerful or influential men.

That can be a fear of losing employment and being judged and attacked by those who know nothing and care less.

Many are reliant on freelance work in the entertainment industry, and there is little in the way of security, as my committee has heard repeatedly over recent weeks.

This means victims are silenced because speaking out puts employment at risk.

Last week we took evidence from DJ Annie Macmanus, in which she highlighted the experience of a female photographer on tour with a band, who had to remove herself from an unsafe environment, thus losing work, because there was nobody to complain to.

In the Brand case, there have been allegations that production companies deliberately surrounded him with male crews, presumably to minimise risk to women.

But minimising risk means reducing employment opportunities.

Surely the answer is to deal with the inappropriate behaviour of perpetrators, not to prevent women from doing their job.

Caroline Nokes is the chairwoman of the Women and Equalities Committee.

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