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BBC Says It Received 5 Complaints About Russell Brand

The BBC, Britain’s public broadcaster, announced on Tuesday that it had received five complaints about “inappropriate behavior” by the comedian Russell Brand during a period when he was working on its radio shows.

The broadcaster began an inquiry into Mr. Brand’s conduct as a BBC employee in September, after three British news organizations published a lengthy investigation in which four women accused him of sexual assault in a series of incidents between 2006 and 2013. One woman accused Mr. Brand of raping her. The investigation also included other claims about Mr. Brand’s behavior in the workplace.

The night before the investigation was published, Mr. Brand posted a clip to his social media channels in which he denied all the “serious criminal allegations” against him and said that his relationships with women had always been consensual.

In its first update on its inquiry, the BBC said two people had complained about Mr. Brand between 2006 and 2008, when he was a regular host on its radio stations. Another complainant contacted the BBC in 2019, and two other individuals had done so in recent months, it said in a news release. Mr. Brand did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tuesday’s news release does not detail specific complaints, but says they include “allegations of inappropriate conduct” in and around the workplace, including a 2008 incident, which the BBC has previously said it is investigating, in which Mr. Brand is said to have exposed himself to a woman in Los Angeles.

The news release said “the majority” of those complaints were already public knowledge, while the BBC’s news report on the matter said the two new complaints “are understood to relate to his workplace conduct, and are not of a serious sexual nature.” The original media investigation into Mr. Brand included allegations that he was disrespectful to radio show guests and urinated into a bottle in view of others.

The news release said it appeared that “no disciplinary action” was taken against Mr. Brand while he was a BBC employee.

Mr. Brand’s time at the BBC came to an abrupt end in October 2008, after he recorded an episode of his radio show that included lewd prank phone calls to Andrew Sachs, the veteran actor known for playing the waiter Manuel in the 1970s comedy series “Fawlty Towers.” In the calls, Mr. Brand and his co-host Jonathan Ross made repeated comments about Mr. Brand having sex with Sachs’s granddaughter, and other lewd remarks.

Shortly after the show was broadcast, it became a political storm in Britain, with thousands of people calling the BBC to complain. Mr. Brand resigned from his position at the broadcaster.

The BBC does not have a date for when its investigation will be completed, but the news release said the corporation hopes “to provide substantive outcomes in the New Year.”

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