Russell Brand‘s close friends and confidantes are rallying to defend the comedian in the wake of the shocking rape and sexual misconduct allegations being made against him, insisting that while the comedian is ‘crude, arrogant, and offensive’, he is ‘not a monster’.
The 48-year-old British-born screen star has been substance-free since 2002, and according to one woman who has known him since his early days in recovery, those in his sober circle are ‘shocked’ by the accusations of abuse that he is now facing.
Four women came forward with claims that they had suffered rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse at the hands of Russell between 2006 and 2013 in a bombshell joint investigation between the Sunday Times and Channel 4 over the weekend.
Now, sources close to the comedian – who has vehemently denied all allegations – have come forward to voice their shock over the claims, while revealing the brutal toll that the scandal has had on his wife, Laura Gallacher.
‘Everyone is shocked right now. Russell has been a driving force in so many people’s recovery over the years and he has helped thousands of people get clean by sharing his powerful story,’ one woman, who went through recovery with Russell and wished to remain anonymous, told DailyMail.com.
Russell Brand, 48, pictured at a 2017 event for his book Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, has the support of a close pal from his sobriety circle who has been left ‘shocked’
Brand’s wife Laura Gallacher, seen on a walk in London in 2017, is a ‘wreck right now,’ a source close to the couple told DailyMail.com exclusively
‘He is constantly being of service and is very engaged in his recovery. He works with a team of new addicts to help them get sober as well.’
A separate source, who met Brand during his rise to fame, claimed he has never ‘crossed the line’.
‘I have seen Russell in intimate settings, as well as huge red carpet celebrity events. He is always himself and, while he is very flirty because this is his nature, I have not witnessed him crossing the line,’ the Hollywood insider told DailyMail.com.
‘Russell is vulgar. He is crude. He has built a persona on being a sexual playboy. He has slept with countless women, and he will tell you this.
‘He is also offensive, and he is arrogant, but he never came across as a monster to me. He is, in fact, very good to those who he cares about. He has friends who will stand up in court to vouch for his character if he needs them.’
The once-promiscuous actor, who was infamously dubbed ‘Shagger of the Year’, married Gallacher in 2017, six years after he split from his first wife, Katy Perry. The couple have daughters, Mabel, and Peggy, and are awaiting the birth of their third child.
She is struggling with the ’emotional toll’ of the allegations, according to his sober friend, who claimed Brand has always been ‘transparent’ with his wife.
‘Laura is a wreck right now,’ they said. ‘She is pregnant, which is making this even more crushing for her because of the emotional toll pregnancy itself takes on a woman.
According to a Hollywood insider who has known Brand, pictured at a photo shoot for Trashy Lingerie in 2008, for years, the comedian is ‘crude and vulgar’ but ‘not a monster’
The stand-up comic, with Burlesque dancers at The Brit Awards in 2007, is ‘flirty by nature’ an entertainment industry insider has said
‘She believes that Russell is a great father and husband and they have been through so much. Russell has always been transparent with her.’
The allegations have sent shockwaves across the entertainment industry and have forced the BBC and Channel 4 – whom Brand worked for during the time the alleged incidents took place – to launch urgent probes.
Laura – the sister of Sky Sports host Kirsty Gallacher and daughter of golfer Bernard Gallacher, 87 – is yet to break her silence. She appears to have deleted her Instagram account.
After the news of his alleged behavior surfaced, another source revealed to DailyMail.com that Laura would have his back.
‘What Russell did was firmly in the past, way before he and Laura met. Of course, it isn’t easy, but they are determined to get through this,’ the friend said.
Sky Sports star Kirsty appeared to support her brother-in-law, sharing Brand’s YouTube video denial which was posted on Friday night, hours before the allegations were made public.
But the TV star – who introduced her sister to Brand in 2007 – later deleted her Instagram ‘story’ which was posted with a large red love heart.
Speaking on his channel, the former MTV star said he had received two ‘extremely disturbing letters’ which listed ‘a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks, which are untrue’.
Former spouse Katy Perry, seen with Brand at the 2010 Academy Awards, has not spoken out about the accusations levelled at her ex-husband
The comedian has denied the allegations of rape and sexual assault made by four women
One woman alleged Brand raped her against the wall in his Los Angeles home.
A second woman claimed that he assaulted her and referred to her as ‘the child’ during an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship when he was 31 and she was 16 and still at school.
A third woman alleged the comedian sexually assaulted her while she was working with him in Los Angeles and that he threatened her with legal action if she told anyone.
While the fourth claimed she was sexually assaulted by Brand, who she alleges was physically and emotionally abusive towards her.
The BBC, Channel 4, and production firm Banijay have launched investigations into his behavior, while the Met Police is investigating a report of sexual assault in Soho in 2003.
YouTube has also suspended him from making money off of the site, and the remaining dates for his Bipolarisation tour in the UK have been postponed.
Brand, who was sacked from BBC Radio 2 after leaving a series of lewd messages for Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs about his granddaughter, previously battled drug and alcohol addiction as well as seeking treatment for sex addiction.
In December 2022, he thanked his friends and family on Instagram for his sobriety.
‘I’m 20 years clean and sober today. It’s December the 13th. So, firstly I wanted to express my gratitude for all the people who have helped me to remain clean and sober,’ he said in a video message.
He also stated that he believed achieving and maintaining sobriety ‘is never done on your own,’ and that ‘even though it’s often seen and celebrated as a personal achievement – it is in essence, a community and spiritual achievement’.
The stand-up comic assured his followers that if someone is dealing with an addiction, ‘it is possible to change’ things.
‘There is a way back to dignity, there is a way back to behaving responsibly and caringly – those things are all possible,’ he said.