Vanessa Feltz has opened up on a previous experience with comedian Russell Brand in the wake of the allegations of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse against him – allegations which he strongly denies.
The This Morning star, now 61, reflected on an occasion when she was speaking to the Hollywood actor, 48, during an appearance at his chat show.
The allegations made against Russell were claimed to have taken place between 2006 and 2013 against four women, and were made public following a joint investigation by Channel 4's Dispatches and The Times, which released the documentary Russell Brand: In Plain Sight on September 16.
The comedian has said every sexual relationship he has ever had has been completely consensual.
Sharing all on her TalkTV news programme today, Monday 18 September, Vanessa commented on the furore.
“If this is OK with you, I wouldn’t mind sharing with you a personal reflection on this story? I met Russell Brand when I was a guest on EForum and Big Brother’s Big Mouth – so our career paths crossed quite naturally over the years and on other occasions I met him as a friend, I met him on his shows and one of those occasions was in 2006 when I appeared on his chat show, 1 Leicester Square."
As she was played a clip of the programme, which showcased Russell asking Vanessa "Can I have it off with either you or your daughters?", the star was indignant at the time.
“No, you may not! No…” Vanessa shot back quickly, but Russell continued to press buttons.
“Or here’s a whacky suggestion…” the comic went on, as Vanessa replied: “Or three at once, no!”
“Damn she’s always one step ahead. Vanessa Feltz, come on, some of them are adults," Russell joked, to which Vanessa shot back once more: “I’ve got two daughters and no, the answer is no.”
Russell pressed again: "None of them?" but Vanessa continued to shut the risqué comedian down.
“Neither. Will you stop it! No you can’t," she declared, as Russell called the TV presenter "selfish".
“When you have your own daughters you will know why I said that," Vanessa continued, and Russell said he "won't sleep with them…"
“God, yuck," Vanessa finished at the time, and in present day, she went on: “Yuck, precisely, that’s what I thought then and that’s what I think now.”
“It’s terribly awkward when you are a guest on somebody else’s show, particularly in a theatre, which is full of great fans of the presenter… I was in this unbelievably awkward position where you don’t quite know what to do," the star explained. "Are you meant to think it’s funny and play along?
"Are you meant to stand up and walk out in high dudgeon and look as if you are a spoil-sport and a party-pooper? What are you supposed to do?
“I know, I was deeply offended then, as I remain deeply offended now at the idea of him saying, ‘I want to have sex with you and both your daughters’. I think one of my daughters was 15 years old at the time and the answer was as you saw me say there, was emphatically, ‘No!’”
Vanessa finished her reflections by revealing that she was in the studio watching Russell work on BBBM "frequently" back then, and she "admired him enormously".
"His phraseology, his passion, the kind of drama of it all. He seemed to bring a tremendous dollop of charisma to the programme, such as I hadn’t seen in any other presenter," she said. “He really was quite remarkable.
"So I was there, if he was in ‘plain sight’, I was looking at him. But I knew he was having sex with many women, but I just thought they were all willing," the star added.
Ahead of the documentary release, Russell shared a statement refuting the allegations.
"I've received two extremely disturbing letters or a letter and an email," he began. "One from a mainstream media TV company, one from a newspaper listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks, as well as some pretty stupid stuff like 'my community festival should be stopped', like 'I shouldn't be able to attack mainstream media narratives on this channel'.
"But amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks, are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute," the star continued. "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," the stand-up comedian went on. "And as I've 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'm being transparent about it now as well. And to see that transparency metastasised into something criminal that I absolutely deny makes me question, is there another agenda at play?"
Watch or listen to Vanessa's drivetime show from Monday to Friday, 5-7pm, on TalkTV
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