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UK police open sexual offenses investigation after Russell Brand allegations

By The Associated Press

British police have opened a sex crimes investigation triggered by news reports about comedian Russell Brand.

London’s Metropolitan Police Force said Monday that it had “received a number of allegations of sexual offences” after a television documentary and newspaper investigations. It said there have been no arrests.

Brand, 48, denies allegations of sexual assault made by four women in a Channel 4 television documentary and The Times and Sunday Times newspapers.

The accusers, who have not been named, include one who said she was sexually assaulted during a relationship with him when she was 16. Another woman says Brand raped her in Los Angeles in 2012.

The police force did not name Brand in its statement but referred to the recent articles and documentary. It said detectives were investigating allegations of “non-recent” sexual offences, both in London and elsewhere.

“We continue to encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a sexual offence, no matter how long ago it was, to contact us,” said Detective Superintendent Andy Furphy of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, who is leading the investigation.

A former star of British television who appeared in several Hollywood films, Brand has largely disappeared from mainstream media but has built up a large following online with videos mixing wellness and conspiracy theories.

Last week YouTube said it would stop Brand from making money from the streaming site, where he has 6.6 million subscribers, due to the “serious allegations” against him.

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