Rising to fame in the early 2000s, British comedian Russell Brand hit headlines immediately for outrageous behaviour, outlandish sexual humour and various stints in and out of rehab.
The now 48-year-old comedian has opened up about his tumultuous childhood in various interviews across the decades, penning illustrative details about his dramatic upbringing in his memoir My Booky Wook – published in 2007.
Brand has now been accused of rape, assault and emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013, when he was at the height of his fame working for the BBC, Channel 4 and starring in Hollywood films.
The Get Him To The Greek actor has strongly denied the allegations, which also include claims of controlling, abusive and predatory behaviour.
From drug and alcohol addiction to an infatuation with sex, Brand has claimed in the past that his questionable vices were reflective of deeper issues in his life.
His father’s influence
His 2007 memoir exposed a trip he took with Ronald to Hong Kong where he said he lost his virginity to a sex worker – paid for by his dad.
The actor was 17 at the time and revealed that afterwards, he found himself ‘engaged in an increasingly desperate quest to satisfy his growing ‘sexual appetite’.
He wrote in his book: ‘The episode that defined my relationship with women occurred in Hong Kong with my dad. I was 17.
‘On day one we went to some sleazy dive. Before long I was sat on a bar stool with a Filipino called Mary-Lou. Then we were leaving in a cab with three Asian prostitutes my dad was drunkenly herding.
‘Back in the hotel, my dad set about unwrapping his two prostitutes. I sat on the edge of the other twin bed.
‘She must have known I was a virgin as soon as the bungling encounter commenced.’
Brand’s mum diagnosed with long-term illness
Brand was raised by his mother Barbara – who married Ronald in 1969 and split from the star’s dad when he was just six months old.
At eight years old, Brand’s mum was diagnosed with uterine cancer and breast cancer, following which the get Him To The Greek actor was cared for by other family members.
In 2017, Brand explained that his mum was fighting cancer for the sixth time and undergoing chemotherapy.
Brand’s tell-all novel, My Booky Wook, suggested the star had been abused as a child, though Brand chose to conceal the identity of the perpetrator.
He said: ‘I was touched as a child and I felt the warping, like flexed glass, not entirely unpleasant, it was, after all, attention, but I knew it was a glitch, like a memory I was waiting to have, like a stone on the path that I knew I would not pass but pause to pick up and carry with me, uneasily in my pocket.’
The star revealed inner thoughts he had as a young boy that he claimed effected his life as an adult.
He said: ‘Finding ways to incorporate this transgression into my understanding of the world, stitching it into the fabric of my understanding – “Mum is ill a lot.” “They say I am bad.” “My dad does not like me.” “I am not safe.” “I don’t like school.” “I don’t belong.” “People don’t like me.” “I made Mummy ill.’’’
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