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Paramount+ removes Russell Brand comedy special after sexual assault allegations

The streaming service follows YouTube and the BBC in distancing itself from the comedian, who has been accused by four women of sexual assault. He denies the allegations.
Russell Brand is seen on February 7, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Russell Brand in Los Angeles in 2018.Hollywood To You/Star Max/GC Images file

Paramount+ has removed one of Russell Brand's stand-up comedy specials after several women accused him of sexual assault, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

"Russell Brand in New York City" was available on the streaming platform as of Tuesday morning, according to screenshots taken by NBC News. It was not immediately clear when the one-hour special was taken down Tuesday.

The source did not provide any additional comment.

"Live in New York City" was released in 2009, a year after Brand's breakout Hollywood film role in the romantic comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

Brand's most recent stand-up special, "Russell Brand Re:Birth," remains available on Netflix. Netflix did not immediately respond to an email Tuesday requesting comment on the status of "Re:Birth."

Paramount is the latest organization to distance itself from Brand, who has denied the sexual assault allegations. He has not been charged with any criminal offenses.

YouTube confirmed earlier Tuesday that Brand will no longer make money from his channel on the video platform, saying in part that monetization of his account has been suspended "following serious allegations against the creator."

The BBC, meanwhile, said it removed some content featuring Russell from its streaming platform iPlayer and BBC Sounds, after it "assessed that it now falls below public expectations."

Brand’s management agency, Tavistock Wood, terminated all professional ties to him, saying in a statement: "Russell Brand categorically and vehemently denied the allegation made in 2020, but we now believe we were horribly misled by him."

The Times of London and the Sunday Times of London, in partnership with the British current affairs TV show "Dispatches," published a joint investigation Saturday in which four women accused Brand of sexual assault, including one allegation of rape.

He was also accused of flashing his genitals at a fifth woman.

The accusers have not been named or publicly identified themselves. They include one woman who alleges that Brand sexually assaulted her during a relationship with him when she was 16.

In the late 2000s, Brand rose to fame in the U.S. thanks in part to his roles in the high-profile comedies "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Get Him to the Greek." (The movies were distributed by Universal Pictures, a unit of NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)

In recent years, Brand has largely stepped away from Hollywood and cultivated a wide following as a political pundit known for his right-leaning and contrarian views.

Brand's account on YouTube has 6.6 million followers, and he also hosts a show on Rumble, a video service popular with conservative commentators.