Russell Brand was questioned by police over claims of sexual assault back in 2014, when a masseuse alleged he groped her and made her feel “like a prostitute,” according to a new report.
The embattled British comedian, who is being investigated for allegedly raping four women, had his first known such run-in with police nine years ago when an English masseuse said he attacked her at a mansion in Oxfordshire, the New York Post reports.
The masseuse, who was not publicly identified, said she was hired to give Brand a birthday massage valued at more than $930 (US$600) on June 7, 2014.
When she led him to his massage table at a bathroom suite, the masseuse claimed Brand began touching her “in a sexual way” for about 40 minutes before he was kicked out of the mansion, according to the report.
She said she felt she was treated “like a prostitute,” receiving payment for the massage even though she never gave him one, according to The Sun.
The woman said she called Thames Valley Police, who went on to grill Brand over the allegations, which he denied, describing the encounter as “friendly but awkward,” according to the report. Brand also claimed that CCTV footage from the property supported his version of the story that he was not kicked out of the mansion.
The following month, Thames Valley Police informed the masseuse and Brand that they were not pursuing the case.
Outraged by the authorities’ decision, the masseuse sought to have the case reviewed by the Independent Office for Police Misconduct.
The Independent Office for Police Misconduct and the Thames Valley Police Department did not immediately respond to The Post’s requests for comment Sunday.
The claims are the latest revealed against Brand, who stands accused of sexually assaulting four women – including a then-16-year-old girl who says he called her “the child” – between 2006 and 2013, according to a joint investigation published by the Sunday Times of London, the Times of London and Channel 4 Dispatches earlier this month.
Since the allegations surfaced, another woman has come forward to Scotland Yard to allege she was sexually assaulted by Brand in Central London’s hip Soho area in 2003.
Brand is currently being investigated by officers with Britain’s Operation Hydrant, a sex crimes squad set up after the late BBC star Jimmy Savile was found to have abused hundreds of kids and vulnerable adults.
The BBC, where Brand had worked as a radio presenter during the time of the first alleged assaults, said it has launched its own internal investigation into the claims.
The production company Banijay UK has also launched its own probe. Brand has repeatedly denied the allegations, claiming that all his sexual relationships with the women accusing him have been “always consensual.”
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission