British comedian and actor Russell Brand has been charged with sexual assault, according to police in London. On Sunday, police "received a report of sexual assault" that allegedly occurred 20 years ago in London's Soho district, the Metropolitan Police said on Monday. Police officers are in contact with the woman concerned and "will offer her support".

Allegations by several women

Due to joint research, several British media had reported on Saturday about allegations of sexual violence against Brand. Accordingly, four women accuse the now 48-year-old of having abused them between 2006 and 2013. The ex-husband of US pop singer Katy Perry categorically rejects the allegations.

Police said they were in contact with Channel 4 newspapers and documentaries "to ensure that anyone who thinks they have been the victim of a sexual offence knows how to report it to the police".

According to the investigation published in the Sunday Times, one of the women stated that Brand had raped her at his home in Los Angeles. Another said she was sexually assaulted by the star during a three-month relationship when she herself was just 16 and still in school. In addition to the four women with allegations of abuse, other women reported that Brand had emotionally exploited and abused them.

The Times and the Sunday Times reported on Monday that more women had come forward because of Brand's behavior in the early 2000s. However, the newspapers did not initially publish any further information on this.

Investigations announced

Brand's former employers, BBC and Channel 4, as well as a production company, have announced investigations. A spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the allegations "very serious and worrying". Sunak has made it clear that "there should never be room for harassment, no matter where". Brand's publisher, Bluebird, announced that it would postpone "all future publications."

Shortly after the allegations broke, Brand appeared at a sold-out comedy event in London. However, the Royal Windsor theatre said on Monday that its show scheduled for Tuesday had been postponed.

Brand had begun his career as a comedian in the early 2000s. Between 2006 and 2013, when the crimes accused of him are said to have taken place, he was at the height of his fame: He worked for several British television stations and starred in several Hollywood films, such as alongside Kristen Bell in "Never again sex with the ex".