Kristen Bell Told Russell Brand Not to ‘Try Anything’ Years Before Allegations

Kristen Bell Told Russell Brand Not to ‘Try Anything’ Years Before Allegations

Trigger warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual violence. They starred in Forgetting Sarah Marshall together—one of the biggest romantic comedies of all time. But after he faced multiple accusations of sexual assault, Kristen Bell’s response to Russell Brand has resurfaced.

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The film, released in 2008, revolves around Peter Bretter (Jason Segel), a composer for a TV show, who is devastated when his girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Bell), ends their long-term relationship. In an attempt to move on, Peter decides to take a trip to Hawaii, only to find that Sarah and her new boyfriend, sex-crazed rocker Aldous Snow (Brand, in the role that would launch his short-lived Hollywood career), are staying at the same resort. The film follows Peter’s journey of self-discovery and healing as he tries to move on from his ex-girlfriend.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, free and confidential help is available. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 1-800-656-4673.

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But in September 2023, the British comedian was accused of sexual assault by five women between 2006 and 2013, per The Times UK. The report, which was published following a joint investigation with The Times of London and the U.K. network Channel 4’s documentary team “Dispatches,” details claims of “rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse” allegedly carried out by Brand.

A 90-minute documentary on the allegations, titled Russell Brand: In Plain Sight aired on Channel 4 on September 16, 2023, at 9 p.m. GMT. “Five women, four of whom asked to remain anonymous, agreed to share their stories of serious sexual allegations in the program,” a rep for the show said, per Variety. Now, an ominous warning Kristen Bell gave Russell Brand on the set of Forgetting Sarah Marshall has resurfaced.

Kristen Bell’s response to Russell Brand

Kristen Bell’s response to Russell Brand

Kristen Bell hasn’t responded to Russell Brand’s sexual assault allegations but what did resurface was a warning she gave him on the set of their 2008 film together. “He didn’t try to mess with me or get in my pants. He knew I would lop his nuts off,” she told the Scottish Daily Record in 2010.

In a Daily Mail interview that same year, she said, “I made it really clear from the beginning that I would sock him in the balls if he tried anything. So he was intimidated,” she said at the time. She did say later that she “loved” working with him, even though she might be “the only woman in the world who would shout that from the rooftops.”

The allegations against Russell Brand

One woman alleged that Brand raped her against a wall at his home in Los Angeles. According to the Times, she was treated at a rape crisis center later that day and sent the comedian text messages telling him that she felt he had taken advantage of her. “When a girl say[s] NO it means no,” one alleged text read, to which Brand purportedly replied that he was “very sorry.”

A second woman claims that she was only 16 years old when she was assaulted by Brand, who was 31 years old at the time. During their relationship, which lasted about three months, she said he referred to her as “the child” and asked her to read passages from Vladimir Nabokov’s novel, Lolita, which follows a predatory relationship between a middle-aged man and a 12-year-old girl. The woman also alleged that Brand once “forced his penis down her throat” until she choked, and had to punch him in the stomach to make him stop.

A third woman alleged that he sexually assaulted her when they worked together in Los Angeles. According to the woman, Brand threatened to take legal action against her if she spoke up about her experience. The fourth woman also claimed she was sexually assaulted by Brand, and described the actor as being both physically and emotionally abusive during their relationship.

Katy Perry and Russell Brand

Katy Perry and Russell Brand

During this time, Katy Perry was married to Russell Brand. They started dating in 2009 and became engaged four months later after a traditional Hindu wedding in India. The marriage lasted 14 months, with Brand infamously ending the relationship through a text on New Year’s Eve. (The exchange was documented in Perry’s documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me.)

While Perry has yet to comment on the Russell Brand allegations, but she has hinted at his past behavior. In an interview with Vogue in 2013, she revealed the grounds of the marriage. “At first when I met him he wanted an equal, and I think a lot of times strong men do want an equal, but then they get that equal and they’re like, ‘I can’t handle the equalness.’ He didn’t like the atmosphere of me being the boss on tour. So that was really hurtful, and it was very controlling, which was upsetting,” Perry said at the time.

“I felt a lot of responsibility for it ending, but then I found out the real truth, which I can’t necessarily disclose because I keep it locked in my safe for a rainy day. I let go and I was like, ‘This isn’t because of me; this is beyond me.’ So I have moved on from that.”

Russell Brand’s response

Russell Brand’s response

A day before the reveal, Brand posted a three-minute-long, rambling Instagram video defending himself.

“I’ve received two extremely disturbing letters, or a letter and an email, one from a mainstream media TV company, one from a newspaper, listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks,” he began the video. “But amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks, are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute.”

He continued, “These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies,” he shared. “And as I’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous. Now during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely, always consensual. I was always transparent about that then—almost too transparent. And I’m being transparent about it now as well. And to see that transparency metastasized into something criminal, that I absolutely deny.”

While he did not name the Times or Channel 4 explicitly, he called out media groups for using his experiences to “attack” him. “I don’t mind them using my books and my stand-up to talk about my promiscuous, consensual conduct in the past. What I seriously refute are these very, very, serious criminal allegations,” he went on to add. “Also, it’s worth mentioning that there are witnesses whose evidence directly contradicts the narratives that these two mainstream media outlets are trying to construct apparently, in what seems to me to be, a coordinated attack.”

Though he didn’t address what happened due to the “serious nature,” he did make his stance clear. “I feel like I’m being attacked and plainly they are working very closely together,” he shared.

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