Russell Brand called Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski a 'shaft grasper'

Russell Brand is seen in resurfaced video calling Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski a ‘shaft grasper’ for the way she holds her water bottle – forcing her to go to commercial break

  • Russell Brand appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in the summer of 2013
  • Brand, 38 at the time, dominated the interview and skewered the hosts
  • He ended by making an innuendo at how Mika Brzezinski held her bottle of water

Russell Brand is seen in resurfaced footage calling Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski a ‘shaft grasper’ for the way she holds her water bottle – forcing her to cut to a break.

Brand was 38 at the time and promoting his Messiah Complex stand-up tour, which begun in Abu Dhabi in August 2013.

He appeared to enjoy the awkward interview, in which he pretended to do the hosts’ jobs and mocked them for their dress sense, later tweeting: ‘This is me on a mad American program. Quite funny.’

But after he was accused in a bombshell report on Sunday of rape and sexual assault, Brand’s comments are being seen in a new light.

Brand has now been accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse by four women during the peak of his fame, following a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches.

The explosive allegations are said to have taken place between 2006 and 2013, while Brand was a presenter for BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4. He has denied the claims.  

Russell Brand is seen in an awkward appearance on Morning Joe from the summer of 2013

Brand is seen on Saturday night leaving the Troubabour Wembley Park theatre in north-west London after a comedy set. He has denied the allegations, but has been dropped by his management

The comedian and actor opened with a riff on the media and said that he enjoyed stand-up because it gave him a direct connection to audiences.

‘Don’t think about what I’m wearing – these things are just a distraction,’ said Brand, in response to Brian Shactman joking that he intended to come into work the next day dressed like Brand, with an open shirt and multiple necklaces.

‘I’m distracted,’ interjected host Mika Brzezinski. ‘Be distracted,’ Brand said. ‘What do you think that gesture means – the way you’re touching that bottle? What’s the subtext of that?’

To loud laughter from the studio, Schactman said: ‘We’ve got to go to a break.’

Brand continued: ‘You need to lose that ring, Mika, because it don’t mean nothing to ya’. She’s grasping for the shaft. She’s a shaft-grasper.’

Brzezinski looked somewhat stunned, and picked up her coffee mug to hide her shock.

‘Russell…’ began the other woman on the panel, fellow Briton, Katty Kay. Schactman, laughing, said: ‘That was free, but it was great. We’ll buy tickets.’

The clip resurfaced on the same day that another similarly uncomfortable encounter with Brand, from the same year, re-emerged.

Singer Katherine McPhee was seen in 2013 bouncing up and down on Russell Brand’s lap during her appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Brand, now 48, appeared on the talk show a decade ago and tried to flirt with the married actress, which to onlookers left her appearing visibly uncomfortable.

But on Monday the singer – who has been married twice – poured cold water on such suggestions. ‘This specific incident was over 10 years ago and it was harmless,’ she said.

Video footage of Russell Brand suggestively bouncing Katharine McPhee on his lap has been unearthed in the wake of bombshell allegations

The comedian, now 48, appeared on Jimmy Fallon ‘s Tonight show back in 2013 where he tried to flirt outrageously with the married actress, 39 – and it left her looking uncomfortable

Controversy: Jimmy tried to intervene as Russell started bouncing Katherine on his lap 

‘I didn’t know you  were married!’: Russell continued to flirt with Katharine throughout the interview, before coming to the realisation that she was married to actor Nick Cokas, 58

During the Jimmy Fallon interview, Brand refused to move out of the interview chair as McPhee stepped up to talk to the host. 

He told Fallon: ‘She’s welcome to sit here’, then grabbed her and suggestively bounced a shocked-looking McPhee on his lap – before she quickly leapt up. 

After Fallon referenced McPhee’s husband, Brand interjected: ‘I didn’t know you were married. I’m going to f**k off now.’ 

It comes as The Times and Sunday Times claim ‘several women’ have come forward with undisclosed allegations about Brand’s behavior during the early 2000s in wake of their joint investigation with Channel 4 which was published on Saturday.

The maverick actor and stand-up comic has strenuously denied any wrongdoing and blamed the ‘mainstream media’ for the ‘litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks’. 

The latest allegations – which the newspaper says have not been investigated by police, but will now be ‘rigorously checked’ – follow accusations from four women, including one who claims she was sexually assaulted by Brand during a three-month relationship with him when she was 16 and still at school. 

Brand has lashed out at ‘aggressive’ media claims as he insisted any relationships he had ‘during his time of promiscuity’ were ‘consensual’ in a 2min 45sec monologue

Brand has been accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse by four women. Alice (pictured) alleges Brand sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old

The BBC is now also facing ‘urgent questions’ after it was claimed Brand used his company-provided car service to pick the girl up from school.

Both BBC and Channel 4 have launched internal investigations into separate accusations of predatory behavior by Brand towards staff and audience members during the time of his employment. 

Channel 4 has since removed all programs linked to Brand from its website, including episodes of The Great British Bake Off and Big Brother’s Big Mouth in which he was featured, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Netflix has since been urged to remove his comedy special, titled Re:Birth, from its streaming catalogue. 

The BBC’s probe was announced minutes before Scotland Yard piled on the pressure by announcing that detectives would like to speak to the comedian’s alleged victims.

Among the complaints raised in the investigation were allegations by one woman, who alleged Brand raped her against the wall in his Los Angeles home. 

Another woman alleged the comedian sexually assaulted her while she worked with him in Los Angeles and that he threatened her with legal action if she told anyone.

While the third claimed she was sexually assaulted by Brand who she alleges was physically and emotionally abusive towards her.

The fourth woman, referred to as Alice to protect her identity, said she was 16 when he choked her during a sexual act.

She alleges he took her virginity, was ‘preoccupied’ with her being ‘innocent and pure’, and often referred to her as ‘The Child’.

Alice described his behavior towards her as ‘grooming’ as Brand would allegedly provide her with scripts on how to deceive her parents into allowing her to visit him. She also claimed he would send his ‘BBC car’ to her secondary school to pick her up.

‘The first time I used it, he told me it was booked to take him to his radio show but he had a friend taking him instead so I should use that car,’ she told The Times.

She claimed the chauffeur once took her from Brand’s home to her grandmother’s house and that on a separate occasion the same car ‘picked me up from school’.

Alice added: ‘It was the same car…I knew that that was a BBC car.’

The BBC did not initially commit to an inquiry but amid the growing outcry, it shifted its position and a spokesman said it was ‘urgently looking into the issues’.

In a statement, a BBC spokesman said: ‘The documentary and associated reports contained serious allegations, spanning a number of years.

‘Russell Brand worked on BBC radio programs between 2006 and 2008 and we are urgently looking into the issues raised.’ 

Brand has lashed out at ‘aggressive’ media claims as he insisted any relationships he had ‘during his time of promiscuity’ were ‘consensual’ in a 2min 45sec monologue to his 11 million followers on X and 6.5million subscribers on YouTube.

He accused the news organizations of coordinating an attack on him, telling his followers: ‘Is there another agenda at play?

‘Particularly when we’ve seen coordinated media attacks before, like with Joe Rogan, when he dared to take a medicine that the mainstream media didn’t approve of, and we saw a spate of headlines from media outlets across the world using the same language.’

Latest Russell Brand News  

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  •  Russell Brand accuser reveals the letter she wrote to the comedian after he allegedly raped her against a wall in his Los Angeles home
  • Inside Russell Brand’s marriage to wife Laura Gallacher: Pair met through her Sky Sports star sister Kirsty and dated when she was 18 
  • Four women, four disturbing claims: The shocking dossier of allegations against comedian Russell Brand 
  • Now Channel 4, BBC and the police all launch probe into Russell Brand rape and sex assault scandal as celebrity friends start distancing themselves in the wake of allegations 
  • Russell Brand had sex with a Filipino prostitute when he was aged 16 while his father slept with two hookers in the same hotel room while on holiday 
  • Russell Brand’s ‘cult’ social media and podcast fanbase will be likely to stand by him, PR guru says 
  • An hour late, but the show goes on for defiant Russell Brand as he stands up in front of 2,000 adoring fans 

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