EXCLUSIVE: It’s sad for him’: Leigh Francis makes bold statement about Russell Brand’s rape allegations – and admits he fears cancel culture because ‘people are easily offended’
Leigh Francis has broken his silence on Russell Brand after sexual abuse allegations were made against him.
British comedian Russell, 48, is currently facing allegations of sexual assault and abusive and predatory behavior between 2006 and 2013, when he was at the height of his fame. Accusations he denies.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline at the private exhibition Radiant Resilience at the Quantus Gallery, London, Leigh said he thinks the situation is ‘sad’ for Russell and the women involved.
He explained: ‘I promised myself I wouldn’t comment on it – it’s just sad, isn’t it? It’s a sad thing for everyone. It’s sad for the ladies, it’s sad for his family and it’s sad for him.”
Leigh, 50, best known as his alter ego Keith Lemon, then discussed being canceled in the industry and claimed it’s unlikely anyone would ever accuse him of anything as he has been in a long-term relationship with his wife since his death Jill Carter. 19 years old. They married when he was 30.
EXCLUSIVE: Leigh Francis has broken his silence on Russell Brand after sexual assault allegations were made against him, while discussing cancel culture (pictured with wife Jill Carter in July)
Allegations: British comedian Russell, 48, is currently facing allegations of sexual assault and abusive and predatory behavior between 2006 and 2013, when he was at the height of his fame. Accusations he denies (pictured in 2008)
But when asked if he’s worried about being dropped for saying the wrong thing, he said: “Yes, it’s easy to offend a lot of people.”
His words come amid claims Leigh humiliated Melanie Sykes in front of a live audience while they filmed ITV’s Through The Keyhole.
Melanie, 53, said Leigh made explicit sexual jokes about her for three hours, including: “I bet your bum smells like flowers.”
And when asked if he feared similar accusations against Russell, Leigh told MailOnline: ‘I’ve been married to the same lady since I was a little boy.
“I met my wife when I was 19, and I married the same lady at 30, so you don’t have to worry about me getting canceled for that.”
Leigh and Jill dated since they were teenagers before eventually tying the knot in Allerton Castle, North Yorkshire, in 2002.
Earlier this week, Leigh hit the headlines when Melanie claimed TV producers failed to act after she complained that comedian Leigh made derogatory jokes about her in front of a live audience while they filmed ITV’s Through The Keyhole.
The radio and television presenter said TV production company Talkback, founded by comedy duo Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones, ignored her when she complained.
On Fashion PR Lynne Franks’ podcast, Frankly Speaking, she said: ‘I went into the studio and I didn’t think Keith would be like he was on the other show he does (Celebrity Juice), where it’s all sex and blowjobs. is and talking about people’s assholes.’
But she added: “I was sitting there for a three-hour record and he was doing all these things to me verbally to entertain the live audience – because it would never make it into the edit of the show – so he used me to entertain the audience to entertain. .’
Opinion: Speaking exclusively to MailOnline at the Radiant Resilience private exhibition at Quantus Gallery, London, Leigh said he feels the situation is ‘sad’ for Russell and the women involved
Cancelled? Leigh, 50, best known as his alter ego Keith Lemon, then discussed being canceled in the industry and claimed it would never be due to his long relationship with wife Jill Carter.
Comedian Katherine Ryan, who has accused Russell Brand of being a sex predator, branded Francis an “obvious creep” at the 2019 TV Choice Awards.
She told the audience that Lemon was “proof to perverts everywhere that an obvious creep is cute.” It’s much less threatening than a stealth version.
Francis hosted Celebrity Juice for 25 seasons before it was canceled last year. It attracted complaints and was the subject of an investigation by Ofcom, which ruled that a trailer for the show in 2013 breached guidelines by showing what the watchdog said was a sex toy.
Talkback said looking after the TV guests was ‘a top priority’. Francis did not respond to requests for comment last night.
Brand has been accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse by several women, including one who says she was 16 at the time.
One woman has alleged that Brand raped her at his Los Angeles home, while another accused him of grooming her as they were involved in an allegedly “emotionally abusive and controlling relationship” for three months when she was just 16 and still was at school. 31.
A third accuser alleged that the comic sexually assaulted her while she worked with him in Los Angeles, and that he threatened legal action if she told anyone else about her accusation, and a fourth detailed the alleged sexual, physical and emotional abuse she had suffered. Unpleasant.
Allegations: The outing comes amid claims that the comic – best known as his alter ego Keith Lemon – humiliated Melanie Sykes while they filmed ITV’s Through The Keyhole (pictured in 2021)
Horrible: Melanie, 53, said Leigh made explicit sexual jokes about her for three hours, including: ‘I bet your bum smells like flowers’
Brand posted a video on YouTube and Twitter refuting the allegations and insisting that relationships at the time of his promiscuity were “consensual.”
Russell’s behavior would have been common knowledge among female performers on the comedy circuit, who would have warned each other about him, and his attitude toward women would have been an open secret in radio and TV productions, according to sources who told The Sunday Times.
Bosses at the BBC and Channel 4 have been accused of turning a blind eye to the entertainer’s behavior while he worked for them as a presenter between 2006 and 2013.
The broadcasters have insisted they have taken all necessary action against him, but executives could still be summoned before a government select committee, where MPs will question them about what they know.