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Russell Brand treated women like prey. I know because he told me. But why won’t Katy Perry reveal ‘the truth’? | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

‘ARE you a more successful sexual predator now that you don’t drink?’ I asked Russell Brand as we sat in a London café in 2006 doing an interview for GQ magazine.  

‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘but I resent the word “predator”. I like to think of myself as a conduit of natural forces. After all, the most natural thing in the world for people to do is f*, isn’t it? And people want to do it, so all you have to do is remove all the reasons why women don’t actually go through with it, like pride and reputation. You just have to unpick the conditions stopping women going straight to bed with you.’

Sun columnist Piers Morgan says Russell Brand’s ex-wife Katy Perry called him RasputinCredit: Reuters
Piers recalls interviewing Brand and asking him whether he was a ‘sexual predator’

When I asked him if he was attracting more women since becoming a celebrity, he said: ‘All that’s changed is the amount of seduction required has decreased to almost preposterous proportions now that I’m famous. I’ve always been good at pulling because I’m quite charming, and totally dedicated to the cause. But if I talked to ten women in the old days then I’d back myself to pull two or three. Now, I wouldn’t be happy with less than eight or nine. And whereas I would have devoted a lot of time to the seduction depending on the quality of the target, now I just get on with it. Fame has been very helpful in that respect.’

When I re-read these exchanges after news broke about Brand being accused of rape and sexual assault, I winced.

Watch Piers Morgan Uncensored weekdays on Sky 522, Virgin Media 606, Freeview 237, Freesat 217 or on Fox Nation in the US

I didn’t know if he was an actual sexual predator when I used that description in a jocular manner, and he instantly denied being one then as emphatically as he did again in response to the very serious revelations published in the Sunday Times and broadcast by Channel 4 Dispatches.

But there can be no doubt from the way Brand spoke about women that he considered them as some kind of prey, nor that he is the single most shameless and brazen sexual braggart I’ve ever interviewed.

He told me he’d had sex with up to 2,000 women and proudly detailed the scale of his sexual encounters: ‘Oh God, at the peak it would be around five a day. One in the morning, maybe two for lunch and three for tea. I’ve had nights when I’ve looked down my bed and seen a plague of women devouring me.’

But in the same interview, he insisted: ‘I’ve always tried to avoid misogyny and aggression when it comes to women… I’m really not a nasty little pervert… I do believe women are goddesses, and I try to treat them as such.’

Like so much of Russell Brand’s over-the-top polarising personality, there were obvious contradictions in his various statements.

He’s also prone to embellishment.

I remember Sir Rod Stewart slaughtering him at an awards show for falsely boasting that he’d slept with the singer’s daughter Kimberly.

‘I f*cking enjoyed putting that tw*t in his place,’ Rod told me later. ‘I don’t mind a sh*gger, obviously, but you shouldn’t claim you’ve sh*gged a bird when you haven’t.’

So, it’s hard to know where the truth lies with Russell Brand.

But someone who might know is his ex-wife, pop superstar Katy Perry.

When we met in 2013 at a Vanity Fair party in Washington DC, after her divorce from Brand, I tried to book her for an interview.

‘I’m not ready yet,’ she said.

‘Why not?’

‘Because you’ll get the truth out of me, and I’m just not ready to tell you the truth! In fact, I’m not sure I’m ready to admit the truth to myself.’

Then she laughed. ‘You Brits are all the same, so damn confident… Trouble is, I find that irresistible. I love Brits… Well, not all of them – not Rasputin, obviously.’

What truth was she worried about admitting?

(In an interview with Vogue magazine that same month, she said: ‘I felt a lot of responsibility for it (the marriage) 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.’)

And why did she call her ex-husband ‘Rasputin’, after the fiercely intelligent but sex-crazed, manipulative, controlling and sinister bearded Russian monk who helped topple Tsar Nicholas II in the 1917 Russian Revolution?

 Brand was thrilled when I told him what Katy had said, exclaiming: ‘GRIGORI RASPUTIN!’ He was a pretty powerful bloke, he could manipulate folks with his eyes. I like Rasputin… he was all right, wasn’t he… a mad monk with magical, mystical powers, having it off with everyone, drinking and getting into fights.’

We both laughed.

But there is nothing remotely amusing about the allegations now being made against him.

If the claims are true, he will deserve every punishment meted out to him.

But at this stage, they remain claims, and he vehemently denies them.

Whatever you think of him, he is entitled to due process, every bit as much as his accusers deserve to be taken seriously.

The accusations must now be investigated by the police to determine if crimes have been committed, and not tried in the court of public opinion.

Social media has been ablaze with people rushing to prematurely convict him, including Google-owned YouTube who have banned all advertising from his popular channel.

And by conspiracy theorists rushing to prematurely exonerate him because they absurdly believe he’s the victim of some mainstream media plot to silence him.

This instant rush to judgement is so dangerous, as we saw with the likes of Sir Cliff Richard who was wrongly accused of sexual assault and had his reputation destroyed until he won a legal action against the BBC and cleared his name.

Yes, by today’s stricter moral code post the #MeToo campaign, it’s easy to be appalled by Brand’s self-confessed historical conduct as an outrageously promiscuous sex addict.

But he made no secret of that, and it didn’t stop BBC Newsnight using him as a political Svengali, The Guardian hiring him as a columnist, Channel 4 employing him for numerous jobs, or Ed Miliband seeking his endorsement for Prime Minister.

The course of justice is not best served by pre-preemptively convicting a man of heinous crimes without full due process to establish the truth.

Piers was interviewing Brand for GQ magazine in a London café in 2006Credit: Getty

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