Russel Brand’s Comedy Tour Postponed Amid Sexual Assault Allegations 

This Monday, British police stated that they have received a sexual assault allegation after media outlets published multiple claims made by several women against Russel Brand. Promoters have now postponed the remaining dates of Brand’s comedy tour.

Both a talent agency and a publisher have parted ways with Brand, 48, as well over the allegations and questioning over his abuse of power as a public figure. 

Brand has denied the allegations made by four women in a Channel 4 television documentary as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. The accusers have not been named, and one claims that she was sexually assaulted by him when she was 16 and they were in a relationship. Another woman states that Brand raped her in Los Angeles in 2012. 

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London’s Metropolitan Police force stated that the since the initial reports of the allegations against Brand were made, they have “received a report of sexual assault which was alleged to have taken place in Soho in central London in 2003,” which is three years before the earliest of the initial allegation reports. 

“Officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support. [We’re urging] anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a sexual offense, no matter how long ago it was, to contact us.”

Max Blain, spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, said the allegations were “very serious and concerning.” 

“This merits and needs a criminal investigation, because for too long we have seen men — and the perpetrators of these sorts of crimes are almost invariably men — not being held to account for their behaviors and their actions,” Conservative legislator Caroline Nokes, told BBC radio.

The BBC, Channel 4, and the production company behind “Big Brother” spin offs that were hosted by Brand have all said they launched investigations into his behavior and how the complaints were initially handled. 

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Brand’s talent agency Tavistock Wood has also dropped the performer after being “horribly misled” by him. 

Ellie Tomsett, a senior lecturer at Birmingham City University who also studies Britain’s standup circuit, said to the Associated Press that “Brand was a product of a live comedy scene that was riddled with misogyny – and still is, despite progress made by women and others to diversify the comic landscape.

“When we’ve had a rise of popular feminism … we’ve also had a rise in popular misogyny epitomized by the likes of (social media influencer) Andrew Tate, but evident in all aspects of society, and definitely reflected on the U.K. comedy circuit.”

“More and more things are springing up to try and counter this, but the idea that it’s something that happened in the past and doesn’t happen anymore is, quite frankly, nonsense,” she added.


Conor Benn Addresses “Serious Concerns” Over Boxing’s Drug Testing Methods

Conor Benn has some “serious concerns” over boxing’s drug testing after he was cleared of a failed test due to a “highly-elevated consumption of eggs.”

Evan Rachel Wood Reveals More Horrifying Allegations Against Marilyn Manson In New Documentary 

Phoenix Rising is a new documentary regarding the life and career of Evan Rachel Wood, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance film festival. In the documentary, Wood accused rock musician Marilyn Manson of raping her on the set of his ‘Heart-Shaped Glass’ music video in 2007. 

Wood revealed that she was fed absinthe and was barely conscious on the set of the video, in which she plays a character styled to look like Lolita. Wood knew that her and Manson would be participating in a “simulated sex scene” for the video, but stated that once the camera’s were rolling Manson began penetrating her “for real.” 

Wood said that she had “never been on a set that unprofessional in my life up until this day. It was complete chaos and I did not feel safe. No one was looking after me. I didn’t know how to advocate for myself or say no because I had been conditioned and trained to never talk back – to just soldier through. The crew was very uncomfortable and nobody knew what to do.”

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She said that the alleged incident made her “feel disgusting and like I had done something shameful. I was coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses. That’s when the first crime was committed against me and I was essentially raped on camera.”

She also revealed that after the video wrapped Manson gave her “really clear instructions on how  to describe the video to journalists. I was supposed to tell people we had this great, romantic time and none of that was the truth.”

“But I was scared to do anything that would upset Brian in any way. The video was just the beginning of the violence that would keep escalating over the course of the relationship.”

Wood was in a relationship with Manson from 2007 to 2010. She previously accused him of grooming her as a teenager which led to her experiencing “horrific” abuse for years. “I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission.” Wood initially met Manson when she was 18 and he was 38. 

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Wood is not the only woman to come forward with intense allegations against Manson. Game of Thrones actor Esme Bianco recently accused Manson of sexual and physical violence involving torture.

Manson is currently facing up to four lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault, battery, and harassments, as well as an investigation into claims of domestic violence. The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department raided his home back in November 2021 over these claims as well. 

In February 2021 Vanity Fair published an article with the first public allegations made against Manson; he was quickly dropped by his record label, Loma Vista, after the article was released. 

Phoenix Rising will air on HBO in the US this March. The film follows the creation of the Phoenix Act, which is a piece of legislation Wood led in an attempt to extend the statute of limitations for survivors of domestic violence to pursue charges against their abusers. The Act was signed into law in October 2019.

Congress in Capitol

Adam Kinzinger Becomes First GOP Member To Call For Matt Gaetz’s Resignation 

Illinois Representative Adam Kinzingler became the first congressional Republican to call on Florida Representative Matt Gaetz to resign and face a federal investigation into the sex trafficking allegations made against him. 

Kinzinger simply tweeted this week that “Matt Gaetz needs to resign” along with a link to a Daily Beast article that explained the allegations against Gaetz; many other major news outlets are still working to confirm the allegations and their source. 

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This isn’t Kinzingler’s first time speaking out against his own party either. During the end of 2020 especially, he constantly condemned former president Donald Trump and his administration for heavily pushing baseless claims of election fraud that aimed to attack the foundation of America’s democracy. 

No official charges have been made against Gaetz, and he has since denied all allegations made against him. Hours after the investigation and allegations were made public Gaetz was on Fox News denying any wrongdoing and claimed he was the victim of an “elaborate extortion scheme.” 

Gaetz then went on to write an op-ed piece declaring that he would “absolutely not be resigning,” and discussed how his campaign sent out fundraising pleas which blamed the media for trying to take him down. Very little GOP allies have spoken out against, or with, Gaetz, most are keeping quiet as the possibility of a federal investigation still lingers. 

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Individuals working on the potential investigation told the media that “federal investigators are seeking to determine whether Gaetz was provided travel and women in exchange for political favors as part of a broader probe. The investigation includes scrutiny of a trip to the Bahamas and whether women were paid to travel for sex with the Florida Republican congressman and others, a potential federal crime,” according to the sources. 

CNN also has previously reported on investigators looking into allegations that Gaetz had sex with an underage girl who was 17 at the time, and with other women who “provided drugs and money in violation of sex trafficking and prostitution laws.”

CBS News, which first reported on the investigation, was told by a spokeswoman: “Rep. Gaetz has never paid for sex, nor has he had sex with an underage girl. What began with blaring headlines about ‘sex trafficking’ has now turned into a general fishing exercise about vacations and consensual relationships with adults.”

Investigators are currently considering Gaetz’s connections to several associates and other government leaders in Florida who may have benefited politically from the congressman in exchange for things like campaign donations, travel, and escorts. Gatz’s lawyers have declined to comment.

Football on grass

Lawyer Of Deshaun Watson’s Accusers Speaks Out Against ‘Hush Money’ Claims 

Tony Buzbee is the lawyer representing the women who accused Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct. Buzbee recently fired back at the NFL player’s attorney who recently claimed that Ashley Solis, one of the accusers, demanded “hush money” before filing a civil lawsuit against Watson. Buzbee posted an email that he wrote to Scott Gaffield, the General Counsel at the Athletes First agency in California, onto his Instagram to express his distaste in these claims. 

“The latest and ever-changing Watson defense is that our legal team is somehow compromised because we tried to settle or resolve issues with one client before putting all of these women through the current media circus we knew would result, because the alleged perpetrator is a famous quarterback. I can and have confirmed we tried to resolve these issues without a lawsuit. That fact was public knowledge almost three weeks ago. We attempted to settle without fanfare or press,” Buzbee wrote.

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“In fact, I’ve attached the last email we had with the Watson team before we filed the first lawsuit. This email was sent when we represented only one victim, before we represented what is now 23 women, alleging the same thing.”

Buzbee continued on to discuss how “the current back and forth reporting about the ego of the lawyers involved is not appropriate, or helpful. These cases are about those who were subject to the conduct alleged. Please review the video of Ashley Solis today, from the press conference; she had the courage to go in front of national media to tell her story. STRONG!! Now, that’s a hero! That’s who we should be talking about!”

The excerpts above are also taken from an email sent from Buzbee to Gaffield on February 19th, 2021. The first sexual misconduct claim against Watson surfaced on March 16th, nearly one month after. 

“We made a legit demand. You rejected it. We won’t be making another or bid against ourselves. We also won’t be having an extended dialogue about why you think your client did nothing wrong or how you want this to be a ‘learning’ experience for your ‘high-profile athlete,’ as you refer to him. This is Houston, Texas. Perhaps you should find him a lawyer here so you can apprise both you and your client of the landscape here and who you are dealing with. Talk soon.”

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Solis revealed herself as one of the Jane Does making a claim against Watson in a press conference this week, in which she claimed that Watson exposed himself during a massage session back in March 2020. Rusty Hardin, Watson’s attorney, claims he has emails to prove Solis was looking to get money out of Watson. 

Buzbee currently represents nearly two dozen women who have come out against Watson, however, Gaffield responded to the email by claiming that the NFL “doesn’t believe that the alleged facts show that Deshaun did anything wrong. We believed then – and fully believe now- that Deshaun learned a lesson about putting himself in this type of situation by interacting with people he does not know.”

“As the emails show, we were willing to continue discussions on Deshaun’s behalf to explore ways to prevent a lawsuit and a public spectacle. But Mr. Buzbee informed us that he was unwilling to do so. We expect that this matter will be resolved in court.”

Watson is currently not facing any criminal charges, but Houston police have launched an investigation into the allegations after another complaint was filed this Friday.

Westworld Show

Actress Evan Rachel Wood Among Victims Accusing Marilyn Manson Of Grooming And Abuse

Evan Rachel Wood, most famously known for her role in Westworld, has now publicly accused Marilyn Manson of “horrifically abusing” her for years. In an Instagram post from Wood she detailed the allegations and named Manson by his stage and real name of Brian Warner. 

Wood has previously spoken out numerous times about being the survivor of domestic violence and while it was always assumed that she was discussing Manson, this is the first time she’s ever called out his name specifically in a public setting. The pair were originally known to have a relationship back in 2007, when she was just 19-years-old and he was 38. The two were then briefly engaged in 2010. 

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After Wood’s post detailing the allegations, at least three other women have followed suit and posted their own personal experiences/allegations against Manson on Instagram. One of the individuals has since deleted her post as well. 

Manson’s team has yet to comment on any of the allegations, however, many aren’t expecting much to come from them as his team has adamantly denied similar allegations that have appeared within the past years of Manson’s career. 

In Wood’s Instagram post, she claims that Manson began grooming her as a teenager and that she was “brainwashed and manipulated into submission” by the singer. 

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“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson. He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail. I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him before he ruins any more lives. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”

Wood has been a prominent figurehead and activist for domestic violence survivors within the past years. She penned the Phoenix Act domestic violence bill which was passed into California law in 2019. At the time she discussed her past and how she was raped on two occasions and detailed her own stories of surviving domestic violence. 

In the past Woods has never directly named Manson as her abuser, and has even denied that it was him on a few occasions. However, many individuals attribute that to the numerous court cases Wood was involved in and her own psychological trauma. Most people were able to conclude that Wood was discussing Manson in the past when she came out as a survivor of domestic abuse based on the timing of when she discussed being groomed and abused by an older man.


Netflix Documentary Affects Yoga Industry

While yoga has been a discipline of many for several centuries, the concept of “Bikram” yoga has seen a huge increase in popularity since its creation during the 1970s.

However a recent documentary on Netflix, focusing on claims of sexual abuse against founder Bikram Choudhury, has forced many yoga studios to invest thousands of dollars on rebranding in an attempt to keep hold of their share of the $16 billion Americans spend on the industry each year.

Family-owned yoga company Bikram Yoga Scarsdale has received many emails over the past year from clients asking why they have not changed their name and if they are even going to. Co-owner and yoga instructor Nicole Pike spoke about the effects the sexual abuse claims and company name has had on her business, confirming that they have had to rebrand. The company will now be known as Sweat Central and offers “original hot yoga” rather than Bikram classes in a further attempt to distance themselves from Choudhury.

Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator is currently available on Netflix and takes a look at the life of Bikram Choudhury, who made a fortune thanks to his trademarked Bikram hot yoga empire. However the main focus is on the numerous sexual abuse claims from women against him.

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When allegations first started to appear over six years ago many yoga studios changed the names of their classes and studios in an attempt to distance themselves away from Choudhury while staying true to the original teachings, with Pike confirming that:

“While the classes themselves are amazing, Bikram the person has done terrible things we in no way want to be associated with. We want people to feel comfortable at our studio, and confident that their money is in no way supporting him.”

With this in mind she is spending around $20,000 on rebranding to keep her customers’ faith and trust in her business rather than stopping providing the actual classes.

Choudhury was once seen as a leader of mental and physical healing among the world’s yogi community, thanks to his form of hot yoga, which involved a sequence of 26 postures carried out for 90 minutes in a room heated to 105 degrees. According to research the exercise has provided many benefits to students, including improving endurance and lowering stress levels as well as aiding mindfulness and mental strength. It is also practiced to help improve balance, tone muscle and increase your flexibility.

Yoga as an industry has seen a massive growth worldwide with the sector now worth a staggering $80 billion in America alone, with $16 billion being spent each year not just on the classes but also on equipment, accessories and specific clothing. With over half of us using yoga as a much needed stress relief aid a further 59 percent claims it helps them to sleep better.

Still Hot Yoga in Druid Hills, Georgia used to be called Bikram Yoga Decatur until assault allegations started to surface in 2014, prompting studio owner Cleve Willis to change the name making sure his students would not link his studio with Choudhury.

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Willis spent $1,500 in preparation for the backlash he said he could see coming. However, while he changed the studio’s name, signage and accessories, Bikram classes still appears on the schedules so as not to confuse clients that may be searching specifically for these classes online.

“They can still see we’re not associated with the guy, but we do the actual traditional class. Someone new coming into town may not know what it is. That’s why we didn’t change the name of the class.”

With roughly 36 million Americans taking part in yoga, an increase from 20.4 million in 2012, 72 percent are women. This has led to a #metoo style movement throughout the yoga community with many teachers as well as students coming forward to discuss unwanted touching in classes as many instructors are providing hands-on corrections without the student’s consent.

Unfortunately for 29 year old instructor Kelsey Lowe from Bikram Yoga Harlem in New York, she has had first hand experience of this abuse. Working with a male instructor at a different New York City studio she says this backlash has not come as a shock to her. Talking about her experience she says:

“He was coming to adjust me, but it was a little too close for comfort. You can feel someone’s body up against yours and it’s like, “I don’t even know this guy’s last name” kind of thing.”

After the incident she chose to change studios and works within her current studio, both practicing and teaching yoga. However she believes leaders gaining “cult-like followings” – such as Choudhury – aids sexual misconduct as “you can’t give all this power to one person.”

It is hoped that the backlash from the Netflix documentary will not affect the business in a negative way, rather making sure that unwanted actions are eradicated for good.