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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Hamish Morrison

GB News presenter defends calling Russell Brand her 'hero' in clash with co-host

A GB News presenter has defended calling Russell Brand her “hero” after he was accused of rape and sexual assault by four women.

Bev Turner stood by her comments during her morning news show on the channel, which descended into a furious row with her co-host Andrew Pierce, who called her comments “shameful”.

Pierce read out Turner’s tweet, posted in response to the results of a four-year investigation into serious allegations against Brand by four women who have accused the actor and comedian of rape and sexual assault.

Brand, who has denied the allegations and insisted all his relationships have been consensual, was named in a joint investigation by the Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4.

He was also alleged to have groomed a 16-year-old and ordered a BBC car to pick her up from school and take her to his home.

She wrote: “You are being attacked [Russell Brand].

“Establishment media don't know what to do with the fact that you have 6 million subscribers and generate autonomous, knowing and original content.

“You are welcome on my GB News show anytime.

“We are mainstream media. But we are not Establishment media. There's a difference.

“Keep going. This proves you are winning. You're a hero.”


After reading out the tweet, Pierce said: “Bev, that is shameful. That is shameful. That is shameful, you have dismissed in one tweet a four-year investigation by the Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 as, contemptuously, the mainstream media.

“A 16-year-old girl has complained of being groomed by this man. Two women have said they were raped, there are more and more cases coming to light and you say, ‘You’re a hero.’

“Don’t you think before you say someone’s a hero…”

At this point Turner interrupted to ask: “Why do you think he’s my hero?”

Pierce retorted: “Hang on, don’t you think if he’s a hero you should establish whether these very serious allegations are true?”

Turner replied that she had spoken with “sources close to Brand, close to The Times” and added: “I was confident there is no smoking gun in this regard. I remain confident, after watching the Dispatches [documentary], if that is what they’ve got after four years of a joint investigation by The Times newspaper and Channel 4, those four flimsy allegations from women who choose to stay anonymous, so there is nobody that can counter their version of events.

“There’s nobody who can say: ‘Well hang on, I was there on that occasion.’”

Pierce then repeatedly asked whether Turner, who has also written for The Times, the Sunday Mirror and The Telegraph, has “any sympathy” for the women accusing Brand.

She went on: “Every year, there are 1.1 million, every year there are 1.1m people who are sexually assaulted in this country.

“Newspapers, like yours [the Daily Mail] don’t care about that, until there’s a celebrity involved and then suddenly it’s all over the front page of the paper.

“Of course, everybody has the right not to be sexually offensive … sexually assaulted. Anybody who has been sexually assaulted, my heart goes out to them. This happens every single day in this country.”

Pierce replied: “There’s not a scintilla of sympathy in this statement on Twitter for these four women, who I would argue … none of them know each other, it’s a very big thing to go public …”

Turner interrupted to ask again: “Do you know why he’s my hero?”

She then added: “Let me tell you why he’s winning, because he’s a man who generates his own content under his own speed, under his own expense. He is a threat to all of these newspapers.”

Turner went on to ask: “Why now, why now?”

She also asked why the complainants had not gone to the police.

Anyone who feels affected by any of these issues can contact Rape Crisis Scotland on 08088 01 03 02.

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