Conspiracy theories about Russell Brand sexual assault allegations go viral with help from Musk

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When comedian-turned-conservative-influencer Russell Brand preemptively denied sexual assault allegations on Friday, he flicked at a conspiracy theory that quickly found traction among his supporters and other far-right voices: That the media had ulterior motives for publishing the stories about him.

“Is there another agenda at play?” he asked in his pre-emptive video response to the investigation published Saturday by The Times and Channel 4, which documented four sexual assault allegations brought against him.

Deep skepticism of the media has become foundational for many conservatives over the last decade and Brand’s invocation of that skepticism quickly found support from members of his online conservative cohort, most notably Elon Musk and Tucker Carlson.

The Times published its investigative report Saturday, done in conjunction with The Sunday Times and Channel 4, in which the women accused him of sexual assaults that purportedly took place between 2006 and 2013. Brand’s management agency, Tavistock Wood Management, severed ties with him soon after the report came to light, writing that it had been “horribly misled by him.”

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