Katharine McPhee reacted to the suggestion that she looked “uncomfortable” in a resurfaced video of Russell Brand pulling her onto his lap during a joint appearance on a late night show.
“I know nothing [about] what you are trying to claim here but this specific incident was over 10 years ago and it was harmless,” McPhee, 39, wrote in the comments of an Instagram post about the encounter. “Please don’t try and use me for whatever purpose you are trying to serve.”
During a 2013 interview on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Brand, 48, was already seated next to host Jimmy Fallon when McPhee walked out on the set. Fallon, 49, asked Brand to move over so McPhee could have his seat, but instead, Brand pulled McPhee onto his lap.
“Katharine is welcome to sit here,” Brand said as he wrapped his arms around McPhee’s waist. “For the queen!”
Brand eventually stood up and moved, telling McPhee, “You’re beautiful.” After switching seats, he added, “I’ll just be here with my sexual charisma.”
The decade-old video resurfaced in the wake of a Saturday, September 16, report from U.K. newspaper The Times, in which four women accused Brand of sexual assault between the years of 2006 and 2013. One woman claimed that she was 16 during her relationship with Brand, who was in his 30s at the time and referred to her as “the child.”
Another woman alleged that Brand raped her at his home in Los Angeles. She was treated at a rape crisis center on the same day, which The Times said it confirmed via medical records.
Brand, for his part, preemptively denied the accusations in a video shared via social media on Friday, September 15. “I’ve received two extremely disturbing letters, or a letter and an email, one from a mainstream media TV company [and] one from a newspaper, listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks,” he said, adding that he “absolutely” refutes the “very serious allegations” against him.
Brand didn’t mention the Times article by name but said the allegations related to the period when he was “working in the mainstream” as an actor.
“As I’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous. Now during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely, always consensual,” Brand continued, referencing his memoirs. “I was always transparent about that then — almost too transparent. And I’m being transparent about it now as well. And to see that transparency metastasized into something criminal that I absolutely deny makes me question [if] there is another agenda at play.”
Brand has been married to Laura Gallacher since 2017. The couple share two daughters: Mabel, 6, and Peggy, 4. In June, Brand announced that they are expecting their third baby.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).