'YouTube shouldn't cancel Russell Brand' says Andrew Sachs' granddaughter

Georgina Baillie was at the centre of a scandal involving the comedian in 2008


Georgina Baillie, who was at the centre of the 2008 “Sachsgate” scandal, has said she does not think YouTube should “cancel” Russell Brand by suspending earnings from his channel on the platform.

Brand is facing allegations of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse. The allegations, which he denies, were published in a joint investigation by The Time, Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme. 

According to that investigation, the alleged incidents took place between 2006 and 2013 at the height of Brand’s career.  

Baillie, 38, was caught up in the so-called Sachsgate scandal in 2008 when Brand, 48, and fellow presenter Jonathan Ross made a series of offensive calls to her Jewish grandfather, Andrew Sachs, broadcast on BBC Radio 2.

Brand lost his Radio 2 job as a result of the controversy, and Ross was suspended while Baillie, who was in her early twenties at the time, was subjected to months of humiliating coverage in the tabloids.

“I was on the way to becoming a full-blown addict and it was horrible,” Baillie told the Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge programme on Sky News on Tuesday as she reflected on that period and on the media storm now surrounding Brand.

On Tuesday, YouTube said had suspended adverts on videos by Brand, saying he was "violating our Creator Responsibility policy, while the BBC has taken down programmes featuring the entertainer from its iPlayer and Sounds streaming services. 

Asked for her thoughts on YouTube’s response to the allegations, Baillie said: “It’s cancel culture. Russell Brand made a mistake when he was younger, and when he made his amends to me, he looked me in the eye and apologised and he also sent me to rehab.” 

She said that the comedian turned wellness personality was “fairly newly clean and sober” at the time, and that it is common for people to cross over from drug addiction into sex addiction.

While she said that she has forgiven the star for his offensive behaviour towards her – which led to an eight-year breakdown with her relationship with Sachs – and that Brand did not sexually abuse her, she added: “Anybody that’s been a victim of sexual abuse needs justice. 

“I don't know what happened there. I don’t know because I wasn't there. He never did anything like that with me. Everything was more than consensual, but I've seen some of the evidence and I’ve found it quite compelling.”

Sachs died in 2016 aged 86.


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