JERSEY singer-songwriter Nerina Pallot has claimed Russell Brand appeared ‘dead behind the eyes’ when he interviewed her on MTV and that ‘instinct’ told her ‘not to hang around at the end of the show’.
The 48-year-old said the presenter and comedian, who is facing a series of sexual-assault allegations, possessed ‘industrial-strength lechery’ and was possibly ‘mentally unwell’.
In a joint investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches and the Sunday Times, four women have accused Mr Brand of sexual assaults spanning a seven-year period up to 2013.
One of the women claims she was 16 and Mr Brand 30 when she was first sexually assaulted during a controlling and emotionally abusive relationship.
He has strenuously denied the allegations and said that his relationships have been ‘always consensual’.
A brief clip of the presenter making an apparently sexually suggestive joke while interviewing Ms Pallot on his MTV show at the height of her fame in 2006 was shown during the Dispatches documentary, which aired on Saturday evening.
Although there are no allegations that the former JCG student is one of Mr Brand’s victims, she has since written a blog which includes a section on the interview and the wider allegations facing the star.
She wrote: ‘Having watched it [the documentary] now, I am both sad and disturbed. I am also p***** off that I had no say in this clip being included.
‘As I suspected, it was used as part of a montage to show how we women were powerless in the face of Brand’s industrial-strength lechery.
‘I cannot speak for the others in these clips, but I genuinely thought he might be mentally unwell.’
She added: ‘I also thought he was ferociously articulate – cunning, although not clever – and this ferocious articulacy was a novelty in a Britain that still preferred it to come from posh boys and not some East End chancer who looked like he had woken up in a skip.
‘I could not for the life of me, however, work him out, but my instinct told me he was dead behind the eyes and not to hang around at the end of the show.’
In other sections of the blog, Ms Pallot – a former host of the JEP Pride of Jersey Awards – discusses a ‘culture of unspeakable meanness’ during the early 2000s in which female celebrities were often forced to take the brunt of abuse and insults dished out during popular-music shows.
‘I can’t bear looking at those clips because I look like a rabbit in the headlights,’ she wrote.
‘The truth is, I was not cut out for pop stardom and my brief taste of it meant I looked like a rabbit in the headlights all the time for the best part of two years.
‘The culture of unspeakable meanness during the 00s – I’m looking at you, Popworld and Never Mind the Buzzcocks – was never going to help even the most robust personalities’ mental health. And if you were a woman, you were doubly f*****. As “the talent” you were expected to endure whatever invective might be hurled your way because any publicity is better than no publicity, your PR would tell you.’
With social media in its infancy and the tabloid press still in its prime, Ms Pallot said that the ‘only recourse if you had work to promote was to accept a dance with the devil that is legacy media’.
She went on to write that she now found it ‘amusing’ that commentators were ‘revising their histories’ and distancing themselves from a culture they once helped to create. ‘The ‘hypocrisy is breathtaking’, she wrote.
Ms Pallot – best known for her 2006 hit Everybody’s Gone to War – said that celebrities such as Mr Brand should be pitied rather than fêted.
‘But ‘‘fête’’ them we do,’ she wrote.
‘We demand characters. We want to bask in their aura.
‘And if you were a 16-year-old girl and one of them turned their full-beam focus upon you, imagine what your nascent personality would feel.
‘The power of the person who everybody in the room is looking at, making you the only person in the room they are looking at, might render anybody powerless.
‘Even fully grown adults can lack good judgment in such circumstances,’ she added.