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Russell Brand protected by High Court order after accusations from masseuse in 2014

Russell Brand protected by High Court order after accusations from masseuse in 2014

Russell Brand was protected by a High Court order from a senior judge after he was accused of assaulting a woman hired to give him a birthday massage.

Masseuse Szilvia Berki was paid £500 in June 2014 by Brand’s then-girlfriend Jemima Khan to give the comedian a massage at the heiress’ Oxfordshire mansion.

Ms Berki complained in the aftermath of the encounter that she had been pushed by Brand, and made a complaint to police.

When Thames Valley Police decided to drop the investigation, the masseuse contacted newspapers, posted allegations online, and attempted to raise her complaints with an MP and the Prime Minister, leading to a showdown in the High Court.

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Brand and Ms Khan denied all the allegations made against them by Ms Berki.

The masseuse was banned by Mrs Justice Carr under an “anti-harassment order” from contacting Brand and Ms Khan, in a 2014 High Court ruling which has resurfaced online in the wake of rape and sexual assault allegations now being made against Brand, which he has strongly denied.

The judge – who will soon become the first female Lord Chief Justice – concluded Ms Berki’s allegations appeared inconsistent and the couple were likely to prove her claims against them were false.

She set out that the legal tussle involved “extremely private and sensitive matters”, and wrote in her ruling: “In June 2014 (Khan) arranged a professional massage from (Berki) as a birthday present for (Brand).

“There is a dispute as to what occurred at that meeting.”

She said Brand and Khan were “uneasy” with Ms Berki and “did not wish to proceed with the massage”, while the masseuse “alleges that she was the victim of wrongful and criminal conduct.”

Ms Berki, who lived in Wimbledon, made a complaint to the Metropolitan Police who passed it on to Thames Valley Police. In July 2014, the force told the couple they had no case to answer and the investigation was concluded.

The judge said the allegations were “wholly denied”, and Ms Berki’s “claims are on their face internally inconsistent and have enlarged over time.”

She pointed out the masseuse had emailed the couple after the visit saying “it was nice to meet (them) and wished (Brand) a happy birthday.

“It is also noteworthy that the Defendant went first to the media, and only a week or so later did she attend the police.

“The Defendant seeks to explain these matters away by referring to her state of shock at the time, and to the fact that she was advised not to report matters to the police.

“She says she was in a very difficult situation. She has never been inconsistent, rather her allegations have been mischaracterised by others.

“As matters stand, however, and without in any way pre-judging the final outcome of a full trial, I incline to the view that the likelihood is that the Claimants will establish that the Defendant’s allegations are false. But in any event and centrally for present purposes, whether or not the Defendant’s allegations are true is not the ultimate issue at point here.

“What is at issue is the (unwarranted) manner of her dissemination of her extremely serious allegations about the Claimants. The sheer scale, content and variety of publication by the Defendant makes her conduct unreasonable in all the circumstances.”

Brand and Ms Khan were reported to have split up at the same time the judge’s ruling was made in September 2014.