Russell Brand's Resurfaced Bill Maher Interview Sparks Conspiracy Theories

The allegations against Russell Brand—which include accusations of sexual assault, rape and emotional abuse by four women between 2006 and 2013—have sparked a wave of conspiracy theories online, with the comedian's March 2023 interview on Real Time with Bill Maher adding fuel to the fire.

A resurfaced clip was posted to X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, by user Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid), showing the anti-vaxxer derailing an interview with Maher to talk about the cost of developing the COVID vaccine. In response to the viral video, fans are claiming that the accusations—which the comedian denies—are the result of Brand "telling the truth" about the "establishment."

"Out of respect for you and your show, I've brought some facts," Brand tells the 67-year-old host in the footage, who bursts into laughter.

Russell Brand in 2017
Russell Brand in 2017. A resurfaced interview of the comedian with Bill Maher has helped to spark conspiracy theories online. Jeff Spicer/Stringer/Getty Images Entertainment

"You just get the f*** out of here," Maher replies in the clip, which has been viewed more than 500,000 times. "This is not the place."

Undeterred, Brand says: "I thought that you like facts," to which Maher responds: "No we do, we love facts, I love facts."

"I wouldn't have mentioned it," said Brand. "I'm English, and you know that politeness is our fundamental religion, but they do pertain to this issue."

Reading from a sheet of paper, Brand claims that "the pandemic created at least 40 new big pharma billionaires," before saying: "Pharmaceutical corporations like Moderna and Pfizer made $1,000 of profit every second from the COVID-19 vaccine."

"More than two-thirds of Congress received campaign funding from pharmaceutical companies in the 2020 election," he continued.

"Pfizer Chairman Albert Bourla told Time magazine in July 2020 that his company was developing a COVID vaccine for the good of humanity, not for money. And of course, Pfizer made 100 million dollars in profit in 2022."

Brand then turns to the audience, and tells them "that you, the American public, funded the development of that."

"When it came to the profits, they took the profits," he said. "When it came to the funding, you paid for the funding.

"If you have an economic system in which pharmaceutical companies benefit hugely from medical emergencies, where a military industrial complex benefits from war, where energy companies benefit from energy crises, you are going to get a state of perpetual crisis."

In the interview, Brand appears to be citing a recent study published in scientific journal The BMJ, which discovered that the U.S. government had spent $31.9 billion on the mRNA vaccine.

The study's authors analyzed research grants and procurement contracts from the National Institutes of Health, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and the Department of Defense between 1985 and 2022. They found that the majority was spent on procurement costs during the height of the pandemic—$29.2 billion. However, prior research that led to the discovery of the mRNA vaccine also contributed to the figure.

Russell Brand in 2022
Russell Brand in 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. Previously known for his liberal comedy sets, in recent years Brand appears to have pivoted towards a more conservative viewpoint, moving his show to right-wing platform Rumble. Jon Kopaloff/Stringer/Getty Images Entertainment

In the caption, Dr. Eli David appears to claim that the accusations against Brand are the result of the interview.

"Wonder why Russell Brand is being attacked right now? Watch this clip," he wrote alongside the post.

His followers agreed, with Von Phul calling the clip the "Gospel truth."

"Tucker said nobody is everheld accountable for telling lies. Only for telling the truth," said @LeastIDidThat.

"He deserves a medal not people falling for the est'ment attack," commented Man in a shed.

"This mainstream interview landed Russell Brand in the cross hairs of "interested parties,'" wrote Akashma News. "Seriously, do you believe those 'anonymous women.' Why didn't they come out during the 'Me Too Movement'?"

Brand has denied all the claims against him, saying in a YouTube video posted on September 15: "Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute."

He told viewers that his relationships were "always consensual" and that they took place during a "time of promiscuity," before suggesting the accusations were the result of a "coordinated media attack."

Fellow conservative podcaster and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has also come to his "friend" Brand's defense.

"I know Russell Brand personally," the 49-year-old said in a video. "I've never seen women throw themselves at anybody like with him."

"No one ever accused him for the last 10 years of assault because he's such a big sweetheart, and now because out against big pharma, he comes out against the globalists, he comes out against the new world order, suddenly the allegations are happening."

Early in his career, Brand was known for left-wing comedy that lampooned the British political establishment. However, in recent years he appears to have embraced more conservative viewpoints, with his show Stay Free with Russell Brand moving to right-wing platform Rumble in 2022.

His videos include titles such as "Shhh... Don't Mention The Vaccines" and the "Great Reset" theory, which claims that the "elites" were using the pandemic to take control of the globe.

Newsweek has reached out to Russell Brand and Bill Maher for comment via email.

Update 9/18/2023, 7:03 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comments from Brand's YouTube video.

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