Andrew Sachs’ granddaughter has said that she “doesn’t see Russell Brand as a rapist” from her “own experience” following a string of allegations against the comic.
Georgina Baillie, who had a relationship with Brand in the 2000s, added that women’s stories of sexual abuse should always be believed and taken seriously.
Baillie, 38, was at the centre of the so-called “Sachsgate” scandal in 2008, which saw Brand and TV presenter Jonathan Ross leave lewd messages about her on her Fawlty Towers star grandfather’s answering machine.
Discussing her relationship with Brand on TalkTV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored, she said: “He was always very nice to me. It was always clear what the parameters were and that was mutually agreed upon and never did anything untoward happen – apart from that [the Sachsgate tapes].
“I was struggling with addiction for about 10- 15 years and I was finding it very hard to get clean and sober. So one of my mutual friends between me and Russell called him up and said, ‘Georgie needs some help’, and so he sent me to rehab.
“And so I was physically separated from my drug of choice and I got some therapy and I think that had a big part to play in my recovery journey.”
Her comments come after four women made sexual abuse allegations against the star between 2006 and 2013 as part of an investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.
Going on to discuss the allegations, she said: “I’m not saying they are lies because you know, it was a long time ago. We all… I think they should be believed and get some help.”
Asked if she was presuming Brand was guilty, she added: “I, from my own personal experience, do not see Russell as a rapist. However, a lot of the evidence is very compelling, so one has to keep an open mind.”
Brand, 48, denies any allegations against him. He claimed in a video posted online on Friday night that all his relationships have been “consensual”.
On Monday one of his accusers claimed a BBC car took her from school to the star’s house when she was 16 years old.
“Alice” told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour the alleged abusive relationship left her feeling “cheap and dirtied”.
She went on to say Brand’s denial of the accusations was “insulting”, adding: “It’s laughable that he would even imply that this is some kind of mainstream media conspiracy. He’s not outside the mainstream.”
Downing Street has also described the allegations against Brand as “very serious and concerning”.