Elon Musk defends Russell Brand amid sexual assault allegations

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The SpaceX CEO said during a podcast that Brand’s life is being “destroyed” by potentially “false allegations”

Tesla founder Elon Musk has reiterated his defense of Russell Brand, saying in a podcast appearance this week that the multiple allegations of sexual assault levied against the actor and comedian represent the “witch-burning phase” of an investigation into his alleged wrongdoing.

Two weeks ago, 48-year-old Brand was accused of sexually assaulting four women –one of whom claims she was raped– between 2006 and 2013, following an intensive investigation jointly undertaken by The Times, The Sunday Times and UK broadcaster Channel 4. Brand has denied all claims against him.

“There needs to be, obviously, a conviction here,” Musk said during a Thursday podcast appearance with conservative media personality Ben Shapiro. “It can’t be guilty until proven innocent.”

“Because obviously we’re just in the sort of witch-burning phase here,” Musk added. “Just being declared a witch is enough to make you a witch and be burnt.”

Musk had previously appeared to offer a defense on behalf of Brand after the Briton released a social media video on the eve of the publication of the allegations earlier in September. In the video published to his millions of followers online, Brand suggested that the claims against him were part of a coordinated agenda orchestrated against him by mainstream media.

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Russell Brand speaks to thousands of demonstrators gathered in Parliament Square to protest against austerity and spending cuts on June 20, 2015 in London, England UK MP's call to demonetize Russell Brand rejected

“Of course,” Musk wrote on X, the social media platform he renamed from Twitter, “they don’t like competition.”

Brand’s accusers, who remain anonymous, include one who says she was 16 years old when she became involved in an “emotionally abusive and controlling relationship” with him. She also said that on one occasion, Brand forced his penis down her throat, leading to her gagging. The then-teenager said that Brand only stopped once she punched him in the stomach.

Another woman says she was raped by Brand at his residence in Los Angeles in 2012.

English police have confirmed that investigations are underway related to the allegations. Brand’s YouTube profile was demonetized for a violation of company policy soon after, removing the possibility for Brand to earn advertising revenue from his content on the platform. A UK comedy tour by Brand was also postponed.

Additionally, Musk said on the podcast that the entertainer has been targeted because he frequently “rattled the cage” of “the powers that be,” adding that Brand’s accusers are “destroying” his life “on the potential of false allegations.”

“Seems like an odd coincidence that it’s happening when Russell is really gaining traction, questioning a lot of the conventional wisdom,” Musk said. “I think we’re running out of conspiracy theories that didn’t turn out to be true.”

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