SUSANNA Reid awkwardly grilled her Good Morning Britain co-host Richard Madeley today over an interview he once did with Russell Brand.
GMB presenter Richard appeared to make a barbed comment when appearing briefly in the new documentary which accused Brand of rape and sexual assaults he denies.
Richard seemed surprised when reminded of the interview this morning by the ITV programme's co-host Susanna and shared his memories of the past encounter.
Brand appeared on Channel 4's Richard And Judy show in 2007, promoting his second autobiography My Booky Wook 2.
Madeley's wife Judy Finnegan introduced their guest by saying: "It's a searingly honest account of sex and drug addiction, bulimia and self-harm and it's written by Russell Brand – the lovely, innocent Russell Brand."
Richard then added the remark: "Butter wouldn't melt."
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He was asked by Susanna today live on air whether he said that knowing of any allegations against Brand.
Madeley told how he knew of the star's reputation as "a womaniser" but said he was unaware of any criminal accusations.
Comedian and film star Brand has denied the new allegations of rape, sexual assault and abuse against four women including one who was only 16 at the time.
Claims made in a joint investigation by The Times and Channel 4's Dispatches include that he raped a woman against a wall at his Los Angeles apartment.
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The four women say he attacked them between 2006 and 2013 at the height of his fame, when a presenter for BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4 as well as starring in Hollywood movies.
The allegations include not only rape and sexual assault but also emotional and physical abuse.
The Metropolitan Police has urged other potential victims to come forward after 48-year-old Brand faced multiple abuse accusations.
Brand posted a video on Friday night to his own YouTube channel, denying any wrongdoing, before the claims had yet been published.
The married dad-of-two insisted he "absolutely refutes" the accusations and described past relationships as "always consensual".
Brand accepted he was "promiscuous" during the height of his fame, but denied any criminal element to his behaviour.
Richard first replied, "Is there?", when told today there was a clip of him and Judy interviewing Brand in Saturday's Channel 4 Dispatches investigation.
He said he was "on a plane" when the documentary was broadcast on Saturday night.
After the moment was shown again on ITV this morning, Susanna asked her fellow presenter: "Did you say that in a way that you kind of knew his reputation, or was there anything more to that?"
Richard paused before responding how it was "a long time ago now".
He went on to say: "I never heard allegations he was a rapist or he'd done anything criminal – never heard that.
"If I had, we would've had to deal with that in an interview.
"Um, however, as he himself has said in his statement which he issued prior to the documentary going out, he had a terrible reputation as a womaniser – to use an old-fashioned word."
Richard again insisted he "never heard allegations" about Brand being "anything other than a consensual operator in that field".
The presenter added: "But, yes, he was an operator – and where there was an opportunity sexually he would chase it up.
"And he says that himself, he was hugely promiscuous – but I have to say, I worked at Channel 4 at the time, I actually never heard specific allegations that he was breaking the law."
The BBC and Channel 4 have both launched investigations into any potential offences by Brand while employed by them.
And MPs have also called for police action.
Caroline Nokes, Conservative chair of the Commons women and equalities committee, called the allegations "incredibly shocking and criminal" and "first and foremost a matter for the police".
She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I would very much hope that complaints will be made both to the Metropolitan Police and indeed in the States.
"This merits and needs a criminal investigation, because for too long we have seen men – and the perpetrators of these sorts of crimes are almost invariably men – not being held to account for their behaviours and their actions."
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Brand's dad Ron Brand, 80, today defended him – calling the allegations "unproven" and asking: "Is this seriously the most important thing happening in the world?"
He labelled the accusations a "vendetta" in posts on Facebook, MailOnline reported.
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