Russell Brand says he’s been ‘changed’ by baptism: ‘I’m so grateful to be surrendered in Christ’

Russell Brand has announced that he has been baptised in the River Thames, adding that the experience has left him “changed” and “transitioned”.

The 48-year-old comedian had previously called baptism an “opportunity to leave the past behind”, less than a year after a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary exposed allegations of sexual assault against him.

In an Instagram video published on Monday (29 April), Brand told his followers: “Yesterday I got baptized and it was an incredible, profound experience. Many of you will have had your own experiences of baptism and will therefore know what I'm talking about.

“Many aspects of it were very intimate and personal.”

Brand went on to compare the experience to his well-documented past drug use, saying: “The truth is this, as a person that has in the past taken many, many substances and always been disappointed with their inability to deliver the kind of tranquility and peace and even transcendence I always felt I've been looking for, something occurred in the process of baptism that was incredible, overwhelming – literally overwhelming because I was obviously underwater, and it was the River Thames – at some points. So I felt changed, transitioned.”

He concluded his message by expressing his love for viewers and stating: ”I'm so grateful to be surrendered in Christ.”

Russell Brand tells his Instagram followers that baptism in the Thames left him feeling ‘changed, transitioned' (Instagram via @russellbrand)
Russell Brand tells his Instagram followers that baptism in the Thames left him feeling ‘changed, transitioned' (Instagram via @russellbrand)

In September last year, a Channel 4 Dispatches and Sunday Times investigation revealed accusations by four women of rape, sexual assault and abuse at the height of Brand’s fame between 2006 and 2013.

Brand, who the Metropolitan Police have questioned, has strongly denied all accusations and recently told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a YouTube video that the claims were “very, very hurtful”.

Channel 4 has since been forced to question how much its bosses were aware of as the presenter worked on the broadcaster’s programmes Big Brother’s Big Mouth and Kings Of Comedy between 2004 and 2007. Publishing its findings from an internal investigation in March, the channel found “no evidence” that its bosses knew about the allegations against Brand.

According to the Dispatches investigation published in September, Brand allegedly entered a relationship with one of the women when he was 31 and she was aged 16. On their first date, she claims he asked her to confirm if she was 16 and said: “I don’t give a f*** if you’re 12 ... I need to know where I stand legally.”

She claims that he sexually assaulted her at his home just before their relationship ended.

In his interview with Carlson, Brand said his infant son was undergoing heart surgery at the time the allegations were exposed.

“I suppose what that did is it revealed that what we were experiencing was a public concoction,” said the Get Him To The Greek actor. “I am aware that I put myself in an extremely vulnerable position by being very, very promiscuous. That is not the kind of conduct that I endorse, and it’s certainly not how I would live now.

“I’ve been shown a good many things, as a result of these events – the value of my family, the value of friendship, the value of being able to speak publicly.

“I mentioned my son because throughout it I was able to maintain what is really important in life ... hurtful as it is to be accused of what I consider to be the most appalling crimes, to be accused of this is very, very painful, and very hurtful.”

He added: “But I am being shown that there are consequences for the rather foolish way that I lived in the past – although of course again to reiterate, due to the nature of the world we live, of course I deny any allegations of the kind that have been advanced.”