Comedian Russell Brand has spoken for the first time since Channel 4 Dispatches, The Sunday Times and The Times published a joint investigation into alleged rape and sexual assault claims against him.

In a new video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, the 48-year-old, from Grays, Thurrock, said it had been an “extraordinary and distressing” week.

During the three-minute clip he said: “I thank you very much for your support and for questioning the information that you’ve been presented with.”

Brand who has denied the allegations did not directly address the claims made against him and instead lashed out at the government, big tech companies and media organisations.

Russell Brand hits out at government and mainstream media in new X video

He also said he would return to his regular show on Rumble – an online video platform that refused to follow YouTube in blocking the comedian from earning advertising revenue on its site.

The TV presenter described the streaming site as having made a “clear commitment to free speech”.

Referring to mainstream media organisations, he said: “It’s clear that these organisations collaborate in constructing narratives, whether it’s about the war or the pandemic, and of course there are other examples.

“It is very clear to me that we have to be very, very cautious indeed.”

The TV presenter claimed moves to prevent him from making advertising revenue from his content on social media platforms came “in the context of the Online Safety Bill”, which aims to tackle harmful content on the internet.

Brand addressed his 11.3 million followers as “awakening wonders” and went on to say: “By now you’re probably aware that the British government have asked big tech platforms to censor our online content and that some online platforms have complied with that request.

“What you may not know is that this happens in the context of the Online Safety Bill, which is a piece of UK legislation that grants sweeping surveillance and censorship powers, and it’s a law that has already been passed.”

Since the allegations came to light last week, as well as being banned from making money on YouTube, he has also been dropped from his talent agency, Bluebird publishers and women’s charity Trevi.