Russell Brand has opened his heart to the TV cameras about his first major sexual experience – with a Filipino prostitute.
The flamboyant comedian can be seen in forthcoming Channel 4 documentary Love for Sale explaining to presenter Rupert Everett about the times he paid for sex when he was a teenager.
Describing his use of prostitutes as part of his “dark” obsessions at a period in his life when he was mired in drug addiction, Brand recalled his early experiences with mixed emotions.
On the one hand, he describes the time when he was 16 and slept with a Filipino prostitute as a “magical experience”.
“I loved her. She was beautiful, elegant and sweet and …and to be with a beautiful Filipino woman was magical.”
However, the star of the movies Arthur and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, also warns viewers to be wary of following his example.
“I’m not a libertine” he says, addressing the subject of men using prostitutes with a warning to viewers to “be careful with your soul and be careful with yourself”.
Speaking at last night’s question-and-answer session following the screening of the programme which examines people who sell and buy sex, Everett said that he felt the response was typical of Brand: “It was very unexpected. [Brand] is the king of the about-turn. He can move from heroin to All Bran in one go.”
Everett said he made the two Love for Sale films partly because he was interested in the subject following the death of his friend, a female French prostitute in Paris 20 years ago. Another motivation was his desire to campaign against current moves by some UK MPs to clamp down on the sex trade.
He told last night’s audience at the Soho Sanctum Hotel that lawmakers were using the subject to deflect from their own shortcomings: “We are living in a very weird world. You think, politicians and police are presenting us with this Puritan view because they have shown themselves to be very corrupt.”
He added that he believed attempts to curb prostitution would fail.
“Why in this country are we still living out of the shadow of the Reformation? Why do they think sex is for procreation? They must see sex is also for pleasure.”
Everett, whose films include My Best Friend’s Wedding and An Ideal Husband, added that the character of Soho was also changing for the worse as large swathes of it was being bought up by wealthy Chinese and Russian people and the traditional sex industry was under threat from property redevelopment.
“We should have a say as Londoners,” he said. “I’m desperate Soho doesn’t lose all the rough edges it has.”
The first episode of Love for Sale airs on Monday 28 April at 10pm on Channel 4. Episode 2 airs on Monday 5 May, also at 10pm