There have been “missed opportunities to do the right thing,” according to James Cleverly. (Image: BBC)
When questioned about the accusations made against Russell Brand, the foreign secretary responded that there are “questions for the entertainment industry.”
According to James Cleverly, there are’some real issues where you have these very, very sharp differentials in power’ in certain industries.
‘I think we have to be particularly careful when we listen to the voices of the people who are relatively powerless because we, I think, collectively have missed opportunities to do the right thing and intervene much, much earlier, and we’ve got to be better at this,’ he said in an interview with BBC One’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg.
When questioned about if the industry had any questions, Mr. Cleverly responded, “Sadly, I think there are.”
Similarly, Mr. Cleverly said that there was a “specific problem” when there were “environments where there are very, very sharp differentials in power” on the Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips show on Sky News.
We see that in the entertainment sector, in movies, and, regrettably, in politics, where there are huge power disparities, long hours, and individuals who work in that atmosphere.
“Now, people must take responsibility for their own behavior; there is absolutely no justification for individual misconduct.”
“I believe institutionally we need to be extra careful in those settings. We must make sure that we take extra precautions to safeguard individuals who are weaker than others around them.
“We need to address their concerns as soon as they are brought up,” was the statement.
Four women have accused Russell Brand of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse, one of whom claimed to be 16 at the time.
The allegations were recently made public in a piece by The Times, and on Saturday night, a Channel 4 Dispatches broadcast went into further detail about them.
According to four alleged victims, Brand mistreated them between the years of 2006 and 2013.
One alleges that the St. Trinian’s star sexually assaulted her when she was leaning up against a wall at his Los Angeles house, and that he later sent her an apology text after she informed him that “when a girl says no, it means no.”
A second woman claims Brand raped her while she was 16 years old, enrolled in school, and he was 31 years old.
She claims that he ‘thrust his penis down her mouth’ and that she had to strike him in the stomach to get him to stop.
A third woman alleges that Brand threatened to sue her if she disclosed that he had allegedly molested her while they were coworkers in Los Angeles.
A fourth individual tells the magazine that Brand ‘thrust a finger inside of her’ after becoming upset when he discovered she had spoken to an ex-boyfriend.
According to The Times, she alleges he also made her scrub her teeth so hard and make her gums bleed so she would taste “anonymous” to him.
The allegations are refuted by Brand, a 48-year-old actor and comedian who has remade himself as a wellness expert and anti-establishment celebrity with millions of internet followers.
Brand said on Friday night that he had received “extremely disturbing” mail outlining “a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks” from a mainstream TV network and a mainstream newspaper.
The Sisterhood List: Saluting The UK Black Women Who’ve Opened Doors For Others
Empowering, strong, inspiring, game-changing.
These are just some of the words that describe the women being championed in Metro.co.uk’s Sisterhood List.
Echoing this year’s Black History Month theme of ‘Saluting our Sisters’, we wanted to acknowledge a collection of Black women across the UK who have lifted up, opened doors and advocated – not only for themselves but for their sisters and their community.
The list is by no means exhaustive. There are countless who have greatly impacted their communities and backed themselves when no one else would.
So here, we salute the success stories of just a few of the amazing Black women in Britain who are paving the way for generations to come.
Singer, actress, and panellist on ITV daytime talk show Loose Women, Brenda rose to fame on the X Factor in 2005 before venturing into musicals and starring in the West End in hits like Chicago, We Will Rock You, Carousel, and Hairspray.
But her world came crashing down when last year, Brenda’s son, Jamal Edwards, creator of SBTV, died at the age of 31. The influential mogul had been awarded an MBE for his work which helped UK music acts including Dave, Stormzy, Jessie J and Ed Sheeran, who counted him as his best friend.
Brenda shared on Loose Women a private letter King Charles had sent to her, in which he expressed his sorrow and deepest condolences. Since Jamal’s death, she has set up a trust in his name to support disadvantaged young people, providing a sanctuary for the homeless and creating a community academy and she won a Hero Award following her campaigning work last year.
Brenda has spoken on Loose Women about her experiences with domestic abuse which left her ‘fearing for her life’ after an abusive ex tracked her down and she also raises money and awareness for various cancer charities after being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2016.
With almost three million followers on TikTok alone, disability campaigner Fats is a social media star with clout. Standing at four feet tall, the comedian and author used to be nervous about going out in public places but has built up her confidence as well as her voice to raise awareness.
She was born with dwarfism but prefers to use the term ‘little people’, and feels the former term doesn’t sound ‘human.’
As a child, Fats saw herself as ‘cursed’ as she faced insults and jibes about her height. But as she grew older, her confidence emerged.
She has an army of followers online – bolstered by her appearance on Channel 4’s Undateables – and works to improve visibility for the Black disabled community. This includes encouraging brands to use disabled people in their advertising.
‘There was no representation [for me] – I felt so alone when I was younger,’ Fats told the BBC last year.
‘But now, I’m representing, baby!’
Known by those who work with her as a ‘force to be reckoned with’, political activist Lady Phyll has spent a career campaigning for LGBTQIA+ rights around the world as one of Britain’s most prominent lesbian activists.
Her work began in secondary school when she found herself getting repeatedly kicked out of the classroom for asking too many questions. She didn’t understand why everyone was being taught about dead kings and queens as opposed to the legacy of slavery and the history of Africa.
Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah, also known as Dr Lady Phyll, co-founded UK Black Pride, the biggest LGBTQIA+ celebration of Black people in Europe and the event has grown year-on-year since its inception 18 years ago. Last year UK Black Pride was attended by 25,000 people making it Europe’s largest celebration for LGBTQI+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American and Middle Eastern descent.
When she decided to set it up because Pride events felt ‘exclusive and unwelcoming’, Lady Phyll was told she’d ‘never get anywhere’, but now it is bigger, brighter and bolder than ever and this year included a family zone for the first time, ensuring its inclusive legacy continues for future generations.
Lady (so people don’t mistake her for a ‘bloke named Phil’) Phyll is also executive director of Kaleidoscope Trust, an organisation fighting for LGBTQIA+ rights around the world. She was offered an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list in 2016 in recognition of her work but she politely refused it in rejection of ‘colonialism and its toxic and enduring legacy’.
Who makes your Sisterhood List?
By the end of Black History Month, we want to have created a new Sisterhood List – one that champions Black women at grassroots level.
So, if you have a female friend or member of the family that you think also deserves a place on the Sisterhood List, let us know in the comments below.
Writer, filmmaker and scriptwriter Liv is founder of the trailblazing gal-dem, a website and formerly print magazine run primarily by Black women.
Liv set up gal-dem in 2015 while studying at university because she was frustrated by the lack of diversity in the media and because she ‘wanted to create the sort of channel that I always wished existed’. Liv became its CEO at just 21, a role she stepped down from in 2020.
The magazine and podcast championed the perspectives of women and non-binary people of colour and helped many young writers launch their careers in a largely white, male industry, and boasted around 333,000 online visitors by 2021. gal-dem folded earlier this year due to financial instability caused by Covid and the economic downturn.
Liv was named a ‘new suffragette’ by Vogue magazine in recognition of her fight to empower women, has worked in India as a Health and Livelihoods Coordinator with Restless Development and has also championed Women for Refugee Women.
She has recently published her hotly anticipated novel Rosewater, a queer love story, published by superstar John Legend’s imprint Get Lifted Books. Speaking earlier this year, John said: ‘We want to elevate unrepresented voices and I feel like Rosewater is the perfect book to launch with.’
Dawn is a member of the Labour Party and is currently the MP for Brent Central, a position she has held continuously since 2015.
She’s no stranger to making her voice heard – she was famously booted from the House of Commons after calling Boris Johnson a liar – and is committed to tackling racism, sexism and other inequalities in the UK.
Dawn is only the third Black woman to have ever been elected as an MP. She has struggled with racism in Parliament and, in 2019, was even mistaken for a cleaner.
Writing for Metro.co.uk previously, Dawn said: ‘When it comes to race and equality we need to continually renew and progress because as soon as you take your foot off the pedal rights begin to roll back.
‘In this current political climate, I fear and worry that further rights are being rolled back, and this disrespect and intolerance of others is uncomfortably spreading.’
Following her successful battle with cancer in 2021, Dawn backed research by Barts Charity that would increase people of colour’s chances of surviving cancer.
Her recently released book, A Purposeful Life by Dawn Butler, explores her experiences with racism growing up and her drive to create change.
Patricia is a pioneer of the UK beauty community. She started her YouTube channel almost 13 years ago – using a shoebox to prop up her camera in her shared house in Manchester.
Patricia had been inspired by her time in school where she’d style other girls’ hair. She soon realised she might as well impart her knowledge to people online.
With an accounting and finance degree under her belt – she worked on growing her brand and worked with several large make-up, fashion and haircare companies.
Patricia is celebrated as one of the first Black British YouTubers to gain one million subscribers.
In 2020, she teamed up with make-up company Essence to ensure Black women could get a foundation shade that matched them perfectly. For years before, women of colour had searched in vain through limited options. Foundation for Black women would often have unflattering undertones or be impossible to match with skin tones.
Patricia also founded The Break Social to help women grow in their personal and professional lives. She interviews inspiring guests and offers advice on relationships, finance and empowerment.
Tolly T is one-third of The Receipts Podcast, which began in 2016 and sees more than 100,000 weekly listeners. The trio act as agony aunts, providing listeners with advice as well as cultural commentary and celebrity gossip.
Tolly T (real name Tolani Shoneye) was working as a journalist when she started the show, but when a male podcast host tweeted that their project wouldn’t work with women at the helm, Tolly and co-hosts Audrey Indome and Milena Sanchez quit their jobs and went full time.
As Tolly says: ‘There is pretty much a podcast for everything, but before we started there weren’t many that had the voices and stories of black and brown women in the UK. Our stories, our accents, our twangs were not represented in the podcast world. So we decided to do something about it.’
Their fresh humour, honesty and occasional drinking games were a hit and the show stands out in a largely white, largely middle-aged industry. The award-winning broadcast has sold out live shows and its debut book 2021 Keep The Receipts was a Sunday Times Bestseller.
Tolly also stars in Netflix’s 10/10 Would Recommend podcast series and continues to write for a number of publications, has produced and hosted on the BBC, appeared on The Big Breakfast for Channel 4 and has been part of various writers rooms.
Lydia Amoah ‘still pinches herself’ as she leads the way in transforming workplaces for people of all backgrounds.
The entrepreneur, based in Surrey, was once told she didn’t have ‘normal skin’ by a shop assistant.
In response, she set up the Black Pound Report to tackle how businesses treat their customers and explore the lack of representation in advertising of Black, Asian and Multi-Ethnic consumers.
The report, which began in 2018, looks into employment statistics to see how diverse and inclusive companies really are.
She later launched Backlight – a culture change agency – off the back of the success of the Black Pound Report. The company that helps companies become more inclusive.
She’s flown across the world to give talks and interviews and has helped thousands of people gain confidence to access career paths they felt weren’t for them.
Lydia was inspired by her parents – who emigrated to the UK from Ghana – to make a difference in society.
Her family faced racism and prejudice when they first arrived in the country and fought to be accepted.
Lydia recently shared her inspiring story with Metro, saying: ‘I still pinch myself when acknowledging that I’m the first Black woman in the United Kingdom to conduct the most comprehensive study exploring the Black, Asian and Multi-Ethnic consumer spending power in the UK. It’s never been achieved before.
‘I am teaching something new about understanding, communicating, and being authentic without being tokenistic. I do feel so proud and honoured to be in this position.
British Nigerian writer Toni is one of the stars of Highlife, the UK’s first Black-focused reality TV show which followed the lives and loves of a group of ambitious, glamorous young British West Africans – the self-proclaimed ‘Black Kardashians’.
Toni is well known for her inspiring and thought-provoking Twitter content, which has been re-shared by the likes of Hailey Bieber, Demi Lovato, Khloe Kardashian and Oprah Magazine. She has a following of 400k across the platforms, and regularly writes about love and relationships, with her tweet on ‘green flags’ going viral.
Her tweets caught the eye of HarperCollins who awarded her a book deal and her 2021 book, I Wish I Knew This Earlier: Lessons of Love, was an instant hit, debuting at number three on The Sunday Times bestsellers list. The book took an autobiographical look into how growing up in an environment of emotional unavailability and high stress can impact adult relationships.
Toni is the host of Radio 1Xtra’s Money Moves Podcast and an ambassador for Young Women’s Trust, representing women aged 16-30 who are struggling to live on little to no pay in England and Wales.
Clo and Tinuke
Technically two people, we know, but the amazing work Clo Abe and Tinuke Awe have achieved with the charity they founded together meant we had to include them both.
Now mothers of two, it was in 2018 when the pair first heard the shocking statisticthat Black women are five times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. A year later, they found Five X More, a movement dedicated to lowering this figure.
Within two years, the group’s petition to the government asking them to improve Black women’s mortality rates received 187k signatures. It was debated in parliament, which marked a historic chapter in the fight for equal rights.
Clo and Tinuke’s success in taking on the Government had come in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement.
Both women have no plans to slow down in their work – and recently created ‘Colourful Birth Wallets’ for black pregnant women in London hospitals. The packs include vital information on pregnancy and key details on maternity rights.
And their campaigning has paid off – Black women are now 20% less likely to die in childbirth. However there is still a long way to go, which is why they created the Black Maternal Health awareness week in a bid to keep their momentum going and save the lives of black mothers.
Speaking earlier this year, Awe said: ‘The statistics can be really scary, but our charity isn’t here to fearmonger. We don’t want women to be scared, we just want to give them advice on how they can be empowered to advocate for themselves.’
And the list goes on…
Jade Vanriel – prominent property blogger/influencer
Judi Love – comedian, Loose Women presenter
Akua Gyamfi – founder of The British Blacklist
Tendai Moyo – CEO of Ruka hair brand which is sold in Selfridges
Dr Shola Mos- Shogbamimu activist
Bolu Babalola – best-selling author
Letitia Wright – Marvel actress
Nella Rose – YouTuber and TV presenter
Vamp PR – Ruby, Christina, Rumbi – founders of UK’s largest Black entertainment publicity company
Mimi The Music Blogger – music commentator
Julie Adenuga – broadcaster (Apple Music)
Diane Abbott – first Black woman MP
Barbara Blake Hannah – first Black news presenter
Charlene White – ITV News presenter and Loose Woman
Alexandra Burke – fifth winner of the X Factor
Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent – professor of midwifery at KCL, most senior midwife in the UK, Princess Kate’s midwife
Oloni – sex positive author and personality
Madame Joyce – host of podcast Cocktails and Takeaways
AJ Odudu – Big Brother presenter
Coco Sarel – internet personality and co-host of Closet Confessions podcast.
Candice Braithwaite author – co-host of Closet Confessions, and at the forefront of the campaign to reduce Black women’s childbirth mortality rate
Ngozi Fulani – CEO of Sistah Space
Zeze Millz presenter – and Black culture commentator
Chioma Nnadi – new head of British Vogue
Alison Hammond – This Morning and The Great British Bake Off presenter
Kanya King – founder of Mobo Awards
Lauren Spencer – disability campaigner
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Rhode Lip Tints Have Arrived + More Beauty News
Plus, the Conair Curl Secret makes a comeback.
Rhode enters colour cosmetics with new lip tints
It’s official! Hailey Bieber’s Rhode has made its first foray into the kaleidoscopic world of colour cosmetics with the launch of four stunning Peptide Lip Tint shades. Packed with the same restorative and plumping benefits found in the classic Peptide Lip Treatment and a new sheer but buildable promise of colour, these lip tints do it all. In addition to being sold separately, each of the four shades — pink “Ribbon,” taupe-y “Toast,” rouge “Raspberry Jelly,” and brown “Espresso” — are all conveniently available in the just-dropped Lip Tint Collection. So, why choose one when you can have them all? We wouldn’t judge you for it.
Nécessaire drops a resurfacing serum
If your skincare concerns include keratosis pilaris, ingrown hairs or discoloration, Nécessaire’s latest launch is sure to work miracles on your skin. Bringing the best of skincare ingredients typically used on the face down below the neck, The Body Peel is a leave-on, resurfacing serum and 12% acid peel made to remedy common skin texture and tone woes through daily use. For optimum results, mix this sticky gel with your everyday body moisturizer (ideally at night!) and apply it to clean areas that require treatment. Then, let it get to work and watch your skin transform over time.
U Beauty unveils four new tinted lip treatment shades
With the arrival of four perfectly autumnal shades, U Beauty is expanding its Plasma Lip Compound Tinted Lineup. So, let’s talk shade range: “Orchid” is a cool-toned lilac, “Poppy” is a vibrant apricot, “Sable” is a deep chocolate with a hint of shimmer, and “Fig” is a moody, cool-toned plum. In addition to introducing four glossy and universally gorgeous shades, these lippies also provide all of the same plumping and hydrating offerings you know and love from the OG Plasma Lip Compound. Pucker up!
Conair’s revamps an old classic hair tool
Ten years after the initial launch of the Conair Curl Secret — an automatic hair curler that shook up the beauty industry — the haircare brand is introducing a newly reimagined Curl Secret. This time around, the timesaving tool with the “hair goes in, curls come out” mantra uses revolutionized ceramic technology to help shape custom curls with less damage and no tangles. Plus, some of its upgraded features include five heat settings for all hair types, multidirectional curling (left, right or alternating), and a variety of curl type settings to choose from such as loose, wavy, or defined. Christmas may still be a few months away, but we already know this tool will be on our wishlist.
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Senator Dianne Feinstein Dead At 90
Senator Dianne Feinstein has died. She was 90.
One of Feinstein’s family members confirmed her death to The New York Times on Friday, September 29. No further details about her cause of death have been further revealed.
Feinstein — who was elected to the Senate in 1992 and earned the distinction of the longest-serving female senator ever — had been battling multiple health issues before her death.
“Senator Feinstein briefly went to the hospital yesterday afternoon as a precaution after a minor fall in her home,” an official statement released in August read. “All of her scans were clear and she returned home.” Several months earlier, Feinstein took a nearly three-month leave to recover from shingles.
“I have been hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco and expect to make a full recovery,” Feinstein said in a statement in March. Two months later, her office revealed that she had been suffering from serious shingles complications for some time.
“While the encephalitis [inflammation of the brain] resolved itself shortly after she was released from the hospital in March, she continues to have complications from Ramsay Hunt syndrome [which causes temporary paralysis in part of the face],” a spokesperson stated in May.
Prior to her health woes, Feinstein announced in February that she would be retiring at the end of the year.
“I am announcing today I will not run for reelection in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,” she said at the time.
Feinstein made history in California politics, becoming the first female mayor of San Francisco, the first female elected Senator of California, and the longest-serving woman senator.
During her time in the Senate, Feinstein, a Democrat, fought hard for climate reform — particularly when it came to some of California’s most serious issues including wildfires and droughts. In 1994, she enacted the federal Assault Weapons Ban, which prohibited the creation and sale of military-style assault weapons for 10 years.
Feinstein was married three times: to Jack Berman from 1956 to 1959, to Bertram Feinstein from 1962 to his death in 1978 and to Richard Blum from 1980 to his death in February 2022. Blum, who passed away after a battle with cancer, was 86 years old.
“My husband was my partner and best friend for more than 40 years,” Dianne said in a statement after Blum’s death. “He was by my side for the good times and for the challenges. I am going to miss him terribly.”
Dianne is survived by her only child, daughter Katherine Feinstein, whom she shared with Berman, as well as her granddaughter, Eileen, whom Katherine shares with husband Rick Mariano.