Russell Brand’s mother has been left with multiple life-threatening injuries following a two-car collision on the way to his home last week.
The comedian broke his silence on the incident on Monday morning, to tell fans that he would be cancelling the remainder of the Russell Brand: Rebirth tour.
Barbara Brand, who has battled cancer six times and only finished chemotherapy six months ago, remains in hospital while the chauffeur – a friend of Russell’s – has since been released.
Life-threatening: Russell Brand’s mother Barbara (pictured right in 2012) is battling life-threatening injuries as a result of a car crash on her way to the star’s home, last week
In an Instagram video, Russell said: ‘My mum’s been in a really serious road accident and has sustained what are being called “poly traumatic injuries”, that means numerous, life threatening injuries.’
He confirmed that the Rebirth tour was now cancelled and tickets would be refunded or ‘possibly rescheduled’.
‘I can’t imagine performing at the moment,’ he continued. ‘I feel too sad and too connected to this. I apologise but obviously it’s circumstances beyond my control.’
‘Difficult’: Russell expressed his regret at cancelling the remainder of the Rebirth tour, but said his family must come first
In a second video, Russell said that his mum was in a ‘vulnerable’ position, having finished multiple boughts of chemotherapy less than a year again.
‘I’m sad for my mum,’ he said. ‘She’s vulnerable. She only finished chemotherapy a month ago so for her to be in this situation it’s really difficult.’
Russell praised the NHS for their care, insisting that he considered the chauffeur of his car to be a ‘friend’.
He continued: ‘The man who was driving was a friend of mine. What I suppose I would like to say is how I am reminded, as I have been many times across my life is the importance and significance of the NHS who have already saved her life on six occasions, my mum has had cancer six times.’
One man in his 40s was arrested in connection with the incident on Friday, which happened last week.
Barbara had been travelling to the star’s home to babysit his 18-month-old daughter in his chauffeur-driven Audi A8 when the limo was struck by a car travelling on the wrong side of the road.
The star’s Audi A8 was badly damaged in the collision which closed the road for several hours on Thursday.
The car was being driven by a chauffeur near Brentwood, Essex, when a Vauxhall Astra crossed onto the wrong side of the road and collided with the limo
The driver of the Astra is believed to have escaped from the scene in a white Volkswagen Golf
The car was being driven by a chauffeur Mascalls Lane, Warley, Essex, when a Vauxhall Astra crossed onto the wrong side of the road and collided with the limo.
Barbara was taken bleeding from the back of the car and put into an ambulance.
Pictures from the scene show the extent of the damage, with debris from the car’s being scattered across the road.
Sergeant Peter Swan, who is leading the investigation said: ‘We are in the initial stages of this investigation and have spoken to a number of witnesses.
‘If there is anyone who has not yet come forward but thinks they have information which could help us, we would like to hear from you.
RUSSELL’S STATEMENT IN FULL
‘My mum’s been in a really serious road accident and has sustained what are called poly traumatic injuries, that means numerous, life threatening injuries, So I wont be able to do the rest of my rebirth tour.
‘If you have tickets they’ll be refunded or possibly rescheduled but I can’t imagine performing at the moment, I feel too sad and too connected to this. I apologise but obviously it’s circumstances beyond my control.’
‘What I realise through this are some things that are really obvious, the importance of people you love and how often these things happen.
‘When you’re in hospital you’re surrounded by people in traumatic situations and suffering and pain so it brings you to a kind of bare and raw truth about your reality. I’m sad for my mum, she’s vulnerable.
‘She only finished chemotherapy a month ago so for her to be in this situation it’s really difficult.’
‘The man who was driving was a friend of mine. What I suppose I would like to say is how I am reminded, as I have been many times across my life is the importance and significance of the NHS who have already saved her life on six occasions, my mum has had cancer six times.
‘To see the way the medical professionals operate is a phenomenal thing. We should all be really grateful for the NHS. I think of it as the soul of this country, where people are benevolent and kind and do something valuable for a living. So again sorry to convey this sad news to you. I won’t be on social media for a while.
‘Thank you for all your positive, beautiful messages, prayers for those of you for whom that is meaningful and appropriate.
‘Please continue to keep my mum in your thoughts and in your hearts. I’m sending lots of love to you and gratitude cheers I’ll see you all soon I hope.’
‘We would especially like to speak to you if you saw a man leave the scene of the collision, possibly in a white car.’
The star cancelled his show, Russell Brand: Rebirth, in Aberdeen on Thursday night and rushed to his mother’s side following the crash.
According to a statement released by Aberdeen Performing Arts: ‘Due to a personal emergency Russell’s promoters regrettably announce the postponement of Russell’s tour date at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen tonight.
‘Please keep hold of your tickets. Tickets holders will be contacted about the rescheduling of the show very soon.
‘We realise this will cause huge disappointment but we will do everything we can to reschedule the date and will be in touch with you soon.’
The driver of the Astra is believed to have escaped from the scene in a white Volkswagen Golf.
The star cancelled his show in Aberdeen and rushed to his mother’s side following the crash (pictured together left, leaving the Hackney Empire in London, and right, in London in 2012)
A witness of the crash said: ‘Russell’s mum was trapped inside. People got her out. ‘She was in pain and people got her out and laid her down. There was blood on the back of her head’
A witness told The Sun: ‘The Astra came round the corner and lost control. It went straight into the Audi.
‘The chauffeur got out and fell. Russell’s mum was trapped. She had a seatbelt across her chest. She was in pain and people got her out.
‘She was in a bad way, lying on a stretcher. She had blood coming from her nose and on the back of her head. We were talking to her, trying to keep her with it.’
The incident is believed to have happened around 11.40am.
Writer Matthew Todd tweeted Brand to say that he was praying for his mother
The comedian (pictured in 2017) similarly cancelled a sold-out live show in 2014 after his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time
Mrs Brand was on her way to her son’s home to babysit Mabel.
A witness said he saw a black Vauxhall Astra hire car zoom around a bend before ploughing into the Audi, and then the man behind the wheel made a getaway on foot.
The passerby said: ‘Russell’s mum’s car was driving in front of my partner. Another car came round the bend on the right hand side of the road.
‘He lost control of it, hit the kerb and went onto the other side of the road where he hit the Audi.
‘The driver got out of the Audi and fell down on the road. Russell’s mum was trapped inside. People got her out.
‘She was in pain and people got her out and laid her down. There was blood on the back of her head.
‘The other driver got out of the passenger door as he was trapped. He staggered around. All the cars were queuing up behind him.
‘About two cars behind him in a white Golf were some people who got out and grabbed him. They got him out of the Astra and sped off.
‘They ran over, looked around and grabbed him and did a U-turn in their car.. The Astra car was a hire car, the police officer told me.
He added: ‘Russell’s mum was lying on the floor shaking. She was on the floor, she wasn’t really talking.
‘The chauffeur said he was on his way to take Russell’s mum over to Russell’s to babysit. The chauffeur was in a bad state, he was in real pain with his back and legs.’
Russell Brand embraces his mother Barbara as he arrives for the European premiere of the film Rock of Ages at Leicester Square, London in 2012
Barbara, who has a very close relationship with Russell, has previously beaten uterus cancer when the comedian was just eight, and breast cancer a year later
Mrs Brand was on her way to her son’s home to babysit Mabel. Police are currently searching for the driver of the Astra and the getaway driver
Brand’s fans have been sending their best wishes on to the star
Brand’s fans have been sending their best wishes on to the comedian and his mother on Twitter.
One wrote: ‘OMG Russell, just heard about your mum. Such scary news, I hope she’ll be okay soon! Lots of love to you all xxx.’
Writer Matthew Todd said: ‘Really sorry to hear of the awful crash. Praying your lovely mum and chauffeur get well very soon. Sending love, Matthew xxx.’
A spokesperson for Essex Police said: ‘We were contacted shortly after 11.40am on Thursday, April 26, with reports of a road traffic collision involving an Audi A8 and a Vauxhall Astra in Mascalls Lane, Warley.
‘The driver and passenger in the Audi, a man aged in his 40s and a woman aged in her 70s, were taken to hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life threatening.
‘The occupant of the Astra had left the scene before emergency services arrived and enquiries are ongoing to locate them. The road was closed until about 3pm.’
The comedian similarly cancelled a sold-out live show in 2014 after his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time.
He was due to perform at the Derby Assembly Rooms but made the decision to postpone the event in order to be with his family following the diagnosis.
Russell wrote on his Twitter page: ‘Sorry to eff you around with gigs. My mum ain’t well. Tix will be honoured or refunded.’
He later expanded on the illness during his YouTube show The Trews, saying: ‘My mother has currently got breast cancer.’
Barbara, who has a very close relationship with Russell, has previously beaten uterus cancer when the comedian was just eight, and breast cancer a year later.
Russell has long been a supporter of cancer awareness campaigns due to his family’s history with the disease.
Promoting the CoppaFeel! campaign in 2010, Russell appeared in a video with his mother encouraging women to check their breasts regularly for lumps.
With Barbara on camera with him, Russell is seen asking her, ‘You had breast cancer, didn’t you?’ To which she replies: ‘I did have breast cancer, yes.’
And when he asks her how she is now, Barbara replies: ‘I’m very, very well.’
Fans have been tweeting the comedian to say they are thinking of Brand and his mother
One wrote: ‘Such scary news, I hope she’ll be okay soon! Lots of love to you all xxx’
Comedian Russell Brand is pictured along with his wife Laura and their young daughter Mabel