After hundreds of fans urged Russell Brand to distance himself from the sleazy so-called pick-up artist Julien Blanc, the comedian has broken his silence.
Blanc, who makes a living "by teaching men how to violate women through physical and emotional abuse," was pictured posing with Russell Brand and has encouraged his fans to be more like the Hollywood star.
But Brand has made it clear he wants nothing to do with the "world's most hated man", responding to this Huffington Post UK article.
"I never knew who that was," Brand said in the latest edition of his YouTube series 'The Trews', referring to the picture of him and Blanc.
"People come up to me all the time and say 'can I have a photo please', so I just go 'yeh'"
Discussing Blanc's treatment of women, Brand stated "I'm against that… I'm against treating women in a disrespectful way."
"That whole pick-up thing seemed appealing to me as a kid… but any system for chatting up women is in itself questionable, but any that is based on objectifying or undermining I would never, never, never, never, never endorse."
The statement comes after Brand was urged by nearly 500 of his followers to "publicly renounce Julien Blanc and the Real Social Dynamics organisation that in the guise of teaching men how to become a “pick up artist” promote sexual assault and racism."
"Just to be clear," Brand responded last night, "If you have any questions about my attitudes towards Julien Blanc or anyone who is disrespectful towards women, or anybody, disrespectfully, I am 100%, wholeheartedly against it."
Blanc, however, has made it clear that he is a fan of the political activist.
Daily Mail Australia obtained a recording - removed from Blanc's YouTube account - of a recent lecture entitled: "Russell Brand’s Secret to Having a Magnetic Personality: Get Flashed While Behaving Like a Rockstar."
Blanc can be heard telling his followers that the best way to stand out to women was to "do what most people wouldn't do and get away with it."
"If you take, like, any celebrity, like fucking, Russell Brand, for example, what does he do?
"He does the shit that most people wouldn't do. He pushes it a little bit further - that's it - and he gets away with it."
"You do that, you stand out."
Blanc meanwhile, has delivered an apology in the wake of controversy surrounding his dubious “pick-up” tips.
Blanc told CNN host Chris Cuomo: “I’d like to apologise to anyone I’ve offended in any way. It was never my intention and I just want to put it out there. I’m extremely sorry for everything that happened.”
Cuomo remarked: “You seem noticeably nervous,” to which Blanc conceded “You’ve read the headlines.”
Those headlines reference Blanc’s “professional material”, including one filmed seminar where he tells a room full of laughing men: “At least in Tokyo, if you’re a white male, you can do what you want. I’m just romping through the streets, just grabbing girls’ heads, just like, head, pfft on the dick. Head, on the dick, yelling, ‘pikachu,’ with a Pikachu shirt.”
Blanc charges £1,250 for bootcamps and between £120 and £330 for various dating 'services' packages and for this chunky sum he has the following guarantee: "Become a true 'pimp', with the highest abundance of hot women in the shortest amount of time, or your money back. No questions asked."
“It’s Offensive, It’s Inappropriate, It’s Emotionally Scarring, BUT IT’S DAMN EFFECTIVE,” Blanc says of his techniques on his Web site, PimpingMyGame.com where he advises men on how to “develop panty-dropping masculinity”.
He also launched a hashtag #ChokingGirlsAroundTheWorld, with which he tweets footage of himself doing exactly that: choking women around the world.
Querying whether Blanc’s apology was genuine, Cuomo highlighted to an "ugly" picture of Blanc holding a T-shirt which reads: “Diss Fatties Bang Hotties.”
This image was allegedly posted to Instagram by Blanc with the caption: “May as well be a checklist… #HowToMakeHerStay”
Blanc pleaded: “My intentions were never bad, it was a horrible attempt at humour and unfortunately a lot of it was taken out of context.
“I 100 per cent take responsibility. I apologise 100 per cent for it. I'm extremely sorry.
”I feel horrible, I'm not going to be happy if I feel like I'm the most hated man in the world. I’m overwhelmed by the way people are responding.”
Blanc attempted to stand his ground, insisting: "I teach guys how to gain confidence. Most of them are socially awkward. I teach guys how to gain confidence in order to socialise with women and perhaps get into a relationship with a woman.
"To be honest a lot of my clients do meet their spouses on these programmes."
Cuomo incredulously asked: "You think men meet women and get into meaningful relationships based on the tips you give them?", to which Blanc giggled and replied: "More than you'd think," adding he received emails of thanks, wedding invites and that "people are just eternally grateful."
Addressing the images of him choking women and the footage of him encouraging men to push women's faces into their crotches, Blanc said: "That's where a lot of the confusion is coming from... With those photos there, of choking women, I want to make it clear that is not what I teach. Those pictures were a horrible, horrible attempt of humour. They were also taken out of context, in a way,
"You can make anything look bad in a picture. Those girls were girls I was hanging out with during my time there. I did place my hand physically around their neck, I did not choke them... I wanted to provoke a shock... which it did but for all the wrong reasons."
Of the "Power & Control" chart he posted (above), he denied using it in his seminars, adding: "This is so far in the opposite direction of what I teach that I stupidly thought mocking it would be funny, but it wasn't and I regret putting that out."