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Comedian Russell Brand is famous for his controversial comments and stunts, past struggles with addiction and his short-lived marriage to singer Katy Perry.
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In an interview with GQ, Brand later called the show "psychological self-harm." He went to rehab around this time to face his drug addiction and found enough humor in his struggle to incorporate it into his 2004 stand-up act, Better Now.
In 2005, Brand tackled another personal demon. He spent time in a Philadelphia treatment center for his sex addiction. At one point, Brand estimated that he had slept with roughly 2,
000 women. He turned his life into a British best-seller in 2007 with My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up (which was published in the United States in 2009). With his addictions in check, Brand continued to stir up controversy with his often outlandish humor. He made a series of prank calls to actor Andrew Sachs with Jonathan Ross in 2008 on his British radio show. The pair made lewd comments about the actor's granddaughter, which created a firestorm of outrage after the segment aired. In addition to issuing an apology, Brand resigned from the show.
While he had trouble in Britain, Brand had a career breakthrough in America in 2008. He appeared in the comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall with Kristen Bell and Jason Segel. In the movie, Brand played a rock lothario, which was not unlike his stand-up stage persona. He also introduced the nation to his distinctive type of humor as the host of the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. Once again, Brand made waves, joking about the Jonas Brothers' purity rings and comparing singer Britney Spears to Jesus Christ. He also had a role in Adam Sandler's comedy Bedtime Stories that same year.
With his acting, stand-up comedy and writing, Brand has maintained a hectic schedule in recent years. He reprised his role of wanton rocker Aldous Snow for 2010's Get Him to the Greek with Jonah Hill. That same year, Brand lent his voice to the animated hit Despicable Me and appeared in Julie Taymor's film adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Tempest . He also published his second memoir, Booky Wook 2: This Time It's Personal (2010).
In Booky Wook 2: This Time It's Personal, Brand wrote about his relationship with pop singer Katy Perry. The couple met in 2009 at the MTV Video Music Awards. Despite having previously sworn off marriage, Brand wed Perry in India in 2010. They seemed to be an odd couple that somehow worked—the sober, vegetarian comic and the much younger pop princess.
Brand plunged into several film projects after his marriage. He played a rich, bumbling young man in the remake of the Dudley Moore classic comedy Arthur (2011) and gave voice to the Easter Bunny in the animated smash Hop (2011). Unfortunately, Brand's union with Perry didn't last. Brand filed for divorce in December 2011, claiming irreconcilable differences. "Sadly, Katy and I are ending our marriage," he said in a statement. "I'll always adore her and I know we'll remain friends." The couple officially ended their marriage the following year.
While his personal relationship may have crumbled, Brand's career seems to be going strong. He has a role in the 2012 musical Rock of Ages with Tom Cruise. He is also working on screenwriter Diablo Cody's untitled directorial debut and is set to appear in a new Michael Bay film. On the small screen, Brand is scheduled to host his own show on the FX network in 2012.
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