Just two days after his divorce from Katy Perry was finalized , comedian Russell Brand went on Howard Stern’s Sirius/XM radio show on Wednesday (July 18) morning thinking he was going to promote his new FX show “Brand X.”
Instead, Stern peppered the funnyman with dozens of questions about the details of the divorce as Brand tried to resist the classic Howard charm with self-deprecation and honesty about the split.
“I loved her so much, it just seemed like the sensible thing to do [when we got married] … I just loved her so much,” Brand said about the “overwhelming” sense of affection he had for the singer when they tied the knot in India
two years ago. But once they were husband and wife, Brand admitted that he realized, “this isn’t really working out, it’s a difficult situation … I was really, really in love with her, but it was difficult to see each other … We were together when it was right to be together, and when it wasn’t we worked it out … It was a lovely relationship … it mostly didn’t work for practical reasons … We did work it out, she’s happy, I’m happy.”
With Brand working on movies and Perry in the studio and on the road, the long distance relationship thing just took a toll on the couple. “She’s young, successful and dedicated,” he said of his former wife’s ambition and drive. “[The reality is] you can’t fully understand it until you do it. I was really into the idea of marriage and having children.”
Brand said he’s still dedicated to the idea of being a dad and revealed that he and Perry did discuss starting a family, but he declined to give any details about those talks in order to avoid bruising feelings. “I don’t want anything to hurt her,” he said. “She’s younger than me, she’s a young woman and she’s beautiful and she’s sensitive and I care about her deeply … I don’t want to be too glib,” he said about fears that Perry would read second-hand tabloid accounts of his Stern interview that will twist his words around. “She’ll read it and she’ll be sad and I don’t want that.”
Stern being Stern, talk eventually turned to whether avowed former sex addict Brand was now sowing his wild oats again, which the “Rock of Ages” star answered by invoking a “Willy Wonka” metaphor. “If you’ve been on a diet of rice for a while and suddenly Willy Wonka asked you to take over the factory,” he said, “you’d be kicking over barrels of candy and swimming in a chocolate river.”
Brand would not, however, give a completely straight answer about reports that he is dating actress Jordana Brewster’s younger sister, Isabella, with whom he was spotted hanging out over the weekend. “Some things in the newspaper aren’t true … that’s true, actually,” he said, adding that he was enjoying the “freedom” of being single again and reaffirming his commitment to hedonism. Though he intimated that there was someone in the bed with him as he called in from the West Coast for the interview, Brand argued that whoever it was is a “real person” and he wasn’t into dragging her into the tabloid muck.
When Stern began listing a roster of alleged reasons for the marriage’s dissolution, from Brand’s reported fetishes to the purported friction with Perry’s religious parents, the “Brand X” star denied the reports. “Her parents were lovely,” he said, noting that he had a great relationship with Katy’s mom and dad and that they identified with his quest for spirituality through meditation, yoga and Eastern religion. “I don’t read newspapers no more,” he said. “Because I think it warps your perspective on everything.”
He also explained to Stern why he had no interest in trying to claim half of the $40-plus million Perry earned during their time together in the divorce. “I’ve got a good job,” he said. “All I want to do I want to live a good life … I’m not into taking money from women.”
Brand, who has had a good on-air relationship with Stern in the past and always provided the satellite star with entertaining interviews, only got uncomfortable when Stern forced him to listen to the lyrics from Perry’s single “Wide Awake.” While the lyrics have been interpreted as a reaction to the split, Brand said he’d not heard the song, but that he was okay with whatever Perry needed to do to get over the divorce.
“She’s a good person, I’ve got nothing but love for her,” Brand said, countering Stern’s suggestions that the song and Perry’s pop-oriented music might have been an irritant to the comedian with a more rock-and-roll persona. “I was very proud of everything she did,” he said.
When Stern began dissecting the lyrics, citing the lines “I was in the dark … I was falling hard … how did I read the stars so wrong,” Brand got audibly uncomfortable. “That could be about anything … horoscopes, astronomy,” Brand joked. Citing the lines, “Now it’s clear to me/ that everything you see/ ain’t always what it seems,” Stern kept at it, suggesting that Perry was revealing her real feelings on the break.
“Your interpretation sounds somewhat arbitrary,” Brand said. “She’s a young woman dealing with the breakup of a relationship … which is understandable. It’s a nice song.”