Bryan Callen’s podcast co-host, Brendan Schaub, defends comedian amid allegations
The co-host of Bryan Callen’s podcast is standing by the comedian as he faces sexual misconduct allegations.
Brendan Schaub, a former UFC heavyweight who is Callen’s other half on “The Fighter & the Kid” podcast, said in a new episode Monday that “obviously I stick by” the man he called his “partner in crime.” But Schaub did not comment specifically on the accusations Callen is facing, saying he would let his friend “speak for himself.”
“Callen has asked me not to go hard in the paint for him on the show, because apparently if I say what I want to say, it’s going to get Callen in more trouble and bring more attention to Callen, so my hands are a little tied,” said Schaub, who pivoted to stand-up comedy after his UFC career. “Which is very tough for me. Very, very tough for me. Because I think you guys know how much I love Bryan, and obviously I stick by Bryan Callen.”
Four women say they were mistreated by comedian Bryan Callen, describing troubling sexual incidents ranging from assault to misconduct to disturbing comments.
Schaub’s statement came a day after Callen took to Instagram to defend himself against claims from four women who told The Times that they had been sexually mistreated by the 53-year-old. In his Instagram video, “The Goldbergs” actor again denied all the allegations, which include rape, sexual harassment and disturbing comments. He vowed not to “post a statement and disappear,” but then said he was “obviously” taking a leave of absence from “The Fighter & the Kid.”
On Monday’s episode, Schaub insisted that it was Callen’s decision to momentarily distance himself from the podcast, noting that he was also in the midst of recovering from COVID-19 and an eyelid lift surgery.
“I’ve never seen him like this. Bryan’s exhausted mentally and physically,” said Schaub. “I hope Bryan figures it out, and I think he will. In due time, Bryan will be back.”
After The Times published its article about Callen’s alleged behavior Friday, he posted a message to his fans on Twitter noting he would record a podcast addressing the situation Saturday. That podcast never materialized, but Schaub said he had every intention of defending Callen during the would-be recording — until Callen suggested that was not a sound decision.
“I was like, ‘I’m gonna be your Flavor Flav,’” Schaub recalled. “And he goes, ‘Yeah, but dude, it was 21 years ago. If I do that podcast, you’re gonna sit there and nod your head, you’re gonna look stupid. ... Let me handle this. This isn’t your fight. This is my thing. I’m not gonna drag you into this.’”
In a new Instagram video, Bryan Callen again denies misconduct allegations but says he will take a leave of absence from his podcast.
Schaub said he was having difficulty, however, following Callen’s request because not “shooting from the hip and saying what’s on my mind ... [is] against everything I know.”
“It’s hard for me not to release the hounds and give you my true thoughts,” he concluded. “I can’t say anything that’s gonna satisfy anyone who wants me to give you my hot take. Anything I say, it’s only gonna hurt Bryan. That’s the last thing I want to do.”
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