An exclusive investigation from Insider has revealed that Jeffree Star, a YouTuber and make-up mogul, faces multiple accusations of sexual assault, physical violence, and abusive behavior.
Four people spoke to the website and claimed that Star ‘groped men around him without consent.’ Five others said that they ‘personally saw Star using a close-range stun gun or other tasing device to hurt and intimidate people around him.’ It is alleged that Star used a taser on a homeless teen in 2009 because he rejected Star’s affections. Said teen told Insider that Star ‘gave him Ambien until he was intoxicated and forcibly performed oral sex on him without his consent. Several people and publicly available internet posts corroborate key components of the former homeless teen’s account.’
Star denies the accusations and his attorney sent several letters to Insider disputing the claims. The website notes that ‘several people who had made on-the-record claims about Star’s conduct contacted Insider to change their stories.’ Following this, they managed to obtain text messages showing two sources who had previously gone on-the-record against Star ‘discussing what they said was a $10,000 offer from Star to recant their allegations.’
One source is Gage Arthur, who, at the age of 17, said that he met Star in 2008 and the then-MySpace favorite ‘sexually pursued him soon after meeting him.’ A year later, he moved to Los Angeles and struggled with homelessness. He once again met Star and accompanied him to a movie screening. There, he alleges that Star kept trying to hold his hand, which he rebuffed, then Star ‘attacked him with a taser in the theater parking lot after the movie in retaliation. That night, Arthur told Insider, Star gave him Ambien pills until he was intoxicated, then performed nonconsensual oral sex on him.’ Arthur’s claims were corroborated by several witnesses as well as social media posts referencing the allegations from over a decade ago.
Arthur then told Insider that Star’s lawyers called him, then five hours later, he retracted his statement. The text messages that Insider obtained with claims of hush money came from Arthur. In them, he told another person acting as a source for the website to retract their account because ‘Jeffree Star has agreed to pay you $10,000 if you choose to do the same.’
Star was also accused of groping others without permission, particularly during his musical tours in 2007. Britain Strah, who’d just turned 18, said Star groped him before his performance at a venue in Anchorage, Alaska:
‘Strah, who worked sound and other production roles at Bitoz, said he was wearing Spandex shorts that night. Strah said the venue’s owner introduced him to Star and made a comment to Star about the shorts that Strah was wearing, after which Strah said Star reached down and groped his genitals.
“I was just kind of shocked,” Strah told Insider. “After a while it dawned on me that it was pretty f**ked up. When the ‘Me Too’ stuff started happening, all these things that seemed to be smaller transgressions were coming out, and I was like ‘Woah, wait a second, I was assaulted.’ It had never really clicked.”
“Brit expressed that happened and I remember thinking that was part of the energy at the show,” [Strah’s friend Scott] Thorpe told Insider. “I remember people getting groped onstage during that show in a way that I thought was just, ‘Well, this is the way these kinds of things are.’ I’m at a different place now and understand what’s a consensual touch.”’
Strah shared screenshots of his DMs to Star over the years with Insider, which contain unanswered messages such a, ‘Hey Jeffree. I really don’t want to have to call you out in public, but your lack of response is kinda telling. Please, I’m asking you as a human being who you violently groped in public: please respond.’ Star’s lawyer claims that Strah’s story is a fabrication that he used ‘six years ago to try and extort money from Mr. Star.’ They did not provide any evidence of this.
While these accusations are new and deeply horrifying, Star has always been a nasty figure, one whose reputation was built on online bullying, racism, intimidation, and wielding of his fan-base as a weapon to silence dissenters. He’s infamous for his love of the N word, for example, and he has never offered a sincere or truly understanding apology for his actions. Instead, he has cloaked himself in money, industry clout, and YouTube celebrity, and a hell of a lot of people fell in line to be part of his crew, from the equally-disgraced Shane Dawson to the make-up and beauty world to the drag scene. They made him more popular and powerful than ever, even though he has been widely understood as, at best, an intimidating bully for over 15 years.
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