Five Gucci backpacks’ worth. That’s approximately how much money Jeffree Star is being accused of offering to sources who had gone on the record with allegations of physical and sexual violence. A new report by Insider details allegations of sexual assault and abuse (in addition to the racism) against Star, from his days as a popular MySpace electropop artist. It also details the alleged lengths to which Jeffree Star may be willing go to cover up his past. Ahead of publishing, Insider was made aware of text messages showing two of the article’s sources discussing what appears to be a $10,000 offer from Star to take back their allegations of sexual assault and abusive behavior; one accuser and two witnesses eventually recanted. In “several letters” to Insider, Star’s attorney denied the allegations of violence.
Several sources told Insider that Star had been violent and abusive on multiple occasions, including while on the Vans Warped Tour concert series in the late 2000s. Several allege that Star engaged in inappropriate touching and that they saw Star use a stun gun to hurt and intimidate people. One man, Gage Arthur, alleges that Star sexual assaulted him when he was homeless as a 19-year-old in 2009. According to Arthur, on November 11, 2009, Star attacked him with the Taser in a parking lot after he wouldn’t hold his hand during a movie. (Arthur identifies as straight.) Arthur claims that, later that night, Star drugged him with Ambien and performed non-consensual oral sex on him. “Jeffree had pulled out a Taser and, to be blunt, said, ‘You’re going to let me suck your d — or I’m going to Tase you,’” Kris Whalen, Arthur’s former roommate, who claims to have knowledge of the situation, told Insider. “He told me, he didn’t go into details, but said that out of fear, he let it happen.” According to Insider, several people and internet posts corroborate Arthur’s story. In fact, two of Star’s own tweets verified that they went to the movies together that day. Insider claims Star deleted one of the tweets in September 2020 after they requested comment. Star’s attorney told Insider the YouTuber “has never tasered or drugged anyone for sex.”
Three weeks after Insider asked Star for comment on Arthur’s allegations, Arthur texted Insider saying Star’s lawyers called him. Five hours later, Arthur recanted his story. The next day, they say they received an email from Star’s lawyer “making clear” he was aware of Arthur’s decision. According to screenshots obtained by Insider, Arthur had also approached Chris Avery Bennet, a trans woman who says she was bullied by Star on MySpace in 2009, to offer $10,000 on behalf of Star in exchange for a retraction of her statements. “Jeffree Star has agreed to pay you $10,000 if you choose to do the same,” he wrote, according to a screenshot. Arthur had not been made aware of Bennet’s involvement with Insider, but Star had been asked to comment on her claims. Bennet says she refused the deal. Two other sources subsequently changed their stories. Star’s attorney declined to comment on whether Star offered payment to sources. So … how many Gucci backpacks would it take for you?
Update October 2: A spokesperson for Star issued the following statement to Vulture.
While Insider may believe that generating click-bait is more important than honest reporting, facts still matter. This so-called exposé is nothing but a defamatory collection of long-discredited allegations, misleading hearsay from more than a decade ago and outright lies. Tellingly, all of the key individuals involved have refused to substantiate Insider’s bogus claims, while many, including Jeffree’s representatives, presented the reporter with a mountain of evidence proving that these allegations are false. She, regrettably and unethically, chose to ignore that evidence because it did not fit with her predetermined narrative. Insider’s article is textbook defamation, rife with malice and demonstrating a reckless disregard for the truth, and, as a result, Jeffree is considering all of his legal options.”