After hitting 18.8 million YouTube subscribers and debuting his new $9.5 million house, some may say David Dobrik is at the peak of his career. But what happens when you reach the top? Well, there’s only one way back down. Since joining the platform in 2015, Dobrik’s charm and cheeky personality quickly shot him to YouTube superstardom. The now-24-year-old social-media mogul is known for his four-minute-and-20-second weekly vlogs, which showcase him and his friends, also known as the Vlog Squad, running around Los Angeles pulling pranks, causing havoc, and ultimately looking like they are having more fun than anyone else. The Vlog Squad has had a rotating cast since its creation; the current group appears to include Dobrik, Jason Nash, Toddy Smith, Heath Hussar, Scotty Sire, Josh Peck, Corinna Kopf, Nick Antonyan (a.k.a. “Jonah”), Jeff Wittek, Matt King, and Zane Hijazi. None of these members are direct employees of Dobrik, yet they still reap the benefits of his following. He does, however, have three employees, who function as pseudo-members: Natalie Mariduena, Taylor Hudson, and Ella-Priya D’Souza. Dobrik is quick to give off “boy next door” energy as he soberly drive his messy friend group around, all while he receives Kids Choice Awards and makes TikToks with Charli D’Amelio.
Though he rose to fame on YouTube, he quickly pivoted to podcasting during the pandemic in 2020. He debuted his new podcast studio in his “I BOUGHT A NEW HOUSE!! (2021)” video on February 8, saying, “I can’t be filming the videos that I would be normally making, like the vlogs. But here we have a controlled space and a controlled environment.” The hiatus of Dobrik’s regular videos ultimately left space for former Vlog Squad members to speak out against YouTube’s favorite good boy.
Over the course of last year, various former friends and colleagues of Dobrik’s came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct and bullying against him and his squad of young content creators, like ex-member Dom Zeglaitis. Famous for ignoring controversies, Dobrik had remained silent on these issues — that is, until he released a two-minute-and-30-second video on his “VIEWS” podcast channel, launched February, titled “Let’s talk.” After months of drama, Dobrik returned with a new vlog on June 15, announcing new uploads every Tuesday, like nothing ever happened. Two more women have come forward publicly with allegations against Zeglaitis, claiming he used his friendship with Dobrik to prey on them. Meanwhile, Jeff Wittek is threatening legal action, nearly two years after an on-camera crane accident nearly blinded him. We compiled a timeline of Dobrik’s messy past and even messier present so you can decide for yourself whether or not the King of YouTube is over for good.
May 18, 2017
In an Insider report published November 3, 2021, a former fan comes forward with footage of Dom Zeglaitis, a founding member of the Vlog Squad, backing her into a corner and humping her clothed, as David Dobrik filmed. The now-22-year-old woman says she and her friends first went to the Vlog Squad apartment where Zeglaitis lived after Dobrik posted on Snapchat asking for girls 18 and over to be extras in a vlog about Zeglaitis needing a sex intervention. The second time she went to the apartment, May 18, Dobrik led her and other fans to the apartment. She and Zeglaitis went back and forth which can be seen in his May 19 vlog, until he tries to tackle her. The vlog cuts before he makes contact, but in footage available on Insider, he traps her in the corner of a hallway, humping her. Dobrik can be heard repeating “Stop, stop, stop,” and pulls Zeglaitis off of her. “When he started humping me, you can see in my face I’m trying to push him off,” she said. “It went too far. I didn’t want a fight with Dom. I just wanted to see David.” Representatives for Dobrik did not immediately respond to comment on the Insider report.
June 15, 2017
Dobrik releases the since-deleted “HE THOUGHT HE WAS KISSING HER!! (SUPER CRINGEY)” vlog. In this video, Dobrik tricks former Vlog Squad member Seth Francois into kissing Jason Nash, the 47-year-old comedian attached to the group. Francois was told he would be kissing Corinna Kopf, an original Vlog Squad member and Instagram model known as “pouty girl”. It was not revealed to the blindfolded Francois that he was kissing Nash until after the act had already happened.
June 28, 2017
Ally Hardesty says Zeglaitis groped her and forcibly kissed her at VidCon that year in a video titled “DURTE DOM EXPOSED: My Story.”
In another since-deleted vlog titled “SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE PLAYED WITH FIRE!!,” Dobrik is hanging out with a group of friends including former Vlog Squad member Dom Zeglaitis, nicknamed Durte Dom. In this video, Dom jokes that he has invited over a group of girls to have a fivesome with them. The girls are briefly included in the video while Dom aims sexual jokes and commentary at them.
December 13, 2018
Gabriella Lagunas, a fan of David Dobrik’s at the time, told Insider she met Zeglaitis near his apartment, where the Vlog Squad filmed. Also in the report published November 3, Lagunas said Zeglaitis promised Dobrik would arrive and pressured her to drink until she agreed to have sex. Afterward, she says she also agreed to let him record a video of her naked on the condition he kept it private. Minutes later, she says he told her he sent it to a group chat. Lagunas shared details of her experience on TikTok in 2020, just months before a March 2021 Insider report accused him of rape.
A five-part TikTok series about a young man named Karim offering his “application” to be a designer for Dobrik’s new app goes viral. In the videos, Karim suggests the name of Dispo, which lead Dobrik to comment on his TikTok, saying he loved the name and would be in touch. Karim later reveals that Dobrik decided not to hire him.
June 2, 2020
Seth Francois releases a YouTube video titled “accountability to all creators” that outlines all of the negative and racist situations he experienced while a part of the Vlog Squad. The video includes clips of Dobrik and friends joking about taking Seth to the police station, doing Blackface, offering him watermelon, and labeling him “their only Black friend.”
June 30, 2020
Dobrik uploads his weekly podcast episode, titled “Auditioning for SNL,” in which he takes the first two minutes of a 39-minute episode to apologize for his past behavior. Dobrik receives backlash for what many considered to be the superficiality of this apology, as he does not directly address Francois or any of the specific racist situations.
February 5, 2021
Former Vlog Squad member Nick Keswani appears on an H3H3 podcast known for reacting to YouTube drama, specifically Vlog Squad controversies. This particular episode is hosted by the husband-and-wife duo Ethan Edward Klein and Hila Klein. Ethan Edward Klein also hosts another podcast, titled “Frenmies,” with ex Vlog Squad member (and ex girlfriend of Jason Nash) Trisha Paytas. While on the podcast, Keswani shares how his time in the Vlog Squad damaged his mental health. Keswani suffers from a rare form of dwarfism that has also caused him to be blind in his left eye. During his time in the Vlog Squad, Keswani was continuously mocked for his height and disabilities. On the podcast, Keswani states, “ I felt worthless being in those videos. I was like, Dude, why am I even like here? What’s the point in my existence? Because I was just treated like this punching bag.”
February 12, 2021
Seth Francois makes a guest appearance on the same H3H3 podcast on which he spoke about the kissing-prank incident of 2017. Francois claims, “I was touched by someone I did not consent to.”
February 16, 2021
Paytas takes to her H3H3 podcast, Frenemies, to reveal more disturbing allegations against Dobrik. She claims Dobrik hid while she had sex with her boyfriend, Jason Nash, and filmed her naked without her consent. Nash was aware of the prank; however, Paytas claims, “there was no consent given. Because I was dating Jason, because I was a participant in the vlogs — that’s my consent? She also asked Dobrik not to post the video titled “I SNUCK INTO THEIR HOTEL ROOM (SURPRISE)”; the video is still live and currently has more than 14 million views.
February 26, 2021
Klein accuses Dobrik of covering up his assault of Francois by deleting problematic clips from past vlogs and podcast episodes. Klein specifically mentions a section from a podcast episode in which Dobrik and Nash are talking and laughing about the 2017 prank they played on Francois.
March 1, 2021
David Dobrik launches his app, Dispo: the name suggested by Karim in the TikTok series. Though the company had trademarked the name in June 2020, many viewers are displeased with the lack of recognition for Karim. In addition to this, the review section on Dispo in the application store is flooded with comments calling for Dobrik to take accountability for his actions and acknowledge those speaking out against him.
March 4, 2021
Musician, current Vlog Squad member and longtime friend of Dobrik Scotty Sire uploads a video in defense of Dobrik titled “Hi”. The video has since been taken down; however, it included messages between Dobrik and Francois that appeared to show Francois offering consent to the incident that took place back in 2017.
March 4, 2021
Vulture publishes a profile of Paytas in which she states, “I have more PTSD from David and Jason than I do hooking on Santa Monica Boulevard.” She also blames Dobrik for the downfall of her relationship with Nash, saying she was deemed no longer useful for the vlogs. “Jason was like, ‘I gotta break up with you because of David,’ Paytas explains. “That’s when I spiraled.”
March 8, 2021
After removing his previous video, Sire posts a note to his Twitter in which he apologizes to “anyone who feels as though I disrespected or invalidated their story.”
March 16, 2021
Business Insider publishes an article titled “A woman featured on YouTube star David Dobrik’s channel says she was raped by a Vlog Squad member in 2018 the night they filmed a video about group sex.” The article includes commentary from a young woman who appeared in the 2018 video “SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE PLAYED WITH FIRE!!” in which she claims she was raped by Dom Zeglaitis. The article also includes quotes from Paytas claiming Dobrik asked Nash to purchase alcohol for the women as they were under 21 and could not purchase it for themselves.
March 16, 2021
Dobrik posts a two-minute-and-30-second video titled “Let’s talk” to his podcast YouTube page. In this video, Dobrik claims that consent is the heart of his content. He claims not to agree with some of his previous videos and apologizes directly to Seth Francois. “I just want to make videos where everybody in it, whether you are participating or watching, is enjoying having a good time,” Dobriks says. “I missed the mark with that one.” He goes on to address former members of the Vlog Squad, including Dom Zeglaitis, and states that he has distanced himself from them as he does not align with their actions and does not stand for misconduct. He finishes the video with a promise: “I’m sorry if I have let you down. Things like that won’t happen again. I have learnt from my mistakes and I also believe that actions speak a lot louder than words. You can take my word for it that I am going to change, but I will also show you and I will prove to you that the mistakes I made before won’t be happening again.” Dobrik fails to respond to the allegations from Paytas or Keswani.
March 18, 2021
Dobrik’s longtime sponsor SeatGeek states that they are reviewing their partnership with him. A spokesperson for the company said, “At this time we’re closely monitoring the situation and reviewing internally how we want to proceed.”
March 19, 2021
Dollar Shave Club ends its partnership with Dobrik and will no longer be a sponsor of his podcast, Views. The company said, “The actions and comments made by David Dobrik as well as some members of his team are very serious and do not align with DSC values. Sexual assault and hateful language of any kind is unacceptable in any environment. We’ve made the decision to end our relationship and cancel all planned activity.”
March 19, 2021
EA Sports, a company that gifted Dobrik a Lamborghini back in 2019, has stated that they are distancing themselves from Dobrik and his Vlog Squad. Someone from EA Sports said, “We haven’t worked with David since April 2020 and can confirm we are not currently working with him nor do we have any plans to in the future. We expect any influencer or celebrity talent we work with to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA’s values and policies.” Per an Insider report, HelloFresh, Dollar Shave Club, DoorDash, General Mills, HBO Max, Facebook, and Audible also no longer intend to work with Dobrik.
March 20, 2021
Dobrik’s vlog channel loses over 66 million views in a single day, indicating that he deleted several high-ranking videos. According to data from Social Blade, five videos were deleted in the past four months, resulting in his views dropping from 8,269,665,818 total on March 18 to 8,203,005,095 on March 19.
March 21, 2021
Vlog Squad member Jeff Wittek posts a video titled “My Truth” attempting to distance himself from the Insider report. In the video, he denies buying alcohol for the underage victims and shares audio of a phone call with Insider reporter Kat Tenbarge, during which he attempts to clear his name. Wittek claims that Paytas is the only one who remembers him buying the alcohol, but according to the Insider report, the victim’s friend and designated driver recalls Wittek and another Vlog Squad member, Todd Smith, returning to the party with whiskey.
March 21, 2021
Tenbarge responds with her own recordings of the phone call with Wittek. At one point, Wittek doubts Smith was even at the party, but in Dobrik’s own footage, he is seen peeking into the room where the “threesome” is taking place. “Jeff spends his video trying to undermine my credibility by making false statements and playing out-of-context clips from our conversations,” Tenbarge tweeted. “I stand by my reporting and so does Insider.”
March 21, 2021
Ethan Klein and Paytas host an emergency livestream of the Frenemies podcast in which they interview Wittek. It comes to light that Wittek hadn’t actually read the Insider article, because he “didn’t wanna pay for the paywall on it.” Though Wittek tries to say he and others, like Dobrik, were not around during the alleged assault or to supply alcohol, a time-stamped photograph from the report shows him, Smith, Dobrik, and the victim being held up by her friends at 1:38 a.m., hours after Wittek claims he left. To quote the livestream chat, “🤡”
March 22, 2021
Early on Monday, Dobrik announced he would step down from the board of his photo-sharing app, Dispo, so as “to not distract from the company’s growth,” read a statement provided to the Information. Just hours before, the venture-capital firm Spark Capital announced it would “sever all ties” with Dispo. In February, the company led the start-up’s $20 million series-A financing.
March 22, 2021
Reddit co-founder and leader of venture-capital firm Seven Seven Six, Alexis Ohanian, distanced himself and his company from David Dobrik in a statement on Monday. “The recent allegations against David Dobrik are extremely troubling and are directly at odds with Seven Seven Six’s core values,” reads the statement, which Ohanian also posted on his personal Instagram Story. “We have been working closely with Dispo over the last week and are in full support of their decision to part ways with David.” According to the statement, Seven Seven Six has “made the decision to donate any profits from our investment in Dispo to an organization working with survivors of sexual assault,” yet unnamed.
March 22, 2021
Sponsors Frank’s Red Hot, Chipotle, Bumble and SeatGeek officially announce they will not be partnering will Dobrik going forward. SeatGeek funded several of Dobrik’s Tesla and car giveaways. “SeatGeek is not currently working with David Dobrik or the Vlog Squad, nor do we have any future planned campaigns,” a rep told Tubefilter.
March 23, 2021
David Dobrik releases a second apology video early Tuesday, this time uploaded to his main vlog channel, with comments on. Sitting on the floor by himself, cutting before he tears up, Dobrik addresses the Insider report and several other allegations of sexual assault against Zeglaitis. “I’m so sorry,” he says. “I was completely disconnected from the fact that when people were invited to film videos with us, especially videos that relied on shock for views or whatever it was, that I was creating an unfair power dynamic. I did not know this before.”
March 24, 2021
Dobrik is removed from the lineup of creators on the “No Place for Hate” anti-bullying tour.
March 25, 2021
YouTube temporarily suspends David Dobrik and Dom Zeglaitis from monetization following the rape allegation. “We have strict policies that prohibit sexual harassment on YouTube and take allegations of sexual assault very seriously,” a YouTube spokesperson told Insider. “We have temporarily suspended monetization on David Dobrik and Durte Dom channels for violating our Creator Responsibility policy.” This affects all three of Dobrik’s channels as well as Zeglaitis’s personal channel.
March 26, 2021
Also, Jeff Wittek is still talking. He apologizes for his original March 21 response in a new video asserting his innocence.
April 22, 2021
After months of dodging rumors, Wittek uploads a multipart documentary, “Don’t Try This at Home” on April 21, which explains an accident that he suffered last year, which broke parts of his face and skull and required him to have surgery. For Dobrik’s comeback vlog in June 2020, the Vlog Squad went wakeboarding on a shallow lake, pulled by an excavator operated by David Dobrik. At one point, Corinna Kopf swings directly from the line, but when it starts “falling down,” she yells that she wants to get off, though Dobrik doesn’t immediately agree. “You take things too far,” she can be heard yelling at Dobrik. When Wittek tries wakeboarding, Dobrik swings him even higher, then abruptly stops, causing Wittek to crash into the machine, then into the water with his foot still caught in the line. “This is where I made a mistake,” Wittek says in voice-over. “I forgot that the biggest f–cking idiot I know was driving it.” Footage of Dobrik appears in Wittek’s new documentary, but Dobrik has not yet addressed the Vlog Squad’s wakeboarding stunt for concerned fans.
May 7, 2021
In a comment on a Trisha Paytas TikTok, Tana Mongeau addresses how Dobrik had repeatedly tried to set up a threesome for her, Jason Nash, and Paytas. Mongeau, who was 19 at the time, responded that she was “staying out of drama” but is “now in therapy.”
June 15, 2021
Dobrik uploads his comeback vlog, “SURPRISING MY FRIENDS,” as if nothing had happened. The entire Vlog Squad returns with little to no acknowledgment of the controversies that kept the members relevant during the hiatus, and they’re now posting new videos every Tuesday. (Conveniently, Frenemies is no longer uploading on Tuesdays since Paytas quit the podcast.) The gang is already back to its old antics during a Hawaii getaway where one member ends up bleeding. No surprise there.
February 28, 2022
Noticeably absent from Dobrik’s return to vlogging? Jeff Wittek. After mentioning on a recent Patreon livestream that he hadn’t received “a text or nothing” from Dobrik since his most recent corrective eye surgery, Wittek released an episode of his podcast titled “DEAR DAVID” to “get through some points” about the crane accident. “I’ve been protecting this guy for so long and there’s so much to the story than just him not texting me for a week after I had such a drastic surgery where I could’ve been blind,” he says. Wittek also referenced the “documentary” he released in the aftermath, Don’t Try This at Home, saying, “We sugarcoated it.” “He is a scumbag friend, a fake friend, now that the documentary is over doesn’t give a fuck, doesn’t text me, doesn’t check in,” he claims in the episode. “The other reason, him saying now, flipping the script, saying, ‘Oh, it was fucking Jeff’s idea. He’s crazy.’ Complete bullshit.”
Wittek claims Dobrik did not pay any medical bills, as promised, and that he now has “an infraction” on his credit — not to mention losing his role as a Vlog Squad player.
March 4, 2022
Breaking back into the tech sector, David Dobrik partners with Diplo, Stassie Karanikolaou, and other influencers to launch the app Roll, created by Erik Zamudio and Tara Electra. Electra, who also goes by Tara Niknejad, is also the founder of Unruly, an OnlyFans creator-management company accused of publishing nudes without consent and creating exploitative contracts.
March 8, 2022
The VIEWS podcast is once again resurrected. Dobrik stresses how it’s been “the worst two years of his life” (who among us?) and at other points laughs about being “canceled.” “The Jeff thing is the fucking worst,” he said on the podcast with Jason Nash and Natalie Mariduena, addressing the incident for the first time. “That day is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”
“I think one of the main reasons Jeff is bummed with me right now is because he saw me do an interview that I said something that I promised him I’d keep between us,” he said, referencing that the stunt was supposedly Wittek’s idea. In his retelling of the day of the accident, Wittek sent him a video of a man swinging on an excavator before jumping off. Dobrik says he didn’t see the video until they were already at the hospital. “I remember Jeff told me to check my DMs and it was a video that he had found like 15 minutes before the accident that somebody posted and it was a guy swinging from an excavator and flying off. I didn’t see that DM until the hospital.” At that point, he alleges Wittek asked him to promise “no one ever knows this was my idea.”
“I was all hands on deck for that, but I feel like I can take 80 percent of responsibility, 90 percent, 100 percent of the responsibility for the accident, whatever he needs me to do,” he says later in the video. “But then it gets to the point where it started to feel like I was taking 150 percent of the responsibility.” As for the medical bills, Dobrik claims to have covered “like $78,000 of surgery.” “It’s a two-way street,” he adds. “We can be like, ‘When’s your next surgery?’ but also no one’s looping us in to what we need to be paying for.”
March 9, 2022
Wittek denies most of Dobrik’s claims the next day, reacting to the VIEWS podcast on his own channel. He says he only sent the Instagram video “as a joke” and strongly denied asking Dobrik to keep a secret for him. He clarified that, if anything, he didn’t want Dobrik to “tell people that I fucking deserved to get hurt like this” for doing a dangerous stunt. Responding to the medical-bills situation, Wittek claims Dobrik “stuck me with a lousy insurance company. Like, it’s not coming out of your pocket, dog.” He adds that he had to convince Dobrik to pay for half of a stem-cell procedure.
Wittek finishes with a legal threat, claiming he can prove Dobrik is lying: “Let’s just let the courts decide.”
June 27, 2022
Wittek is officially suing Dobrik for $10 million, according a TMZ report. Wittek specifically claims general negligence and general tort and is claiming “wage loss, loss of earning capacity, and racked-up hospital bills.”
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