- YouTuber ProJared responded to accusations that he solicited sexually explicit photos from fans, with at least two saying they were underage at the time.
- ProJared said that in the past, he exchanged photos with consenting adults, but denied ever doing so with minors.
- He also included evidence to support his side of the story and said his accusers may have made up their claims in hopes of gaining money and attention.
- He responded to claims from his ex-wife who said he cheated by saying the two were already breaking up at the time of the alleged affair.
ProJared Breaks Silence
YouTuber and gamer ProJared responded to accusations that he solicited sexually explicit photos from underage fans.
Jared Knabenbauer, who goes by ProJared online, posted a 42-minute-long video to YouTube titled, “You Were Lied To.” Back in May, he was accused by two fans, identified as Chai and Charlie, of soliciting nudes from them while they were 16-years-old. Chai claimed Knabenbauer was aware of his age, while Charlie said the YouTuber never asked for their age. Up until now, Knabenbauer has stayed relatively silent on the matter.
These accusations surfaced as Knabenbauer announced his divorce from his now ex-wife Heidi O’Ferrall. At the time O’Ferrall had accused him of infidelity and abuse.
In Knabenbauer’s video, however, he denied these accusations and said he has proof to back him up. He acknowledged that he did exchange photos with some fans, but said they were always consenting adults.
“What this all came down to was people saying that I was exchanging nudes with fans on Snapchat and Tumblr and a lot of people want to know if I did any of that,” he said. “Yeah, I did. And I always made it clear that it was for consenting adults only.”
ProJared Addresses Chai’s Claim
Knabenbauer went on to break down the accusations that came from Chai and Charlie. He pointed out that both have deleted their initial accusation tweets against him, and dove into Chai’s story first. Knabenbauer said he has no memory of ever interacting with Chai and added that the things Chai claimed he did sound out of character.
Then he broke down a timeline of Chai’s accusations, which Chai said happened in between March and July 2016. This period overlaps with a time when Knabenbauer’s Tumblr account was hacked.
It also lines up with a very important part of Chai’s life that he wrote about in an apparent Medium post. Chai said he suffered a severe head injury playing basketball in November 2015 which caused him to have a gap in memory for the following six months. The injury led to hallucinations and voices in his head, which he said eventually told him to do violent things.
He said these symptoms were part of psychosis, which reached a tipping point in August 2016 when he told his mom that he would kill her if she did not take him to the hospital. After this hospitalization, he eventually became better.
“To reiterate, Chai’s accusation was that the things I supposedly did happen between March 2016 and May 2016,” Knabenbauer said. “Chai also states that he has no memory during this exact same period and hallucinations continuing until August 2016.”
Because of this memory gap, he called Chai’s trustworthiness into question. He also added that there could be a possibility that Chai lied about this medical situation, but if he lied about that, Knabenbauer said that would also impact his trustworthiness.
He also noted that if this did happen while his Tumblr was hacked, the hacker would have likely leaked screenshots of their conversations at the time. Neither Chai nor Knabenbauer said they have screenshots or evidence of their conversations.
ProJared Responds to Charlie’s Claim
Knabenbauer then went on to say that he remembers interacting with Charlie, and said he does have screenshots from their encounters. Charlie did post some when making their initial claim, but Knabenbauer said they left out key details.
A notable screenshot that Knabenbauer presents shows him asking Charlie for their age, and Charlie saying they are over 18. In their initial accusation, as well as in an interview with the Daily Beast, Charlie said they were not asked their age.
Knabenbauer then continues to say that Chai and Charlie emailed their stories to creator collective Game Grumps. He said that when he saw the email that they sent to them, he actually reached out to apologize. The two, however, were not happy with the apology, despite the fact that a screenshot shows they specifically requested it.
The two also emailed their stories to Normal Boots, Knabenbauer’s old collective that he parted ways with in May. This email did not include an apology request.
As far as his situation with Normal Boots, Knabenbauer clarified their decision to part ways.
“I was not fired,” he said. “I resigned so that everyone else at Normal Boots wouldn’t get dragged down with me.”
Knabenbauer closed this part of the video by calling out his accusers’ honesty once more since they wrote their emails and discussed their accusations together.
“How can we trust Chai when his cohort Charlie was already lying?” he asks.
Knabenbauer believes they did this for money and attention. He accuses the two of “e-begging” as they both linked things like their Paypal and Amazon wishlists on their social profiles.
Accusations Against Pamela Horton
The video continues to address another accusation that came from an adult woman named Pamela Horton, who is a part of ToasterGhost. She claimed that at a gaming event they met at, which Knabenbauer said was in 2015, he looked up her nudes and showed them forcefully to other people. She went on to say that after this, he continued to be disrespectful and make lewd comments about her.
Knabenbauer said he was especially shocked by this because not only does he have no memory of it, but he claimed that since their meeting at this event, they had been friendly with one another. He went on to mention three men who would have been at this alleged incident, and two confirmed to him that they have no memory of it.
He then dug further into her accusations to try to find out a specific timeline of when she said he made the lewd comments. He ends up saying that she is referring to an E3 panel with Horton, MatPat, and himself. Knabenbauer said that he has never been on a panel with either of them or even on a panel at E3, but still finds it hard to believe that Horton would flat out lie about this.
“I think this is something that probably actually happened to her, and she was treated with some amount of disrespect, but she’s putting me in the place of someone who actually treated her this way,” Knabenbauer said.
Users on Reddit have pointed out that Horton did do a panel at E3 with MatPat that did not include Knabenbauer. It included Kyle Bosman, who many think resembles Knabenbauer. Some wonder if she confused the two. This, however, is unconfirmed. Horton has not made any accusations against Bosman, nor has she said anything about mixing the two up.
ProJared’s Comments About His Marriage
One of the last things Knabenbauer addressed are the cheating allegations regarding his marriage, which he claimed are false.
“No cheating happened,” he said. “I told my wife at the time I no longer wanted to be with her in October 2018. I was refused. I was told no. I was denied. I had my career threatened. I felt controlled.”
He went on to say that his relationship with O’Farrell, as well as with Holly Conrad, the woman O’Farrell alleges he had an affair with, should not be public business. He also requests that people stop spreading misinformation and stop harassing him online.
Reactions to Video
Both Chai and Charlie have set their social accounts to private and have made no public comments. Chai’s bio says “Offline for a while.” Meanwhile, Charlie’s bio says that the fact they locked their account “doesn’t mean shit i just don’t want more death threats lmao.”
Pamela responded to the video in one tweet saying, “I know my truth.”
O’Farrell has since posted two long Twitter threads about the video. In the first, posted Tuesday afternoon, she said his insistence that she is lying is “beyond dehumanizing.” She also added that they did not break up in October, they just had a conversation about it.
She also said their real divorce and breakup was not until February, and that up until then, they were trying to work on their relationship.
She added that he was with Conrad long before she even realized.
She said she could not believe he was “capable of lying on this level” and called the alleged lies “terrifying.”
In her second thread, she said the new video has caused an “an avalanche of fresh hatred.”
As far as public reaction, Knabenbauer’s subscriber account has gone up since he posted his video. The video currently has over one million views.
Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat
Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.
Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.
Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday.
“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”
In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.
According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.
Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?
As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”
For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.
“I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???” one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People.
“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”
Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media.
“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”
Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer
The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.
The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul
YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker.
While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career.
“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.
“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”
Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content.
“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”
Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury
The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December.
“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”
Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.