- 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.
TikTok and Twitter Are Now Deleting Videos That Expose Closeted Olympians on Grindr
On top of outing people who may not be ready to have their sexuality revealed to the world, these videos could have endangered LGBTQ+ athletes from countries where homosexuality is illegal.
Closeted Olympians Being Doxxed
Openly LGBTQ+ Olympians are currently more visible than they have ever been before, but unfortunately, so are closeted ones.
That’s because some people have been using the LGBTQ+ dating app Grindr to try and find Olympians. They’ve been doing so by using the app’s “Explore” feature, which allows people to search and see users in specific locations (ie. Olympic Village).
But some aren’t content with just discovering which athletes belong to the LGBTQ+ community. They’re also sharing that information on platforms like TikTok and Twitter.
“I used Grindr’s explore feature to find myself [an] Olympian boyfriend,” one TikTok user said in a post that had been viewed 140,000 times, according to Insider.
That video reportedly went on to show the poster scrolling through Grindr to expose over 30 users’ full faces.
As many have argued, not only does this potentially out already-stressed Olympians who may not yet be comfortable sharing their sexuality, it also could put some users at serious risk if they live in countries where being LGBTQ+ is illegal.
In fact, the video cited by Insider seemingly did just that, as it reportedly shows the face of a user who appears to be from a country “known for its anti-LGBTQ policies.”
Grindr Responds, TikTok and Twitter Take Action
In response, Grindr said the posts violate its rules against “publicly displaying, publishing, or otherwise distributing any content or information” from the app. It then asked the posters to remove the content.
Ultimately, it was TikTok and Twitter themselves that largely took action, with the two deleting at least 14 posts scattered across their platforms.
Twitter says it’s taking steps to remove the posts flagged by Insider showing Grindr’s explore page at the Olympic Village. TikTok has yet to give an on the record response. pic.twitter.com/r11pNL6Lwu— Benjamin Goggin (@BenjaminGoggin) July 28, 2021
A Highly-Visible LGBTQ+ Presence at the Games
According to Outsports, at least 172 of around 11,000 Olympians are openly LGBTQ+. While that number is still well below the statistical average, it’s triple the number of LGBTQ+ athletes that attended Rio’s 2016 Games.
In fact, if they were their own country, openly LGBTQ+ athletes would reportedly rank 11th in medals, according to an Outsports report published Tuesday.
Among those winners is British diver Tom Daley, who secured his first gold medal on Monday and used his platform to send a hopeful message to LGBTQ+ youth by telling them, “You are not alone.”
After winning a silver medal on Wednesday, U.S. swimmer Erica Sullivan talked about her experience as both a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a person of color.
Still, the Olympics has faced criticism for its exclusion of intersex individuals, particularly those like South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya, who won gold medals in both 2012 and 2016. Rules implemented in 2019 now prevent Semenya from competing as a woman without the use of medication to suppress her testosterone levels.
Jake Paul Launches Anti-Bullying Charity
The charity, called Boxing Bullies, aims to use the sport to give kids confidence and courage.
Jake Paul Launches Boxing Bullies Foundation
YouTuber Jake Paul — best known as the platform’s boxer, wreckless partier, and general troublemaker — has seemingly launched a non-profit to combat bullying.
The charity is called Boxing Bullies. According to a mission statement posted on Instagram, it aims to “instill self confidence, leadership, and courage within the youth through the sport of boxing while using our platform, voice, and social media to fight back against bullying.”
If the notion of a Paul-founded anti-bullying charity called “Boxing Bullies” was not already begging to be compared to former First Lady Melania Trump’s “Best Best” initiative, maybe the group’s “Boxing Bullies Commandments” will help connect the dots. Those commandments use an acronym for the word “BOX” to spell out the charity’s golden rules.
“Be kind to everyone; Only defend, never initiate; X-out bullying.”
Paul Hopes To “Inspire” Kids To Stand Up For Themselves
Paul first said he was launching Boxing Bullies during a July 13 interview following a press conference for his upcoming fight against Tyron Woodley.
“I know who I am at the end of the day, which is a good person,” he told reporters. “I’m trying to change this sport, bring more eyeballs. I’m trying to support other fighters, increase fighter pay. I’m starting my charity, I’m launching that in 12 days here called Boxing Bullies and we’re helping to fight against cyberbullying.”
It has not been quite 12 days since the interview, so it’s likely that more information about the organization will be coming soon. Currently, the group has been the most active on Instagram, where it boasts a following of just around 1,200 followers. It has posted once to Twitter, where it has 32 followers; and has a TikTok account that has yet to publish any content. It also has a website, though there is not too much on it as of yet.
On its Instagram, one post introducing Paul as the founder claims the rowdy YouTuber started this charity because he has been on the receiving end of bullying.
“Having been a victim of bullying himself, Jake experienced firsthand the impact it has on a person’s life,” the post says. “Jake believes that this is a prevailing issue in society that isn’t talked about enough. Boxing gave Jake the confidence to not care about what others think and he wants to share the sport and the welfare it‘s had on him with as many kids as possible.”
It adds that he hopes his group can“inspire the next generation of kids to be leaders, be athletes, and to fight back against bullying.”
Paul Previously Accused of Being a Bully
While fighting against bullying is a noble cause, it is an ironic project for Paul to start, as he has faced no shortage of bullying accusations. While Paul previously sang about “stopping kids from getting bullied” in the lunchroom, some have alleged he himself was actually a classic high school bully who threw kids’ backpacks into garbage cans.
This behavior allegedly continued into his adulthood, as a New York Times report from earlier this year claimed he ran his Team 10 house with a culture of toxicity and bullying. Among other things, sources said he involved others in violent pranks, pressured people into doing dangerous stunts, and destroyed peoples’ personal property to make content.
See what others are saying: (Dexerto)
Director Defends Recreating Anthony Bourdain’s Voice With AI in New Documentary
The film’s director claims he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent, but on Thursday, Bourdain’s widow publicly denied ever giving that permission.
Bourdain’s Voice Recreated
“You are successful, and I am successful, and I’m wondering: Are you happy?” Anthony Bourdain says in a voiceover featured in “Roadrunnner,” a newly released documentary about the late chef — except Bourdain never actually said those words aloud.
Instead, it’s one of three lines in the film, which features frequent voiceovers from Bourdain, that were created through the use of artificial intelligence technology.
That said, the words are Bourdain’s own. In fact, they come from an email Bourdain reportedly wrote to a friend prior to his 2018 suicide. Nonetheless, many have now questioned whether recreating Bourdain’s voice was ethical, especially since documentaries are meant to reflect reality.
Director Defends Use of AI Voice
The film’s director, Academy Award winner Morgan Neville, has defended his use of the synthetic voice, telling Variety that he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent before inserting the lines into the film.
“There were a few sentences that Tony wrote that he never spoke aloud,” Neville said. “It was a modern storytelling technique that I used in a few places where I thought it was important to make Tony’s words come alive.”
Bourdain’s widow — Ottavia Bourdain, who is the executor of his estate — later denied Neville’s claim on Twitter, saying, “I certainly was NOT the one who said Tony would have been cool with that.”
In another interview with GQ, Neville described the process, saying the film’s creators “fed more than ten hours of Tony’s voice into an AI model.”
“The bigger the quantity, the better the result,” he added. “We worked with four companies before settling on the best.”
“If you watch the film,” Neville told The New Yorker, “you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the AI, and you’re not going to know. We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later.”
The Ethics Debate Isn’t Being Tabled
But many want to have that discussion now.
Boston-based film critic Sean Burns, who gave the film a rare negative review, later criticized it again for its unannounced use of AI, saying he wasn’t aware that Bourdain’s voice had been recreated until after he watched the documentary.
Meanwhile, The New Yorker’s Helen Rosner wrote that the “seamlessness of the effect is eerie.”
“If it had been a human voice double I think the reaction would be “huh, ok,” but there’s something truly unsettling about the idea of it coming from a computer,” Rosner later tweeted.
Online, many others have criticized the film’s use of AI, with some labeling it as a “deepfake.”
Others have offered more mixed criticism, saying that while the documentary highlights the need for posthumous AI use to be disclosed, it should not be ruled out altogether.
“In a world where the living could consent to using AI to reproduce their voices posthumously, and where people were made aware that such a technology was being used, up front and in advance, one could envision that this kind of application might serve useful documentary purposes,” David Leslie, ethics lead at the Alan Turing Institute, told the BBC.
Celebrities Recreated After Death
The posthumous use of celebrity likeness in media is not a new debate. In 2012, a hologram of Tupac took the stage 15 years after his death. In 2014, the Billboard Music Awards brought a hologram of Michael Jackson onstage five years after his death. Meanwhile, the Star Wars franchise digitally recreated actor Peter Cushing in 2016’s “Rogue One,” and unused footage of actress Carrie Fisher was later translated into “The Rise of Skywalker,” though a digital version of Fisher was never used.
In recent years, it has become almost standard for filmmakers to say that they will not create digital versions of characters whose actors die unexpectedly. For example, several months after Chadwick Boseman’s death last year, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” executive producer Victoria Alonso confirmed Boseman would not be digitally recreated for his iconic role as King T’Challa.