Never doubt the power of YouTube to destroy your reputation, whether its your own doing or at the hands of people denouncing you. That’s the lesson that Sam Pepper is learning after videos of him casually grabbing the butts of random women on the street has inspired all kinds of rage across the internet, causing Pepper to be dropped from his studio and breaking several of Sam’s YouTube connections.
In the fallout, Pepper has claimed that his original video was a “social experiment.” Sam followed up his first video with one of women doing the same butt-pinching prank on men. Unfortunately, Pepper seems to have awoken too much ire to smooth things over. Former dates are coming forward to say that Sam’s groping behavior is nothing new. Vlogger Dottie Martin posted a video claiming that Sam had aggressively tried to make sexual contact with her on a date following a meet-and-greet with the YouTube star.
“When we were in the movie theater, we kissed and I knew that was the edge of my comfort zone, and I didn’t want want to go any further than that… Later on in the film, [Pepper] tried to put his hands on or near various parts of my body that I wasn’t comfortable with so I moved them away… He then tried to move my hands on to different parts of his body, and again — I pulled them away because I didn’t want my hands there. At that point I started to think of excuses to leave, and, at that point, he got very annoyed.”
Several other women have come forward with similar accusations against Sam. One fan shared an exchange with Pepper where he solicited nude photos from her when she was 15-years-old.
sam pepper done the same to me as he done to dottie read these messages i got from him when i was 15 and a fan pic.twitter.com/uGLklr9WP5
— Bryony Anne Harris (@BryonyHarris2) September 23, 2014
YouTube news site TubeFilter is one several media sources that have condemned Sam’s actions, as well as the culture that allowed these women to stay silent about Pepper’s behavior for so long before the YouTube video.
“The most upsetting part of the latest development in this story is that it took so long for these women to feel comfortable coming out and talking about their respective run-ins with Pepper. Hopefully, the supportive response of the online video community will encourage victims to speak out when they are abused by YouTube stars, and it won’t require another ill-advised prank for any other allegations to come to light.”
Do you think Sam Pepper’s original video qualifies as sexual assault? Or are the following accusations what has really soured Pepper’s YouTube stardom?
[Image via Instagram]