A YouTube personality is accused of faking his girlfriend's death in an attempt to get traction for his channel, Yahoo! Lifestyle reports. The now ex-girlfriend not only denies her boyfriend's claims that she was in on the stunt but further claims that he abused her in their relationship.
Jason Ethier is the man behind the popular ImJayStation YouTube channel, which has about 5.4 million subscribers, as of this writing. The channel consists of Ethier doing various "challenges" or exploring certain places. Some videos are related to the occult and the paranormal, such as cutting open a supposedly cursed Elf on the Shelf doll, or driving along a haunted road. Others involve him sneaking into places where he's not supposed to be, or spending 24 hours in a specific place.
On January 21, the 29-year-old Canadian posted a video in which he tearfully recounted the "death" of his girlfriend of five months, Alexia Marano. He reportedly claimed a drunk driver was responsible.
"Last night, we lost Alexia to a drunk driver guys," he said.
What's more, he blatantly used the young woman's "death" to get subscribers, telling his viewers that it was her "dream" to get a million subscribers, and that he had discussed things with her parents, and that they agreed that he should post the videos that he had filmed with her on his channel.
The video has since been deleted, but another user archived it. In another video, which was also deleted but archived by another user, Ethier supposedly visited a memorial site dedicated to Alexia.
Savvy YouTube viewers began smelling a rat almost as soon as the videos were posted. For example, Toronto-area police records from around the time of the video did not mention anything about a fatal drunk driving crash, particularly not one involving a woman named Alexia Marano.
What's more, all of Marano's social media accounts were deleted.
In another video, Ethier allegedly copped to faking Marano's death, and even claimed that the police had issued a warrant for his arrest. That turned out not to be true, as Toronto police denied having issued such a warrant.Now, Marano is speaking out about the situation.
In videos of her own, she claims that she went along with the stunt, albeit not entirely willingly, and even tried to talk Ethier out of using the drunk driving narrative.
She further claims that she had suffered abuse in their relationship.
"Jay has been abusive toward me in our relationship, and I went to the police and charged him for domestic assault... Jay assaulted me on two separate occasions...." she said.
Ethier continues to post on his YouTube channel, and indeed, his most recent video was posted on Friday, and has amassed half a million views as of this writing.
Marano declined to be interviewed by Yahoo! Lifestyle. Neither YouTube nor Ethier responded to requests from the outlet for comment about this situation.