A popular YouTube gamer is in hot water after multiple people came forward accusing him of grooming minors into sending him naked photos. The salacious details were revealed after his wife Heidi O’Ferral announce their divorce on Twitter. Within the messy divorce, people began coming forward, accusing the YouTuber of inappropriate behavior.
In a bombshell tweet, Heidi O’Ferral announced her divorce from Jared Knabenbauer. O’Ferral said the separation was due to Jared’s infidelity.
Following O’Ferral’s public announcement, Jared responded with his statement on Twitter. His post addressed none of the accusations lobbied by his wife. Instead, he asked people to draw their conclusions about any rumors they hear in the coming weeks.
A messy divorce becoming public isn’t unheard of in the digital age. However, nothing could prepare anyone for what would come next. Soon fans began sharing with Heidi details about Jared’s interactions with them. The details of these interactions were not only horrifying but illegal.
Several individuals started sharing on Twitter that Jared befriended while they were minors online. Through online friendship, Jared groomed the teens to send him inappropriate photos. Jared shared the images of the teens in a secret group on Tumblr.
Not realizing she opened a can of worms, Heidi thanked so many people for coming forward. The former wife admitted she knew Jared began sharing nude photos in 2016. However, Jared assured her the photos were between consenting adults.
In 2017, Heidi said she became uncomfortable with Jared’s behavior and asked him to stop. According to her, Jared told her that he closed his groups and no longer shared nude photos online.
However, all of that was a lie. Jared continued to use the groups to groom teens and adults to share the photos. Two men came forward to share their experiences with the YouTuber. Both said that they provided him pictures when they were only 15-16 years old.
Here is one man’s testimony:
Another woman on Twitter shared that Jared sent her naked photos.
As more people began to come forward, Jared responded by accusing Heidi of being abusive and lying. According to Jared, the allegations are not true. Instead, the photos being released were a smear campaign executed by his ex-wife to ruin his life.
Jared released a second statement that painted his soon to be ex-wife as an abusive, manipulative woman hellbent on revenge. The YouTuber also did not address the allegations that he groomed underage teenagers to send him naked photos.
Soon more people began coming out of the woodwork. A Subreddit formed where multiple people shared their experiences with Jared. One teen shared various screenshots of sexual SnapChats she exchanged with Jared when she was only 15 years old. The teen is only 16-years-old now.
Warning these messages are explicit:
With so many stories coming forward, Heidi’s statements about her husband’s abuse became more believable. She thanked all the individuals that bravely shared their stories.
After more than a week of silence, Jared’s girlfriend Holly Conrad broke her silence on Twitter. According to Conrad, she had verified receipts that proved Jared requested the ages of all the people he exchanged photos with through social media.
Additionally, Holly accused Heidi of being vindictive, abusive, and releasing “revenge porn” to humiliate and ruin Jared’s life. Holly refused to address the underage photos and only said that Jared made a poor choice by exchanging nude pictures with fans.
Despite Holly’s claims that she had receipts proving the photos all came from adults. She provided no evidence of those messages on Twitter. Additionally, she clung to the narrative that Heidi posted all of the images. However, the subreddits and tweets completely contradict her claims.
In the middle of the messy relationship, there are serious allegations of abuse by a man in power against children. Before the accusations about his inappropriate behavior with teens surfaced, he had more than 1 million subscribers on YouTube.
All of the accounts by the teens appear to be similar. They became fans of Jared. Through his YouTube, they became friends with Jared through SnapChat or on Tumblr. Then Jared used his power and influence to encourage the teens to send him explicit photos and messages.
Despite the mounting evidence against Jared, YouTube has not made any comment on his behavior. His YouTube channel remains active and has more than 700,000 subscribers.
Through Holly’s admission on Twitter, a legal case is building against Jared. With law enforcement closing in, one would hope YouTube would remove his channel. Through his YouTube channel, he preyed on young teens for sexual gratification.
This is an evolving and developing story.
For a full view of all the tweets from both Heidi and Holly, watch my video on Projared:
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis on The Non-Sequitur Channel. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.
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