After British YouTube celebrity Sam Pepper was accused of sexual assault, Channel 4 News has spoken to a woman alleging sexual assault by a second British YouTube star.
With millions of young followers, YouTubers publish videos on their YouTube internet channels showing their daily lives and activities.
Among them, Sam Pepper, famed for his video pranks, who uploaded a video called “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank” last month. In it he is seen using a false hand to pinch the bottoms of various unsuspecting women in Los Angeles.
The ensuing controversy about his behaviour saw YouTube take the video down. But it didn’t end there.
At least six women came forward on YouTube and in the media, to make a range of allegations of harassment and sexual assault against Sam Pepper.
VeeOneEye and Sam Pepper
The story has been massive in the social media world as fans and detractors discuss the allegations.
Channel 4 News can now reveal that a second YouTuber – Jason Viohni (aka Jason Sampson), who goes by the name “VeeOneEye” online – has also been the subject of allegations of sexual misconduct.
Jason Viohni is one of Britain’s best known YouTube stars, known for his videos in which he performs pranks and talks about his life. He has 400,000 subscribers and fans have viewed his videos 20 million times.
Two women have claimed to Channel 4 News that they were sexually harassed by Jason Viohni. One of these women, who we are calling Alex to protect her anonymity, has made an allegation that Jason Viohni sexual assaulted her, but does not want to go the police at this time.
VIDEO: Sex Education video blogger Laci Green says there’s a lack of control over posts on the internet.
Alex has alleged to Channel 4 News that she woke up to Jason sexually assaulting her after a night of drinking with him at a hotel when she was 16.
“I thought it was just fun hanging out with a friend. I got to the point where my vision was completely blurred.
“He’d just gone on top of me, and started kissing me and stuff. Obviously things led to the next and the next morning I woke up to him touching me again and it wasn’t exactly nice.”
“YouTubers are in a very powerful position and they decided to manipulate people that loved them in a fan way, not in a way where they loved them back.”
Another girl posted a video of herself on YouTube in which she alleges that Jason sexually harassed her by regularly pestering her into sending naked images.
A further woman who also waived her right to anonymity and posted a video to YouTube outlining her allegations said that he had sexual assaulted her when she was 15, three years ago.
Jason Viohni posted a video in response to that woman and said: “I’m not going to deny it. I’d just like the chance to explain myself.” He says in the video that due to his Mormon upbringing that he was never taught about “the rules” of sex and alcohol.
“I didn’t have anyone there to tell me that it was the wrong thing to do.”
“I’ve messed up and I just want everyone to know that that’s not the person that I am anymore.”
No charges have been brought against either Sam Pepper or Jason Viohni.
Jason’s manager said: “My client Jason denies all allegations. There is no legal action filed against my client. As far as I’m concerned Channel 4 News is reiterating gossip and hearsay.”
Sam Pepper denies the allegation and his spokesperson has said that he doesn’t understand why Pepper’s accusers on the one hand are happy to broadcast the claims online but do not seem interested in pursuing it with police. He believes there’s an element of this being driven by YouTubers seeking fame themselves.
Sam Pepper’s “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank” video was removed from YouTube for violating its terms of service after user complaints.
Sam Pepper uploaded a subsequent video that sought to justify the reasons behind making the video, which Sam said was a “social experiment”.
YouTube has told Channel 4 News today that it has suspended Sam Pepper’s partnership with YouTube and would consider suspending VeeOneEye’s partnership if it felt it was appropriate.
YouTube said: “We have strong guidelines regarding advertising on the site, and we may choose to stop placing ads against any video if we receive advertiser complaints or determine that the content of the video is inappropriate for our advertising partners.”
Channel 4 News also understands that Wrigley, the chewing gum company, has dropped a potential lucrative partnership with Pepper due to the recent videos released by Pepper.
Laci Green, a sex education activist, who has more than a million subscribers to her YouTube channel, posted a video about Sam Pepper and the allegations made by a number of women.
“Most of his videos are fine but several of Sam’s video involve violating, harassing, and assaulting women on the streets … Sam Pepper and anyone who behaves like Sam Pepper needs to be held accountable.”