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Back in October 2013, Curtis Lepore, one of the many people popular for using the Vine app, was accused of raping his ex-girlfriend, Jessi Vazquez (known on the internet as Jessi Smiles).
Vine is like Twitter but with 6-second videos. My Vine account is full of videos of my cat playing on my iPad and my neighbors blasting loud techno music that makes me want to die. Anyway, some people on Vine have become super popular and even make money doing product placement for their millions of viewers.
Curtis met Jessi last summer through Vine and they started dating. They broke up a few months later and Jessi got a concussion while shooting a Vine. Curtis offered to take care of her that night. Jessi alleges that she fell asleep and woke up to Curtis raping her. He was arrested shortly after and released on $100,000 bail.
On February 22nd, the rape charges were lessened to felony assault, and the case never went to trial.
Curtis then tweeted this:
Are you f#cking serious?????
He went on over the course of the next 24 hours replying to teenage girls who said they loved and supported him, and antagonizing Jessi (the girl who accused him). Oh, and Curtis is 30 years old. We’ve established that he is a total piece of human garbage, but what is more disturbing to me are all the young girls defending him.
I looked through the majority of girls tweeting at him and a lot of them are under the age of 18.He replies to them with, “love you too xoxo” and “ur cute” and “sup gurl.”
I tweeted a link to an article talking about his felony assault charge, and he replied to me with, “stfu ya dumb bitch.”
Look, I don’t know what happened, but his current behavior is vile. Umm, felony assault is pretty serious. He’s celebrating like he completely got off.
The flood of support he’s getting from young, impressionable girls scares me. Some are even calling Jessi a liar. Thanks to the Internet, literally anyone can get famous from posting dumb videos of themselves on YouTube.Teenagers are constantly looking for people to emulate. (I was obsessed with Topanga from Boy Meets World. I’ll pause for laughter.) This is the age of random dudes from Indiana getting fame overnight.
Celebrities are highly influential to their younger fans, and seeing Curtis Lepore gloating about getting a rape charge dropped makes his fans think that is OK behavior.
His blatant tweets about the case are so insensitive and gross:
I have no idea what a good role model is supposed to be these days. I looked up to New Kids on the Block, Liz Phair, and Lauryn Hill.As far as I can remember none of them were involved in rape scandals in their most popular years. But there's so much BS spewing at young girls, I'm not surprised some of them end up idolizing the wrong men.
How can we reassure young girls that loyalty, respect, honesty, and dependability are the qualities they should be looking for in heroes?
I don't know, but as long as Curtis keeps tweeting insensitive crap, you can expect this grown woman to keep pointing it out.