A woman under the pseudonym Hannah alleges Internet personality Dom Zeglaitis forced her into having sex with him while she was too drunk to consent, during a bit filmed for David Dobrik's channel.
Content warning: This article contains mentions of rape.
A young woman has accused Dom Zeglaitis, the Internet personality known for his appearances in YouTuber David Dobrik's massively popular vlogs, of rape.
Insider reports that the woman, under the pseudonym Hannah, joined her friends in November 2018 to record a video with the Vlog Squad — Dobrik's group of friends who have somewhat become reality stars in their own right. Hannah alleges that before meeting Dobrik and Zeglaitis, the latter had told Hannah's friends he was interested in "hooking up" with them. Zeglaitis had often been portrayed as a womanizer and sex addict in Dobrik's vlogs.
Hannah, who was 20 at the time of the incident, told Insider that Zeglaitis had raped her while she was too intoxicated to consent (she says members of the Vlog Squad supplied the alcohol). A few days later, Dobrik had uploaded footage of the night to his channel, which was nearing 10 million subscribers at the time.
The video, which showed Hannah entering Zeglaitis's room, was edited to portray the incident as a "threesome." The vlog was viewed over 5 million times before it was removed at Hannah's request.
Hannah told Insider that upon meeting the Vlog Squad she was taken aback by their hostile demeanor. Dobrik's vlogs are known for being fast-paced and frequently include sexual jokes.
"I immediately felt really uncomfortable because I was under the impression that we were going to meet these cool creators, we were going to hang out, maybe film something," Hannah said. "It was high pressure from the moment we walked in."
In the now-deleted vlog from that night, Zeglaitis excitedly told the camera he invited Hannah and her friends over for a "five-some." Dobrik's voice-over then explained: "After a couple minutes of talking, it was clear there was no five-some happening… But by some stroke of luck and master negotiating, Dom made progress."
"It was very much an environment where it felt like saying 'no' was not OK," Hannah told Insider, adding details of Zeglaitis's alleged coercion. "It felt like from the moment we came there was an expectation that they were doing us a favor and we had to give them content. They were verbally, like, 'Why aren't you guys being fun? Do something sort of sexy.'"
Zeglaitis, a childhood friend of Dobrik's, had previously been accused of assault on multiple occasions. Shortly after meeting Hannah, his appearances in Dobrik's vlogs began getting less frequent, until he stopped appearing in the vlogs altogether. As of writing this article, Zeglaitis has not addressed Hannah's accusations.
"It's difficult to describe how it feels knowing that millions of strangers have seen a video of me in a night that affected me and traumatized me in nearly incomprehensible ways, not knowing that anything was wrong," Hannah said.
On March 16, Dobrik posted a two-and-a-half-minute clip alluding to Hannah's allegations. Titled "Let's talk," the video was uploaded to Dobrik's "VIEWS'' channel, where he typically posts episodes of his podcast. The "VIEWS" channel has under 2 million subscribers, compared to his main channel, which has nearly 19 million subscribers. Comments on Dobrik's response video have been disabled.
Let's talk www.youtube.com
"Consent is something that's super, super important to me, whether I"m shooting with a friend or shooting with a stranger," Dobrik said. "With people in my life that I don't film with anymore, like Dom… I chose to distance myself, because I don't align with some of the actions, and I don't stand for any kind of misconduct. I've been really disappointed by some of my friends."
On March 22, Dobrik announced that he had stepped down from Dispo, the photo-sharing startup he co-founded in 2019. The New York Times reports that some of Dobrik's regular sponsors — including HelloFresh, Dollar Shave Club, and EA Sports — have severed ties with the creator.
The following day, Dobrik uploaded a second apology, this time to his main channel. "I want to apologize to [Hannah] and her friends for putting them in an environment, that I enabled, where they felt like their safety and values were compromised," he said. "I am so sorry."
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, you can reach the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.