David Dobrik is speaking out again about allegations of sexual misconduct against former members of his Vlog Squad. In the early morning hours on Tuesday, the 24-year-old YouTube star posted a seven-minute video about the environment on his sets, as well as the situation involving Dominykas Zeglaitis.
Dobrik first apologized earlier this month in regard to the situation with Zeglaitis. He additionally apologized to Joseth “Seth” Francois following Francois’ allegation of sexual misconduct in a 2017 prank video, in which Francois was tricked into kissing Jason Nash. However, those apologies, Dobrik said, were not done “correctly” or “respectively.”
In a Business Insider article earlier this month, an anonymous accuser alleged Zeglaitis, a former member of Dobrik’s Vlog Squad, had got her drunk when she was 20 and sexually assaulted her when she came to the group’s home to film a video in 2018. ET has reached out to Zeglaitis for comment.
“I was completely disconnected from the fact that when people were invited to film videos with us, especially videos that relied on shock for views or whatever it was, that I was creating an unfair power dynamic. I did not know this before,” said Dobrik, who has been dropped from several partnerships in the wake of the allegations. “It was completely wrong, and I wish I was more responsible, and I wish I was more aware at the time, and I’m so sorry I missed that.”
The accuser said that when she arrived at the Vlog Squad’s Los Angeles mansion in 2018, she was allegedly told by Zeglaitis that she and her friends were there to film a video where he had a “fivesome” with them, despite all the women saying they were uncomfortable with the concept.
She claimed that her friends later told her Zeglaitis allegedly plied her with alcohol and had sex with her even though she was black-out drunk and unable to consent. The experience became part of a video suggesting that Zeglaitis had a consensual threesome, and showed the woman entering his bedroom.
“I fully believe the woman who came out against Dom and said she was sexually assaulted and raped by him. As was reported the next day, I got consent to post the video. Even though I got consent to post that video, I should have never posted it,” Dobrik said. “What I understand now, and I didn’t understand before, is that she sent that text because she felt like she had to, not because she wanted to. That’s f**ked up and I’m sorry.”
The accuser has said that the video was removed after she texted Zeglaitis, telling him how uncomfortable she was.
“When she later reached out a couple of months later to take the video down, I immediately took it down,” Dobrik said. “I want to apologize to her and her friends for ever putting them in an environment that I enabled, that made them feel like their safety and values were compromised. I am so sorry.”
“I didn’t know what was going on in that room,” he added. “I should’ve been there and I should’ve been making sure that everybody involved was taken care of and wasn’t uncomfortable… People felt that they had to be silent for the sake of my video and that’s not right and it’s f**ked up and I’m sorry.”
Dobrik also addressed previous Zeglaitis accusers, saying, “I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you guys. I am sorry that I took Dom’s word for what happened in those certain situations and I didn’t believe you.”
“Not only did I not believe you, but I made a joke of what kind of a person Dom was, because I couldn’t wrap my head around a childhood friend of mine doing this to people and actually hurting people, and I’m sorry for that,” he said. “Not only did I discredit you, but I platformed Dom. Not only did I platform Dom, but I platformed the subject of sexual assault in a negative way where I made jokes about it, and I reinforced that kind of behavior, and I’m so sorry.”
Dobrik noted that he hasn’t filmed with Zeglaitis since 2019, admitting that was the first time he “started taking it into account, the power dynamic, and what influence I had on people I was filming with.” Still, Dobrik said that not filming with Zeglaitis wasn’t a big enough statement.
“What I didn’t do is I didn’t go back to any of these women and apologize,” he said. “I kind of moved on, and I learned from it, and I grew from it, but I didn’t address the situation with these women.”
“I’m not talking publicly, I’m saying even privately I didn’t reach out to any of these people and that breaks my heart, knowing that I was doing all this stuff and I was making all this content, while there were people that were still really hurt by what I made,” Dobrik continued while getting choked up.
Dobrik admitted to doing “really offensive” things in the past, which he previously passed off as “bad jokes,” something he realizes is not the case now.
“I can’t even call them bad jokes, and it was cowardly of me to say in my last apology that I missed the mark, because it’s f**king gross and I’m sorry,” he said.
Dobrik additionally spoke about how he wants this situation to be “a serious opportunity to correct yourself, to learn and improve, and to make sure those mistakes don’t happen again.”
“That’s why it’s so important to hold yourself accountable. With this situation, there’s a lot I can look at and there’s a lot I can learn from,” he said. “But there’s a lot of mistakes I made and I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry for everybody I’ve let down. I’m sorry to my family, and I’m sorry to my friends that I’ve embarrassed. This won’t happen again.”
Toward the end of the video, Dobrik announced that he’s going to “take a short break from all this social media stuff,” as he attempts to figure out how to make his videos safely.
“I realize there’s a serious lack of infrastructure when I make any kind of content. I want to be able to have a place of checks and balances. I want to have HR,” he said. “I want to be able to have people communicate discomfort in a way that’s comfortable to them, where they don’t feel like their emotions or what they’re doing or how they’re acting is compromised.”
“It doesn’t feel right to go back to posting like I have been. It also doesn’t feel right to go dark, because I love what I do,” he continued. “But I think it is important to show that change is possible, and that I’m learning, and maybe even forgiveness is possible. I want to use this opportunity to step up and own my mistakes.”
Dobrik added that he’s making himself available to hear from anyone he’s “hurt in the past,” and promised that he’ll be reaching out on his own to others, noting that he still has “a lot of learning to do.”
“I think when you talk to other people, especially about experiences like this, it really helps you see things in a different way,” he said. “I really, truly hope that someone can take something away from this experience. That another creator can take away from this… Really take a moment and look at where the jokes end and the feelings begin, because I think that’s so incredibly important.”
If you or someone you know would like to speak with someone who is trained to help, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit www.rainn.org
Source: Read Full Article