The same day YouTube star Colleen Ballinger offered followers a singsong statement denying claims she groomed minor fans, her ex-husband said her flippant response to serious claims “was my reality.”
YouTuber Joshua David Evans, who was married to the Miranda Sings personality from 2015 to 2016 after seven years of dating, broke his silence Wednesday in several tweets about his ex-wife’s allegations. In one Twitter post, Evans said his ex-wife — whom he did not name — did not take him seriously.
“This behavior was my reality anytime I spoke up & disagreed with her actions & rhetoric during 2009-2016,” he tweeted, seemingly referring to Ballinger’s apology video. “I was gaslit too.”
He continued, addressing followers and Ballinger accusers: “I was made to feel like I was always the problem. Any pain I felt was an inconvenience and was belittled. Every ounce of what you’re feeling, I understand.”
Representatives for Ballinger did not immediately respond to The Times’ requests for comment Friday.
In a 10-minute YouTube video published Wednesday, Ballinger broke her silence on grooming allegations that have surfaced in recent weeks. Fellow YouTubers and superfans accused Ballinger of “grooming” them for labor, as well as allegedly making sexual jokes with minors in a group chat. As the allegations swirled, the “Haters Back Off” actor, who is in the middle of a Miranda Sings tour, had stopped posting on her social media pages for nearly a month.
In the video, titled “hi.,” Ballinger strummed a ukulele and denied the allegations by singing. She said her team “strongly advised me to not say what I want to say,” adding that she “recently realized that they never said that I couldn’t sing.”
“Everyone just believes that you are the type of person who manipulates and abuses children — I just wanted to say that the only thing I’ve ever groomed is my two Persian cats,” Ballinger sang. “I’m not a groomer, I’m just a loser who didn’t understand I shouldn’t respond to fans.”
Shortly after Ballinger shared her musical statement, a number of social media followers slammed the YouTuber for seemingly making light of the allegations.
“Colleen Ballinger really thought singing ‘I’m not a groomer I’m just a loser; was a cute way to respond to the very SERIOUS allegations that’ve been levied against her and…it’s beyond sick,” tweeted comedian and TV writer Franchesca Ramsey.
“COLLEEN BALLINGER YOU ARE NOT SERIOUS .. allegations of grooming fans and manipulating them to send hate to multiple people and sending lingerie to CHILDREN and you make a song about it ??” said Twitter user @unIoverscIub.
YouTuber Adam McIntyre, who claimed in April 2020 that Ballinger used him for unpaid social media work, mimicked and mocked Ballinger’s YouTube apology in a video shared Thursday.
“Hey, it seems this is the only way she’ll listen,” McIntyre sang, also strumming a ukulele. “So, I thought I’d give it a go.” McIntyre also called out Ballinger’s defense that she was trying to be “besties” with her fans.
“Besties with children. Don’t know if that’s really helping your case,” McIntyre sang.
In another tweet shared Wednesday, Evans told followers and Ballinger accusers “your anger is justified” and reassured them, “your experiences were real.”
“You deserve better. Take your power back,” he added. “Sending you love.”
Evans fired back at critics speculating that he is using the attention around his ex-wife to relaunch his career on YouTube, saying the video-sharing platform is “not a safe place for me. I’m past that.”
“My voice is only here to help validate those that are hurting, nothing more,” Evans said in a third tweet. “I have no need to make any money off of this. That is gross & not in my heart, whatsoever.”
Times staff writer Jonah Valdez contributed to this report.