Colleen Ballinger: apology video explained as grooming accusations raised against Miranda Sings YouTuber
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Colleen Ballinger, best known for her character Miranda Sings, is the latest YouTuber to have allegations of inappropriate behaviour levelled against her by former fans, with one person claiming the American comedian groomed them.
Accusations against Ballinger first began back in April 2020, when Adam McIntyre released a video in which he said Ballingher developed an unhealthy relationship with him when he was just 13. New allegations have now surfaced, with McIntyre posting a new video in which he said: “Colleen Ballinger grooms her fans. Emotionally, grooms her fans for her own benefit. She’s done it to me. I will go on record saying that.”
This is everything you need to know.
What are the allegations?
In April 2020, Adam McIntyre released a video titled “Colleen Ballinger, stop lying”, in which he shared his experiences with Ballinger. He became a fan of Ballinger when he was nine years old and, in 2013, made a fan account on Twitter for the YouTuber. In 2016, when he was 13, Ballinger noticed McIntyre after reading a funny comment he wrote during one of her livestreams.
Ballinger said that she would send a few lucky fans some of her “ugly” and unused clothing, with McIntyre being amongst the chosen. McIntyre said that soon after, he received a pair of underwear, including a bra and panties - something which Ballinger admitted to doing in a 2020 video, which she described as “completely stupid” of her to do.
At the time, Ballinger said: “I don’t know what part of my brain was missing at the time, but I am not a monster, I am not a groomer, and I shouldn’t kill myself.”
Shortly after the livestream, McIntyre says that the two began speaking “on a more personal level”, largely through Twitter DMs and, by 2017, he said that he was “good friends” with Ballinger, who was then 29. McIntyre said that Ballinger would bring up sex during their conversations, when he was 14 or 15 years old.
McIntyre explained that he was part of a Twitter group chat called “Colleeny’s Weenies” with Ballinger herself and a handful of other fans. In a new video posted earlier in June, McIntyre included a screenshot of the group chat in which Ballinger asked McIntyre if he was “a virgin” and asked him what his “favourite [sex] position” was.
McIntyre also said that Ballinger confided in the group chat with her young fans about her “emotionally abusive” relationship with then-husband Joshua Evans.
McIntyre said: “I would be in class DMing her on my iPad… about her abusive ex-husband. I was so involved in this woman’s life that it’s embarrassing to look back on. There were some days, on a school night, I would be up until like 4 am trying to calm her down or try to give her advice. ... It was a private thing.”
Speaking to Huffington Post, Johnny Silvestri shared similar experiences with Ballinger, whom he became a fan of when he was a 15 year old. Like McIntyre, Silvestri created a fan account for Ballinger on Twitter and also found himself having private conversations with her.
Silvestri said that he and other fans, many of whom were also minors, would video chat with Ballinger as often as five times a week for hours at a time, in which she would “dump” on them about her relationship with Evans.
He said: “She was dumping on us. She was like, “I’m so sad. I don’t think Josh is going to propose to me”, and she would do things like that. And she was turning fans against him.”
Another former fan, identified as Becky in her Huffington Post interview, talked about an interaction she had with Ballinger at a live show in 2018. During the show, Becky, who was 16 at the time, was called on stage to take part in a yoga challenge.
During the challenge, Ballinger told Becky, who was wearing a short romper, to lay down on her back.
She said: “At this point, I was like, uh oh, this is inappropriate, I’m not dressed for this. But I looked up to her so much and I just trusted her so much that I did it. I laid down and she just spread my legs wide open for everybody to see.”
Silvestri, who was actually working for Ballinger during the tour in question and was present the night Becky took part in the yoga challenge, said it was an “uncomfortable night” because Ballinger was “not remorseful”.
He said: “She knew what she was doing and she had no regard for Becky or her emotions and that is just consistent with her behavioural patterns.”
Has Colleen Ballinger responded?
Ballinger addressed the grooming allegations in a 10 minute video posted to her Colleen Vlogs YouTube channel, in which she denied the claims made against her whilst playing the ukulele.
Describing the allegations as “lies” and “toxic gossip”, Ballinger said: “Even though my team have strongly advised me not to say what I’m going to say, I recently realised they never said I couldn’t sing about what I want to say.”
Ballinger said that she “wanted to talk about the facts” and urged viewers to be “willing to listen”.
She continued: “Many years ago, I used to message my fans – but not in a creepy way, like a lot of you are trying to suggest. It was more of a loser kind of way. I was just trying to be besties with everybody.”
In the video, Ballinger admitted that “there were times in DMs when I would overshare details of my life which was really weird of me”, but said that she hadn’t “done that for years, because I changed my behaviour and took accountability”.
She went on to sing: “Thought you wanted me to take accountability / but that’s not the point of your mob mentality / your goal is to ruin the life of the person you despise / while you dramatise your lies and monetise their demise.”
In a recurring chorus in her video, Ballinger labelled the discussion regarding the allegations against her as “the toxic gossip train”.
At another point in the video, she sang: “I’m sure you’re disappointed in my s****y little song / I know you wanted me to say that I was 100% in the wrong / well I’m sorry I’m not gonna take that route / of admitting to lies and rumours that you made up for clout.
“The only thing I’ve ever groomed is my two Persian cats / I’m not a groomer, just a loser / who didn’t understand I shouldn’t respond to fans / and I’m not a predator even a lot of you think so / because five years ago I made a fart joke.”
She ended the video by singing: “Sometimes people can make a mistake / and you can kindly let them know / and help them to grow / sometimes people make mistakes / simply because they made a mistake / and that mistake doesn’t make them a terrible human / it just makes them a human / but what do I know? F**k me, right?”
Responding to Ballingers video, McIntyre tweeted: “As much as Colleen discredited & made fun of me, I’m glad her video did ONE thing, show you all EXACTLY the type of evil woman she is, that a lot of us have experienced over the past few years behind the scenes, the mask has slipped… everyone meet the REAL Colleen Ballinger.”
What has the response been like to her video?
Ballingers sing-song ukulele video has been received badly by the wider internet, with many leaving their thoughts in the comment section of the YouTube video.
One person wrote: “You mean to tell me, she wrote, rehearsed and rehearsed, sat down to film this, and still thought it was a good idea? Girl… you’re delusional!”
Another commented: “This did absolutely nothing, and was probably more harm than good.”
“Not totally sure it counts as taking accountability when you turn the whole thing into a joke/song, but sure,” wrote another.
On Twitter, the conversation regarding Ballingers video continued.
One person tweeted: “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.”