Jake Paul has come under fire after a video of him and his friends looting a mall in Scottsdale, Arizona went viral.
In the video, he and a group of people are shown outside and inside the mall, as they ransack and burglarize stores. In another video, Paul is shown with a group of people who are lighting fireworks outside what appears to be a shopping center. It's unclear if it's the same mall.
Paul has since issued a statement.
To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism. For context, we spend the day doing our party to peacefully protest one of hte most horrific injustices our country has ever seen, which led to us being tear-gassed for filming the events and brutality that were unfolding in Arizona. We were gassed and forced to keep moving on foot. We filmed everything we saw in an effort to share our experience and bring more attention to the anger felt in every neighborhood we traveled through; we were strictly documenting, not engaging. I do not condone violence, looting, or breaking the law; however, I understand the anger and frustration that led to the destruction we witnessed and while it’s not the answer, it’s important that people see it and collectively figure out how to move forward in a healthy way. We are all doing the best we can to be helpful and raise awareness; this is not the time to attack each other, it’s time to join together and evolve.
Of course, no one believes one word of Paul’s story, particularly due to his problematic past.
Last May, a woman said that she was drugged at a house party hosted by the YouTuber. Reports surfaced after the mother of a woman who attended the party informed other parents that her daughter and eight other women ended up in the hospital after “something was put in their drinks.”
A couple of months later, Paul was hit with allegations of transphobia. His team later shared a statement that they had launched an “internal investigation” to “determine exactly what unfolded, and the full context” so that “appropriate steps” can be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.