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David Dobrik Is Seemingly At Odds With His Own Apology

In a new Rolling Stone interview, the troubled YouTuber admits he still doesn’t understand why the alleged sexual assault of a young woman in one of his ‘prank’ videos was in any way his fault.

CONTENT WARNING: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault and exploitation.

In a new Rolling Stone interview, fallen YouTuber David Dobrik has seemingly reneged on his apology for his complicity in an alleged sexual assault, and we can’t say that we’re surprised.

It’s been a minute since we talked about those claims, so let’s recap.

What Were The Allegations Made Against David Dobrik And Vlog Squad?

In March 2021, an exposé published by Insider reported disturbing allegations that a woman featured in one of David Dobrik’s YouTube videos was raped by a member of the self-proclaimed ‘Vlog Squad’; a gaggle of close friends Dobrik makes content with. The young woman – referred to in the article by the pseudonym ‘Hannah’ – told the publication that Vlog Squad member Dominykas Zeglaitis (who also goes by the name Durte Dom) sexually assaulted her after she filmed a YouTube video at the squad's house in 2018. We lay out all the details here.

It’s worth noting that some members of the squad allegedly bought Hannah alcohol at the time, despite the fact she was under California’s legal drinking age of 21. Hannah described the environment at the Vlog Squad’s shared home as one a “high pressure” environment where "it felt like saying 'no' was not OK". She ended up allegedly being sexually assaulted by Zeglaitis; an experience that would leave her traumatised for years to come. Hannah by no means saw David as an innocent bystander to the incident, telling Insider that Dobrik “facilitated” the alleged attack.

If Hannah’s accusations are true (and almost all rape accusations are), it would suggest that Dobrik is very much complicit in the exploitative, misogynistic culture that allowed the alleged assault to occur.

What Happened After The David Dobrik Exposé Dropped?

The fallout to Insider’s exposé came quickly. Not only did Dobrik lose the support of a major investor tied to his photo-sharing app Dispo, a flurry of sponsors cut ties with David Dobrik’s YouTube channel; including DoorDash, EA Sports and Dollar Shave Club.

In the wake of the allegations, Dobrik also issued not one but two attempts at video apologies for what Hannah had alleged. “I wanna apologize to [Hannah] and her friends for ever putting them in an environment that I enabled that made them feel like their safety and values were compromised,” he said in his second video. “I’m so sorry. 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.”

But in Rolling Stone, Dobrik seemingly walked back on that apology. “I knew where I went wrong, but I was not in the room, I was not aware of what was going on,” he told Rolling Stone reporter EJ Dickson. “None of my friends were. They would have kicked that fucking door down if anybody knew what was going on, allegedly.”

He added that a “part of him” still doesn’t understand how he had anything to do with the assault that allegedly took place, even though his own apology gives away ample clues. (Hmm, could it be that those apology videos were penned by someone else?)

A Reminder That Zeglaitis Has Been Accused Of Sexual Assault Before

Rolling Stone also reports that the alleged incident with Hannah was not the first time Zeglaitis has been accused of sexual assault. In 2017, fellow YouTuber Ally Hardesty alleged in a video that Zeglaitis pinned her down, groped and forcibly kissed her, while filming the whole incident. Zeglaitis posted an apology in response to the video and was congratulated by Dobrik for doing so, who commented: “Proud of you Dom. Being an idiot is easy. Owning up to it is though! Glad you made this!!!”

In response to David’s comment, Hardesty reportedly said: “when you keep that company and enable that sort of behavior, I think you’re a huge part of the problem. If [David] had taken a different approach to it, maybe Dom wouldn’t have assaulted other people.”

If you have experienced any kind of sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia (1800 respect) or Lifeline Australia (13 11 14).

Written by Reena Gupta, a Melbourne-based writer for MTV Australia. Follow her on Twitter @purpletank.

More on David Dobrik:

YouTube Is Becoming A Hotbed Of Exploitation

A Woman In One Of David Dobrik’s Videos Alleges She Was Raped By A Member Of ‘The Vlog Squad’ In 2018

A Major Investor Have Announced They’re Cutting All Ties With David Dobrik’s New App, Dispo

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