Twitter feeds have been buzzing since yesterday afternoon after a video of (presumably) Social Media Star Carter Reynolds pressuring his underage ex-girlfriend into forced oral copulation leaked online. Nineteen year old Carter Reynolds blew up in 2014 after getting recognition on the Vine app service as a member of the former “Magcon Family” – a group of twelve teenagers, eleven boys and one “accessorized girl” that together had more than 25 million followers on Vine, surpassing the likes of traditional celebrities like Ellen and Miley Cyrus. (Vine, a relatively new social media platform owned by Twitter that launched in 2013, is a video sharing service where users share six-second-long looping video clips.) Carter currently has 4.3 million followers on Vine, 2.9 on Instagram and 2.3 on Twitter.
The video that leaked shows seventeen year old Maggie Lindemann (herself a Social Media Star) talking to, allegedly, ex-boyfriend Carter Reynolds who persistently tries to get her to engage in oral sex with him. Maggie says multiple times that she’s uncomfortable and that she doesn’t think she could do it. He exclaims “DO IT!” loudly while laughing and pulls out his penis. The camera angle suggests that Reynolds (or possibly someone else standing near) is filming it. Again as Maggie says no, Carter replies “Oh my gosh, Maggie, oh my gosh,” in an unnerving voice. His face does not appear in the video.
Shortly after the leak he took to Twitter with multiple responses. His first tweet, presumably about the video, reads: “people who assume without asking < people who are slow at texting < people who get mad easily <” then “I’m going to explain everything but I want to talk to everyone involved first. I want to make sure u know the full story about what happened.” The fact he tweeted “everyone” seems to imply that there’s more people involved. This could strengthen the idea that it wasn’t just him and Ms. Lindemann; there could’ve possibly been another person in the room.
Throughout the day tens of thousands of his loyal “followers” took to Twitter to express their outrage, many calling him a “rapist,” a sexual predator who forced a girl to do something she didn’t want to. Yet there is another party out there, one that are standing by their idol. One tweet from a devoted fan reads: “Millions of people are cursing and judging me because I still love Carter. I LOVE You!”
He finally released a statement, a snapshot of a letter he wrote to “his fans.” In it he claims that this was taken a long time ago and that somebody hacked into his iCloud and ‘illegally’ shared it. He spoke that these allegations that he forced himself on her are completely false. He also stated that “Couples do stuff like that all the time … and no I’m not saying it’s right but it’s the truth. It was supposed to be a private video for no one to see and I had no intention of sharing it at all.” Will he retain his “Star Status” of Social Media? Only time will tell.