Updated: July 6th, 2021
YouTube creator Jessi Smiles is speaking out against Gabbie Hanna.
Following an explosive interview with Buzzfeed in which Gabbie spoke to her various controversies including her falling out with both Trisha Paytas and former friend Jessica Vasquez AKA Jessi Smiles, the 30-year-old is facing backlash from Jessi for continuing to publicly speak on her sexual assault.
The backstory between Jessi Smiles and Gabbie Hanna
TW: Sexual assault, rape
After years of friendship, Jessi and Gabbie’s falling out started back in 2013 when Jessi filed a lawsuit against ex-boyfriend and then-Vine star Curtis Lepore for allegedly raping her in her sleep. In early 2014, Curtis accepted a plea deal in the case, pleading guilty to felony assault and Jessi tweeted that she was “thankful” for the case to be over.
What does this have to do with Gabbie?
Well, Gabbie continued to hang out and collaborate with Curtis and his friends following the sexual assault. She also allegedly tweeted her support for Curtis during the trial and DM’d a fan saying she didn’t believe the rape allegations and needed proof. The fan sent this conversation to Jessi, giving Jessi permission to use it in a video she posted in 2019 explaining why she is no longer friends with Gabbie.
Now, Jessi is calling out Gabbie once again for comments the former Vlog Squad member made in her interview with Buzzfeed.
“I was quiet after Gabbie harassed me online last summer,” Jessi tweeted today. “I was quiet when she went on Drama Alert and spoke about me, and when she started teasing an exposé docuseries on all of her “enemies.” 4 days ago, Gabbie’s Buzzfeed article came out. I will no longer be quiet.”
The creator went on to tweet several clips of a recorded phone call between herself and Gabbie from June 22nd, 2020 (which she recorded consensually), in which Gabbie can be heard attempting to accuse Jessi of lying about certain events from her 2019 video.
Jessi cuts the phone call audio with clips from her video to prove that Gabbie was twisting her words.
Gabbie then tells Jessi that she doesn’t remember tweeting in defense of Curtis. Jessi cuts in screenshots of tweets Gabbie wrote during the trial and sentencing in which she insinuates Jessi was lying about the sexual assault. Gabbie goes on to say she doesn’t agree with those tweets she wrote “six years ago” and didn’t remember tweeting them until they were brought to her attention.
“My whole point of this is why is this coming up in 2020 when we became friends eight months after those tweets were even out?” Gabbie asks. “So it just shows that you’re retroactively trying to paint me as a villain.”
In the final clips tweeted by Jessi, Gabbi can be heard threatening the pregnant mother of one with legal action because she wants “people to hear my side”. Gabbi also tells Jessi she wants a public apology to clear her name.
Jessi finishes by tweeting that she understands she made a public video about Gabbie in 2019, however this does not warrant Gabbie to continue to bring up her sexual assault and the controversy surrounding their falling out to defend herself.
“It’s beyond triggering,” Jessi writes.
On July 1st, Gabbie responded to the backlash surrounding the phone call in a YouTube video titled, ‘About The 3 Hour Jessi Smiles Phone Call,’ where she continued to bring up Jessi’s sexual assault despite Jessi continuously asking her not to. Gabbie’s video was not received well by audiences, who feel the creator attempted to twist the narrative to paint herself as the victim off the back of Jessi’s trauma.
Days later, Jessi uploaded a video debunking Gabbie’s claims and speaking on her truth. Throughout the video, Jessi shares stories of lies Gabbie allegedly perpetuated over the years, including spreading a false rumour that YouTuber Jen Dent allegedly sexually assaulted a young girl.
Tearfully, Jessi says she is “halfway through” her pregnancy and has been unable to enjoy the experience because of Gabbie’s targeted attacks against her.
Gabbie’s behaviour has caused a massive uproar in the YouTube community, with many demanding the platform permanently demonetise Gabbie or remove her from the service.