Actress turned television host Drew Barrymore was interviewing actress-singer Reneé Rapp at the 92NY event when a stalker rushed onstage demanding to speak to her. The man identified himself as Chad Michael Busto.
The pair were speaking at the 92nd Street Y before Rapp delivered an exclusive performance. Rapp noticed the intrusion and the women abruptly left the stage escorted by security. A fan’s video of the interview accidentally captured the stalker’s intrusion, which has since gone viral online. The individual appeared to target Barrymore.
Katherine McGowan, who was in the audience at the time, recounted widespread confusion at the time of the incident. “People were cheering in the middle of the answers and laughing, so at first when he stood up and said, ‘Drew Barrymore’, the whole audience thought it was a fan just saying hi. It was a very communal vibe, and no one read the situation at first,” said McGowan.
After the initial rush to speak with Barrymore, McGowan recounted the stalkers startling comments. “He said something along the lines of ‘you know who I am.’ And so when he said that, then I feel like the audience was a little like, ‘What the heck is going on?'”
The host was speaking to Rapp regarding her meteoric career rise, and her recently released debut album, “Snow Angel.” The pair of multi-hyphenate entertainers seamlessly carried on with the event following the incident. McGowan felt that Barrymore was no stranger to incidents like these. “Because she’s been so famous for so long, I think Drew was just able to compartmentalize it and move on. She didn’t really look phased at all,” said McGowan.
Social Media Reactions
A clip of the incident has widely circulated on social media. Many onlookers continue to praise 23-year-old Reneé Rapp’s quick reaction to the stalker. Barrymore appeared to address him first as though he were a fan, but Rapp appeared to guide Barrymore towards security personnel.
A Drew Barrymore stalker was escorted out of her 92NY event with Reneé Rapp after rushing the stage. pic.twitter.com/8FKqaWzgU8
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) August 22, 2023
Barrymore thanked Rapp and jokingly praised her protective nature as “sexy.”
— UPROXX (@UPROXX) August 22, 2023
The pair continued to crack jokes about the odd incident, before continuing their conversation surrounding Rapp’s burgeoning stardom. Following their discussion, Rapp sang a live acoustic rendition of her new song “Snow Angel.”
— Dana (@newyearsdana) August 22, 2023
The incident as a whole is prompting further conversations surrounding legal protections for victims of stalking.
There needs to be way better laws that deal with stalking
— ᴀʟᴇᴄ (@notbvtt) August 22, 2023
Others resurface an alleged lawsuit that Busto attempted to file against “everything.” The alleged filing has many theorizing that Busto is likely in need of mental healthcare.
If this is him, he needs to be in a place where he can get the help & treatment that he so desperately needs. pic.twitter.com/9gUcT1HKIV
— Ashlee (@tweetwithashlee) August 22, 2023
Some recounted the deadly nature of celebrity stalkers. Singer Christina Grimmie was shot by a stalker at a meet and greet event.
remember Christina Grimmie ? 🥺🥺
— DAA 🇲🇾 (@FirdausIsmail92) August 22, 2023
Many remind young fans that there is no need to follow their favorite celebrities around their daily lives. Taylor Swift was recently mobbed by fans outside of the rehearsal dinner for her producer Jack Antonoff’s wedding in New Jersey.
Same thing that happened to Taylor swift the other night. It's sad
— Collins (@collinscollin77) August 22, 2023
Barrymore and Rapp are yet to comment further on the incident.