*UPDATED* Calum McSwiggan Responds to Accusations He Faked Hate Crime
UPDATE 2: McSwiggan has responded to accusations that he faked a hate crime. His full Facebook post on the matter is embedded below, but we’ve also included a brief summary.
According to McSwiggan, he was indeed attacked, then arrested for vandalizing the attacker’s car. When he learned he would need to pay a bail of $20,000 to leave jail, he hit himself with a payphone receiver so he could go to the hospital instead of remaining in police custody. The next day, he posted about the attack on Instagram, but didn’t mention anything about his case because he was “advised to say nothing about the arrest or the police on social media” by a lawyer. McSwiggan also claims that he attended court today, but “there was no record of [his] case on file.”
Follow @WhatsTrending on Twitter for further updates to this story. More included below McSwiggan’s Facebook post…
UPDATE: The Advocate reports that the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department has released a statement that the assault we reported earlier today was staged. According to Holly M. Perez, captain of the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, McSwiggan was “observed injuring himself with the handle and receiver to a payphone inside [a] cell” he was placed in after “deputies observed him vandalizing a car.” It was at this point, not after a hate crime, that McSwiggan was taken to the hospital.
McSwiggan has taken to Twitter to defend himself, tweeting or retweeting each of the following:
An updated version of the original story follows below.
After attending VidCon 2016, UK YouTuber Calum McSwiggan went out to celebrate with some friends — only to find himself the target of what he claimed to be a brutal hate crime. He tells the story in an Instagram post:
Last night was the worst night of my life and I’m really struggling to find the words to talk about it. After one of the most wonderful weekends at VidCon we went out to a gay club to celebrate, and towards the end of the evening I was separated from my friends and beaten up by three guys. The authorities should have been there to help and protect me but instead they treated me like a second class citizen. With three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead, I’ve never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye. All I can do is thank my wonderful friends@riyadhk, @melaniiemurphy and @douga_for being with me the whole way. I’d be lost without them. Right now I don’t feel that I’m in the right place to talk about this but I will be addressing this fully in the future.
McSwiggan is a popular YouTuber who is openly gay and was one of many to show his support for Orlando after the tragic attack on the Pulse nightclub.
Despite all the progress the LGBT community has made in this country, there are still people full of hate who believe LGBT people are second class citizens or worse. Though this story is still developing and we don’t want to jump to any conclusions, McSwiggan’s friend and fellow YouTuber Riyadh Khalaf posted about the nature of the attack on Twitter:
For more updates on this story, follow @WhatsTrending on Twitter.