David Dobrik’s former assistant and current Vlog Squad member Natalie Mariduena addresses the allegations against the group for the first time.
Natalie Mariduena is speaking out about the allegations involving David Dobrik.
On Monday, March 22, the YouTuber’s former assistant turned business partner issued a statement saying that she does not condone “any sexual misconduct/abuse.”
“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the recent allegations and because of the severity, it’s taken me time to process,” she wrote. “Like many of you, I’m upset and angry and do not condone the behavior detailed in the article or any sexual misconduct/abuse for that matter.”
Dobrik’s childhood friend, who has amassed more than 4 million Instagram followers and become an internet star in her own right, continued, “I want to make it clear that I acknowledge, hear and support those who came forward and I stand by the victims.”
Mariduena’s statement comes a week after Business Insider reported an allegation from a woman, who spoke with the website using the pseudonym Hannah. The woman claimed she and Vlog Squad member Dominykas Zeglaitis had a sexual encounter in 2018, which was filmed by Dobrik for a since-deleted YouTube video. .
In a phone interview with the outlet, she claimed she was 20 years old at the time of the encounter and was not able to consent to having sex with Zeglaitis because she was allegedly incapacitated by alcohol provided by members of the Vlog Squad.
According to Business Insider, Dobrik allegedly later uploaded a “SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE PLAYED WITH FIRE!!” vlog that amassed 5 million views before it was deleted at Hannah’s request.
Zeglaitis, who is no longer part of the Vlog Squad, declined to comment to Business Insider about the allegations. He has not responded to E! News’ requests for comment.
In a statement released to E! News on March 16 about the Business Insider story, Dobrik’s attorney Bryan Freedman said, “David will be addressing his community directly. Anyone who knows him knows he does not condone misconduct in any form. Vlog participants provide consent before anything is posted. Whenever consent is retracted, posts are removed. Any insinuation of wrongdoing is inaccurate and defamatory.”
Though he’s yet to address the specific allegations brought forth by Hannah, in a March 16 video Dobrik apologized for making “mistakes” in his past YouTube content.
In the video, Dobrik stated, “Consent is something that’s super, super important to me, whether I’m shooting with a friend or shooting with a stranger—I always make sure that whatever the video I’m putting out, I have the approval from that person.”
“I also acknowledge that there’s times where a person can change their mind and they decide that they no longer want to be associated, they no longer want to be in the video that I’m putting up and then I’ll take the video down,” he continued. “There’s also been moments where I’ve looked back on videos and I realize that these don’t represent me anymore.”
Since then, Dobrik has stepped down from the board of Dispo, a startup he created and Natalie serves as the creative director for, and multiple brands have announced they are cutting ties with the content creator.
To read more about the allegations, click here.