19-year old TikTok star Zoe Laverne has recently come under fire for allegedly grooming a 13-year old fan called Connor Joyce, after videos of her kissing him went viral online.
Zoe Laverne is a popular social media influencer, vlogger and TikToker who previously dated fellow TikTok star Cody Orlove.
Recently, her Instagram account was deactivated, following the intense backlash which she received after a video of her kissing 13-year old Connor Joyce went viral.
In the aftermath of these videos being circulated, cries of 'pedophilia' and 'grooming minors' began to do the rounds, as an incensed online community criticised the TikTok star for allegedly grooming an underage fan.
Zoe Laverne's mother was one of the first to respond to the situation, where she stated it was a matter of choice and that they were 'best friends':
Now, Zoe Laverne herself, has issued a statement, where she addressed the entire furor and spoke about how her relationship with Connor was not a case of grooming, rather it was due to the fact that both of them had developed feelings for each other:
Stating that they would be spending time away from each other, Zoe Laverne pleaded with her audience to try and understand the entire situation, before jumping to conclusions.
However, that is easier said than done, as the online community took to Twitter to voice their opinions, which reveal that they remain skeptical and rather unconvinced.
Zoe Laverne Vs Twitter
Zoe Laverne has in the past, denied having associations with underage fans/ influencers and was most recently embroiled in a storm, when leaked Instagram DM's between her Ex, Cody Orlove and fellow TikTok star Amber VanPelt revealed worrisome tendencies.
Her recent controversy has been highlighted further in the video below:
The entire situations has now been exacerbated by the recent allegations of grooming, which have surfaced in the aftermath of the viral videos with Connor Joyce.
In her official statement, she apologised for her actions, where she stated:
"I am aware that I am an adult and I am aware that I have done something wrong and I am very sorry for what I have done. Connor and I will go live together as soon as this calms down and explain ourselves. "
Despite taking accountability for her actions, the internet did not seem to buy into it, as they reacted to her statement online:
As criticism against her continues to mount online, Zoe Laverne finds herself in the midst of a social media storm, which doesn't seem to be showing signs of dissipating any time soon.
Moreover, the entire fiasco has raised pertinent questions over toxic TikTok culture, where the entire concept of an influencer x fan relationship, seems to have gone awry.Published 29 Oct 2020, 19:30 IST