Dear @zerowondering, all I wanted was an apology.
I want to preface this with: if you know my story and who I am, please do not reveal my identity. If the times comes, I will do it myself.
Screenshots are at the end of this message.
My name is Katie. I used to be in the smash community.
I was 14 years old during our conversations on Skype from September 2014 to January 2015. We met online when you were streaming on Twitch and I messaged you over chat. You seemed to take an interest in me and gave me your Skype username. I, starstruck, made a Skype just for this and began chatting with you.
I'll note that I was decently educated when it came to internet safety, but it mainly regarded things like "don't message a stranger!" and whatnot. But you weren't a stranger. You were ZeRo, a top player! You won the E3 Invitational and several tournaments before! Having any attention from someone like you was mindblowing to me.
That is what made me an easy target. I was a young girl enraptured with the idea of being friends with someone I looked up to and admired. You used me in this state to flirt, manipulate, and ask for sexual favors from me.
I didn't realize what any of your words implied until about two years later when the #MeToo movement really started taking shape and I learned I wasn't the only one who had suffered these sorts of things.
To remind you, this is what happened in our conversations:
- You called me "kitty," "kitten," "honey," "all mine," while flirting the entire time.
- You manipulated me. For example, you called me a pervert and made me believe it when in reality I was being goaded to say things by you. You also told me I was "your secret" and so I couldn't tell anyone about our conversations. In streams, I would ask you to prove that it was really you sometimes (e.g. "do mario's side taunt after taking this guy's next stock") and you would, but you would never acknowledge me directly by name anywhere except Skype.
- The worst offense I can remember is that you asked me to masturbate with ice and take pictures. I lied when I told you I masturbated as you asked and then I declined sending you pictures. The worst part of this is that I did not take screenshots of this particular situation since I was so embarrassed by it. You wanted to make this activity a habit, that every two weeks I would do what you say for a day.
Here's why I never came out about this:
- I blamed myself. I admit that I was extremely enthusiastic in our conversations because I was just enamored with the fact that I was talking with a top player. I idolized you and you used that to your advantage, but because I was so naïve I considered myself responsible for years and thought my experience would be invalid because of my actions.
- I didn't take screenshots of the worst situations. The screenshots I have were actually when I was so starstruck that what I thought was happening to me was SPECIAL so I kept them for posterity. Only later did I realize that the messages you sent were not good for me at all.
- The situation is not "as bad" as it could've been. We never met in person, so there was no physical assault. But now I realize incidents like this still deserve attention.
- You quickly became a huge force in the Smash community. I stopped playing Smash 4 because you were dominating it. I couldn't avoid you.
- Related to that, the community trusts you. The level of backlash I would get from this accusation would be immense. Literally tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people, would be against me. I knew I would get burned more than you. Despite the wave of stories that have been told lately, I believe I will still receive immense backlash. "She wants attention." "She just doesn't like him." But trust me, I wish this never happened. And I wouldn't wish this amount of mental stress on anyone as well.
I am only coming out now with this ordeal because of the recent stories with top players both in the FGC and smash community. I realized that I wasn't the only one or one of a few. I realized that although I did not have it nearly as bad as some others, my experience still happened and should be acknowledged.
These months of my life have haunted me for years. Ever since we stopped talking, it has been in the back of my mind. Whenever I saw a video of you or saw you talking to other top players I admired or saw a fan talk about how great of a person you were, I would feel sick to my stomach. And the feeling has been growing even stronger these past few days, telling me that I have to say something. I have to speak up to end this conflict.
I want to clarify that I'm not writing this to "cancel" you. I acknowledge that you have grown a huge fanbase and have been immensely successful in the world of smash. Still, I want people to know what I have experienced with you.
I want to believe you have changed as a person. So originally, I wanted to message you privately and clear this up between the two of us. After talking to my family last night (when I told them the full story--the first time I had revealed all of it to anyone), they convinced me that I should not talk to you privately because it would not be safe. To be honest, I don't feel any safer revealing this to what might be the entire smash community and beyond. But I have been suffering in silence while people call you the nicest smash player or the guy who can do no wrong. I cannot let this go for the rest of my life as I continue to associate myself with the gaming community. This is the next step I have to take toward healing.
All I want now is closure, a genuine apology. I was a kid back then, I was stupid - but you were an adult, and you should've taken responsibility and said no. You never should have encouraged any of it. I am now an adult, as old as you were when we first talked, and I could not imagine ever talking to a minor the way you talked to me. You knew what we were doing was unacceptable and you should've stopped it way earlier than we did.
I realize that you have the power to reject everything I accuse you of that I do not have the evidence for. I understand that this was 5 years ago and that you have very likely matured and changed since it happened. But I want you to realize the effect you have had on me. I've grown as a person too, but I've had this burden on my heart for years and I want to let it go. I will very likely never return to the Smash community, in part because of what happened between us, but I want to close the book on this situation for good.
I am aware my Skype username is visible in all of these. I do not use the account anymore, but I logged in on 7/2/2020 to change my status and some privacy settings.