I'm aware of the false allegations against me. Here's my side of the story
Who could have ever predicted that hanging out with Jen a few times over the course of a month would lead to this?
Jen seemed like a sweet person when we met. She also seems to be a person burdened by a number of personal issues. I genuinely feel bad for her. She has posted a video in which she talks a lot about her personal troubles and in which she expresses a lot of pain, confusion, loneliness, money problems, and other sadnesses. She has posted a video in which she tells a story involving me that she wishes had ended differently. But in that story that she tells, she twists the facts to create a false narrative and she fails to take responsibility for her own choices. That much is apparent from the video itself.
While feeling bad for her, I, too, feel pain – pain upon being falsely accused by her; pain upon being mischaracterized by her; pain upon being slandered by her.
I see myself as a good person, as do many people in my life. I don’t take unfair advantage of people. I don't like seeing people get hurt. I’ll go out of my way to help a friend. I am certainly not a “predator” nor am I one who uses “coercion” or “violence.” I never did anything with Jen that Jen, herself, did not want to do. What she calls “red flags” in her video are simply common courtesies and ordinary flirtations.
Yet, while I am a peaceful, compassionate human being, I acknowledge that over the course of my short-lived friendship with Jen, I could have demonstrated greater sensitivity and selflessness and I could have been a better communicator. But such failings on my part don’t make me a predator.
As Jen acknowledges in her video, she came into a club/bar which only admitted persons 21 years of age and older. It was October, 2019. I was 33 at the time.
I was performing in a musical at the club. After one of our first shows, a woman approached me and said she really liked the show and my performance; I said thank you and we shook hands. Later that night, I saw her sitting at the bar drinking wine by herself. She kept looking at me as if to get my attention. "Oh, that's the girl who liked my performance! I'm going to talk to her." So I made my rounds talking to other people in the audience, and I finally sat next to her and ordered a drink of my own.
We started talking and mutual flirtations began. For someone with low self esteem like me, she seemed into me and that felt nice. I told her "I noticed you eyeing me from the bar." She replied, "I knew what I was doing." And there we were talking for a while. "Oh, she's super cool and funny and dorky and cute," I thought.
Importantly, she was there, sitting at the bar, already drinking alcohol – which she ordered on her own before she ever met me. I didn’t ask her to drink. I simply greeted her and responded to her overtures. She appeared to initiate a flirtation. I responded appropriately.
Believing her to be in her early 20’s, I engaged in conversation with her, we laughed, we shared about our work and our aspirations. A friendship seemed possible. She seemed like a lovely person. We were two consenting adults with some similar interests, striking up a friendship, getting to know each other. And there seemed to be a mutual attraction.
Later that evening my cast mates headed out to another bar and invited me along. Jen came along too, but couldn’t get in due to not having an ID on her. After that, Jen asked me if I could drive her home, and I obliged. We had a great conversation on the drive, and she said she wants to be a voice actor. Great! We kept talking and I finally asked her how old she is expecting "23." "...18," she replies.
So here I am, thinking this girl is totally into me...but she's 18. That seemed weird. Sure it's legal, but it still felt odd. I pulled up to her place, we talked for a bit longer, she asks, "So...do you have a phone number?" VERY flirtatiously. I still felt uncomfortable, but didn’t want to make the situation more awkward, and I gave her my number.
Over the next few days she asked me a few times if I wanted to hang out, so I finally decided that we should see a movie, in the afternoon. We got dinner afterwards. At dinner, I told her I liked her makeup because it looked nice, she said she liked my face, and I said I liked her face. So I thought, "Okay, so this girl IS into me."
She later plays a very sexually explicit song by CupcakKe in my car, obviously coming on to me. She knew what she was doing. So I asked if she wants to go back to my place. We hung out for a bit. We then watched a movie and started making out, consensually. We engaged in foreplay, consensually. While we both consensually attempted to have intercourse, it turned out that we were not physically compatible so we stopped. All of the things we did together were consensual. I wanted her to be comfortable and at ease and she seemed comfortable and at ease.
A week later Jen invited me to go with her to a book signing downtown. We got there and the show was cancelled. We drove back into town, we got dinner and I drove her back to her place to drop her off because I had work to do. I was also feeling uncomfortable about the previous time we hung out, and I expressed concern about our age gap -- I suggested that we shouldn't be dating. She coaxed me into thinking that it IS okay. She told me that she's been involved with a 30-year old before. She left this detail out of her video.
We hung out again a week later. We see a buddy's show that I had been wanting to see. I see some other friends there and one asks, "so how long have you two been dating?" I say, "Oh we're just friends" because we hadn't established anything. This is our third time hanging out. She seemed visibly unhappy about my characterization of our relationship as “just friends” and I felt bad as her disappointment was palpable.
We talked about it in the car and I apologized for sounding defensive. We hung out at my place that night too, this was the second and last time we ever hung out at my place. Like before, we were physically unable to have intercourse; she told me she was sad that we weren't compatible in that way. Afterwards, we watched a bad movie and we laughed a lot. She clearly liked me and never seemed uncomfortable when we were together.
After that night, I texted her, "For real this time, we CAN'T keep doing this. We can be friends but anything more than that is weird." It would just never work out. I felt wrong doing ANYTHING more than friendship. I honestly wasn't trying to take advantage of her. She was into me. But realized I could not be more than a friend to her. She told me she was lonely and didn't know anybody since moving to LA. I gave her advice on how to meet friends. I told her the Improv world is a great place to meet friends around her age, maybe she could even find love there, and she seemed hopeful about that. I thought we had come to an agreement and that things were cool. I had every intention of remaining platonic friends with her at this point. She told me she wanted to come to my next show. "Cool." I thought, thinking everything WOULD be cool. It was not.
She came to my show again in November. I saw her in the audience and waved as I was going up on stage and she looked down nervously. "Uh oh, does she still like me like that?” I thought to myself. After the show, I approached her and she was VERY drunk and barely making any sense. She was hanging onto me and flirting with me and she kept trying to kiss me and I was not letting that happen. I was caught off guard because I thought she understood my text, and that we were just going to be platonic friends.
I had to go outside to meet a fan and her son who had been waiting outside because her son was 11 and they wouldn't let them in. During this time, my other cast mates were making sure Jen was okay as I was juggling several things at once. So I said hi to my fans, and ran to my car to drop my stuff off. The rear passenger window had been broken; someone had broken into my car. My mind was all over the place at this point. I didn’t know what to do. I ran back to the venue. Jen was making a scene, she broke a few glasses while I was gone, we were all trying to figure out what to do.
She was VERY drunk. My backseat was covered in glass, so my castmate offered to take Jen to the hospital because this was bad. So as they were taking care of that, I was cleaning up broken glass, making sure everyone was okay and ready to go. We said our goodbyes, I said a thousand thank yous and sorrys to my castmate taking Jen to the hospital. Jen is in better hands with them because my mind is a tornado at this point.
I am coordinating with everyone all night via text to make sure Jen is okay and they're updating me throughout the night. I get home and I can't sleep. "I hope she's okay, this night has been horrible. I don't want to be friends with a person like this anymore after this nightmare of a night. I thought we were cool, but I hope she's okay." My castmate tells me that they got Jen to the hospital and they looked through her purse to find any information about her and found condoms and "sex toys." Was she expecting me to engage in sexual activity with her AFTER I said we should just be friends?
I texted her while she was at the hospital asking her to reply when she gets the message because her safety was my main concern at that moment. I felt bad that I couldn't have taken care of the situation myself; after all, I regarded her as my friend at the time; but she was just in good hands. I was obviously shaken by everything that happened that night. I couldn’t sleep. Hours later, she called. I didn't answer. I really didn't want to talk with her. She left a slightly drunk voice mail from the hospital.
I was relieved she was okay. "I'm just glad you're okay." I text her. "I'm so sorry, can we talk about everything tomorrow?" she replies. "Sure" I reply. I think this was the last text I sent. I was done, I didn't need this drama in my life. I should have talked things through with her— but I didn’t. A few days later she sent pages of text saying how sorry she was, and how her life is a mess. She said she had been drinking every night ever since she moved to LA, and how she's been abusing her fake ID, which was her own decision. I never goaded her into getting one.
She called me months later -- in February -- and I didn't answer. She left a voice mail about having a "medical procedure done that involves you," not providing any specifics, but she wants me to pay for it, "but not all of it." After months of no contact, I found this bizarre. What were her motives? I know that she's been struggling with money and the way she presented it left me feeling like she was trying to take unfair advantage of me. I thought about all the things it could possibly be. "It involves you," the voice mail said. I got tested, the results came back negative. We never had penetrative sex, and when we briefly tried, I was wearing a condom. Nothing about “a medical procedure” made sense.
So basically, we were friends for a month, we hung out at my house twice, we fooled around both times, but no penetrative sex. All consensual, all legal. She was never drunk. I’ve seen Jen drunk, and she was never anywhere near that point. In retrospect, I wish it hadn’t happened, but it did. For me, I was lonely, initially flattered to be the target of Jen’s flirtations, and not thinking with my brain.
I never contacted her again after that night in November. The burden of having that kind of "friend" was overwhelming. Perhaps I should have been more diplomatic, more sensitive in the way that I ended things. Perhaps that would have made no difference. Perhaps I should have followed up about her “medical procedure?” Perhaps that would have made no difference. Perhaps Jen is simply unable to process rejection.
Regardless, Jen is painting a narrative that just isn't true. I never pressured her into getting a fake ID, she already had experience getting one, and even got a new one made. That was her decision.
Her assertion that I "only wanted to hang out at night, never wanting to be seen together in broad daylight" is also false. The book signing SHE invited ME to was at night. The movie I invited HER to was during the afternoon. Live theater and improv shows are usually at night. Yes I cancelled a hike because I was having an off day and didn't want to leave the house. She never seemed uncomfortable around me, quite the opposite actually. I was honest with her. I told her about my depression and anxiety and panic attacks and body dysmorphia -- that she has now made public. She told me about her personal stuff which I won't make public. What happened between us was completely consensual and legal. There was no predatory act. There was no dishonesty on my part. Unlike Jen, I am taking personal responsibility for my actions.
For her to characterize me as “a sexual predator” is a despicable lie. It is slanderous.
What Jen and I had was a one month Los Angeles “fling” which, not surprisingly, I am told is common in the dating world. Each of us needs to take responsibility for our decisions and our actions. I do.
I feel like Jen is trying to destroy my voiceover career to help build hers. Because of Jen’s public slander – because of the damage she has done to my reputation with her false portrayal of events, I have already lost a number of jobs. I'll never forget what Jen said at the bar when we first met "I knew what I was doing."
Massive lesson learned. This was a huge wake up call for me to stop being so reckless and so trusting with people I barely know; I have to be more careful. I will date and flirt with more age appropriate women from now on, as I always have in the past. I understand that some of you will probably think poorly of me for having dated an 18-year old woman. I even think poorly of me for allowing myself to fall into this situation. I understand my consequences.
To those of you who would be angry with Jen on my behalf, please do not go after her. I honestly hope she gets the help she needs. I hope she finds a good partner in life and enjoys a successful career. Nothing good has ever come from ill wishes directed at another person.
This is the full and honest truth. I have nothing to hide. But there is still much to learn. From this I have learned that if you're ever in a situation that doesn't feel right, trust your gut.