Who is Jake Paul? Everything you need to know about the controversial YouTuber
Getty Images

YouTuber Jake Paul’s home has been raided by FBI agents who seized multiple firearms.

The star, who is the younger brother of fellow YouTuber Logan Paul, has more than 20 million subscribers on YouTube and is not at all new to controversy.

Armed federal agents entered the home of Jake, who is 23, on Wednesday 5 August as part of an ongoing investigation, an FBI representative confirmed to The Independent.

But who exactly is the Internet sensation and what other scandal does he have in his background?

Throughout his career, Jake has made a name for himself thanks to his risky behaviour, including inappropriate stunts for YouTube content, getting fired from his Disney television show Bizaardvark, and being charged with criminal trespass and unlawful assembly.

Here are some of his most controversial moments

1. Criminal charges for trespassing and unlawful assembly

This was as a result of videos emerging in May, which showed Jake and his friends at a Scottsdale, Arizona mall where people were looting and vandalising in the backdrop of the global demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd.

Jake has denied looting and claims he was peacefully protesting and filming the demonstrations for his followers.

2. Controversial comments and racial slurs

In January 2018, a video surfaced of Jake repeating the N-word while attending Coachella festival in California.

He was freestyle rapping Throw Sum Mo by Rae Sremmurd, and he says the racial slur twice, including referring to himself as a "little a** n****," and referring to Richie Vetter, another white person, as a "n****'.

In February 2020 Jake also took it upon himself to tweet that anxiety was self-inflicted.

In the now-deleted tweet he said:

Remember anxiety is created by you. Sometimes you gotta let life play out and remind yourself to be happy & that the answers will come.

He added some advice for anxious readers: "chill your mind out," "go for a walk," and "talk to a friend."

It didn’t go down so well:

3. Inappropriate content

A large part of Jake's audience is believed to be made up of children, so when his videos, usually controversial, are overly explicit he receives understandable backlash for sexual and violent content.

In January 2018, for example, Paul uploaded a vlog called "I lost my virginity," which initially had a thumbnail of Paul and then-girlfriend Erika Costell posing semi-nude. He eventually deleted the video.

More recently he has featured well-known porn star Riley Reid in his videos.

4. Fired by Disney

Like many top internet stars today, the Paul brothers started their career on Vine in 2013. By the time the app became extinct Jake had over 5.3 million followers and 2 billion views on the app.

His fame there led him to land the role of Dirk on the Disney Channel series Bizaardvark, in 2015, but he was fired mid-season two years after his neighbours went public with complaints about him.

A local TV station interviewed his neighbours where he was living in West Hollywood in July 2017, and they were not impressed.

They complained that he caused havoc to film his YouTube pranks and stunts which included a massive fire in his backyard, doing dirt bike stunts on his street, and building a waterslide to shoot people into his pool.

5. Scamming accusations

Jake has been accused of scamming young people on more than one occasion. He spearheaded two very similar schemes aimed at children that are themed around the idea that education is not important. The first was Edfluence which was launched in 2018.

It was advertised as a series of videos fans could gain access to for $7. Except the $7 didn't unlock the program completely, it just released a few videos with basic tips like "have a phone," and "if you like makeup, create makeup videos." Anyone can tell you that for free.

It gets worse, the website for Edfluence no longer exists, so people who paid $64 for the full package back in 2018 has been left with absolutely nothing.

He essentially repeated this alleged scam with the ‘Financial Freedom Movement’ in 2020 which cost $19 this time.

6. Backlash for his “fake marriages”

Yes, plural! He has faked a marriage not once, but twice.

The first fake wedding drama involved his ex-girlfriend Erika Costell and the second was to Tana Mongeau. Both weddings were not legally binding but performed for media attention, and it worked as it has been reported that the saga made $600 million.

In a Shane Dawson YouTube documentary series on whether Jake is a “sociopath” or not, Jake’s ex-girlfriend Alissa Violet said that she and Paul faked their relationship too for views.

7. Lockdown parties

Jake made headlines just last month when he threw a massive party for his music video shoot during the height of coronavirus cases in California.

It annoyed a lot of people and even the mayor of Calabasas Alicia Weintraub spoke out about the incident at the time, saying she was outraged and “will be enforcing a zero-tolerance [policy] for large gatherings that defy local public health orders."

Paul has since refused to apologise, saying: "No one has answers, our leadership is failing us, and everyone kind of just doesn't know what to do. But I personally am not the type of person who's gonna sit around and not live my life."

8. FBI raid

As for this week’s raid, footage from local news shows a number of large firearms being confiscated, including a long gun which was reportedly found leaning on a hot tub in his garden. Paul was not home during the search, his attorney said.

The FBI later confirmed that the raid was carried out in connection to reports that Jake had taken part in a riot at a shopping mall in Scottsdale, Arizona in June.

“The FBI is investigating allegations of criminal acts surrounding the incident at Scottsdale Fashion Square in May 2020,” the bureau said in a statement, adding that a search warrant was also executed in Las Vegas, but no arrests were immediately planned.

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, Scottsdale police announced that they were dismissing local charges against Jake so that a federal criminal investigation could be carried out.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)