YouTube star Andrew Callaghan apologized and said he’d be seeking treatment Sunday after two women came forward accusing him of sexual coercion and sexual assault.
Callaghan, an independent journalist known for the YouTube shows “All Gas No Brakes” and “Channel 5,” spoke for over four minutes in a video on his Instagram page. He told followers that he had some “serious work” to do on himself in light of the allegations.
“So I’m going to start therapy sessions pretty much immediately,” Callaghan said. “Also, not to blame alcohol, but I truly believe that alcohol was a contributing factor to my poor decision-making. And I think alcohol in general has had a devastating impact on my life. So I think I’m going to make the decision to join a 12-step program for Alcoholics Anonymous.”
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Caroline Elise, the first woman to accuse Callaghan publicly, said in a TikTok video this month that she allowed Callaghan to stay in her home but was “very clear about the fact that we were not hooking up.” Elise alleged that Callaghan got into her bed and kept pushing her until she agreed “to do things I wasn’t proud of.”
Elise said that although Callaghan eventually got her consent, it was only “because he wore me down.”
A second woman, who goes by Dana online, alleged that Callaghan once started touching her without consent while she was driving him home. She alleged that he touched her inner thigh, kissed her neck and tried to put his hand down her pants.
Dana, who did not respond to a request for comment, said that she previously had consensual sex with Callaghan but that she did not want to have sex with him again.
Callaghan did not address the allegations specifically. He described his actions as a type of “sex pest behavior” that he believes has been normalized among young boys and men.
“I thought that, you know, going home from the bar alone made you a loser,” he said Sunday. “I thought that persistence was a form of flattery. And I thought that, you know, if at first somebody was reluctant, you know, they’re playing hard to get, just try harder.”
Although Callaghan insists he always took the word “no” as a final answer, he also said he takes responsibility for not understanding “what enthusiastic, two-way consent looks like.”
Callaghan’s legal representative said in a statement last week: “Conversations about pressure and consent are extremely important and Andrew wants to have these conversations, so he can continue to learn and grow.
“Andrew vows to be better in this regard, while reminding his audience that while even one concerned partner is too many, there are always multiple sides to a story. Andrew is fully committed to working with the appropriate professionals to better understand himself and ways he can grow and improve as a human being, especially with his growing platform and the vulnerabilities it brings.”
Callaghan rose to prominence with “All Gas No Breaks,” in which he interviewed people in fringe communities, including Bigfoot hunters, porn stars and the Proud Boys. The show debuted in the fall of 2019 in partnership with the social media company Doing Things Media. Callaghan later started “Channel 5,” a spinoff YouTube series.
He recently helmed a documentary about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, titled “This Place Rules.” The film, made in collaboration with the production company A24, dropped on HBO Max just days before the first allegation video was posted.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com
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