Here’s A Breakdown Of David Dobrik’s Vlog Squad And The Rape Allegations Levied Against ‘Durte Dom’

This isn't just 'YouTube drama', it's a harrowing story with far-reaching implications for influencers.

David Dobrik

by Georgia Aspinall |

TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains detailed accounts of sexual assault and rape allegations.

This morning, David Dobrik finally addressed the rape allegations levied at one of the members of his ‘vlog squad’, Dom Zeglaitis. It comes after Insider published an interview with an anonymous woman – known only as Hannah – alleging that Dom raped her at a party that was later used as a group sex plot-line in one of David’s vlogs.

In a seven-minute video posted to YouTube, David apologised to for ‘putting [Hannah and her friends] in an environment that I enabled that made them feel like their safety and values were compromised.’

Grazia UK reached out for comment from Dom's team but are yet to receive a reply, as are numerous other publications. Dom declined to comment to Insider when approached about the allegation initially. He has not been active on YouTube or social media since the story surfaced.

Who is David Dobrik?

For those of you who are entirely unfamiliar with this story, allow me to explain. David Dobrik, is a vlogger whose YouTube channel has over 18.6million people subscribed - and was dubbed a ‘Gen-Z’s Jimmy Fallon’ by The Wall Street Journal. His popularity is largely based on videos following his friend group – commonly known as the ‘vlog squad’ – in which he is often considered the leader of the group. In fact, in the 2019 Streamy Awards, David won the best ‘Ensemble Cast’ prize with the rest of the vlog squad.

All of his videos follow a similar format involving his friends partaking in wild antics, which he appears to initiate or enable, captioned with dramatic headlines like ‘BEST FRIENDS KISS WITH DREAM GIRL!!’ or ‘WE CAUGHT HER IN BED LIKE THIS!!’. Despite much of his content eluding to sexual behaviour he is considered family-friendly and with over 8.2billion views, extremely successful. Acquiring sponsorships from Chipotle, SeatGeek and Bumble, he is reported to be worth over $20million (£15million). (Chipotle and Bumble have since severed ties with him following the latest revelations).

Streamy Awards
Vlog Squad accepts and award onstage during The 9th Annual Streamy Awards. ©Getty Images

What has David Dobrik done?

In one of David's vlogs that has been removed from YouTube (titled ‘SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE PLAYED WITH FIRE!!’) part of the video includes a plot line where Dom, a member of the vlog squad, intends on having group sex with four women.

Dom, whose YouTube name is ‘Durte Dom’ (pronounced ‘dirty Dom’), is commonly featured in scenes where he talks about sexual pursuits, objectifies women and jokes about passing on sexually transmitted infections. In 2017, he was accused of sexual assault by other women, including other female creators on YouTube, while attending VidCon.

He posted his own YouTube video stating 'the accusations against me aren't 100% true but to an extent they are, I am aggressive when talking to women...what I was doing was too intense and now i'm working on that.' He apologised 'to any girl i've personally disrespected', he never faced any criminal charges and continued to appear on David's channel - something David has since apologised for doing.

The latest allegations go beyond that, however. In the vlog in question, posted on David's channel, four women are seen entering a room where members of the vlog squad are having a party. The women say they were invited by Dom in order to meet the vlog squad and film content centered on the comedic plot-line that Dom was a ‘sex addict’, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, in the vlog itself, the narrative is that Dom is trying to initiate group sex.

In a voiceover, David says ‘After a couple of minutes of talking it was clear there was no fivesome happening tonight. But by some stroke of luck and master negotiating, Dom made progress.’ David then records two women entering a room with Dom and later, films his friends opening the door to look in. ‘Jonah’s going to peek in so he can describe it to me,’ David shouts as the men make jokes about being horny listening to it. In another clip, Dom leaves the room and appears to be drenched in sweat. 'Was that your first threesome?' David asks. 'Yeah, thanks David!,' Dom replies before high-fiving him.

Dom Zeglaitis
Dom Zeglaitis in Los Angeles. ©Getty Image

David deleted the vlog in February 2019, four months after it was originally posted. In the Insider article published last week, Hannah – who was one of the women who entered the room with Dom in the video - alleges that while in there, Dom raped her. She states that she was too drunk to consent and ‘blacked out’ the night of the party.

Her friend, known only as Sarah in the article, alleges that two of the vlog squad members – Jeff Wittek and Todd Smith – had previously brought alcohol back to the house. The women were college students at the time, and a number of them were underage, and according to Insider, fellow YouTuber Trisha Paytas (who was at the party) ‘left because women were drinking while underage’ and also stated that ‘the women made it clear they did not want to have group sex’ with Dom.

According to Insider, Sarah says Hannah ‘was not fully coherent or articulate’. The friend who entered the room with Hannah, known only as Audrey, declined to comment on the article but sent Hannah a text recalling the incident. In it, she stated ‘I remember you were starting to close your eyes and just were obviously drunk so I finished him off just to get him away from you.’

Sarah, who was sober on the evening in question, recalls going into the room and having to dress Hannah as she could not dress herself. She says Hannah couldn’t stand or sit up by herself, and passed out in the bathroom when Sarah took her to throw up. Sarah and her friends then had to physically support Hannah’s body as they left the apartment. In one photo shared with Insider, which has since circulated online, Hannah can be seen outside the apartment leaning against her friends - David, Dom and other members of the vlog squad are all in the picture.

No legal charges have been filed against Dom and he is yet to comment on the allegations.

David is also not facing any legal charges, but has been called out by fellow creators for what they perceive to be him enabling an environment where something like this could happen, for not intervening when Hannah was visibly intoxicated and for still posting the video after seeing how drunk she was following the incident (as is noted by his presence in the picture, which is timestamped 1.18am).

In one scene in the vlog, supposedly filmed the morning after the party, David says ‘Dom just had a threesome and I think we’re all…’ before his friend adds ‘going to jail’ while they all laugh.

In his latest apology video, which comes after David was dropped by multiple sponsors, David apologised to Hannah and her friends for the incident and for posting the vlog altogether. In it, he references the fact that Hannah text Dom – while still drunk the morning after the party, she says – telling him that David could post the vlog footage of her as long as it did not include any footage that wouldn’t be off-putting to future employers. She later asked him to request David take the vlog down.

‘I fully believe the woman who came out against Dom and said she was sexually assaulted and raped by him,’ David stated in his video. ‘As was reported, the next day I got consent to post the video. Even though I got the consent to post that video, I should have never posted it. What I understand now, and what I didn’t understand before, was that she sent that text because she felt like she had to not because she wanted to and that’s fucked up and I’m sorry.

‘When she later reached out a couple of months later to take the video down, I immediately took it down,’ he continued. ‘I want to apologise to her and her friends for ever putting them in an environment that I enabled that made them feel like their safety and values were compromised.’

It is the second video he has posted about the situation, the first posted to his other YouTube channel VIEWS, which was largely condemned for not being empathetic enough or taking accountability.

Since the allegation came to light, a number of brands have severed ties with David including EA Sports, HBO Max, Audible, Hello Fresh, General Mills, Bumble, Honey and many more. SeatGeek is also reportedly re-evaluating their relationship with him. Dispo, the app David co-founded, has too dissolved any partnership with him. It is not yet known if Dom has faced any legal or monetary repercussions.

Who are the vlog squad members?

Other members of the ‘vlog squad’ have also faced sponsorship repercussions. Jeff Wittek, who has denied ever supplying underage women with alcohol, took to YouTube to complain about his sponsors dropping him. In the video, he puts up a picture of the Twitter account of the journalist who broke the story, Kat Tenbarge, later admitting he wanted his fans 'to attack her' for including the part in the story where Sarah and Trisha allege he bought the alcohol for the underage women. He also said that article being behind a paywall delegitimised Kat's integrity, a claim that has largely been condemned by other creators and journalists. He later admitted it was wrong to send his fans to 'attack her', from which she received a number of death threats.

Most of the other members of the squad have kept quiet so far – with fans calling them out for not addressing the situation.

All of the vlog squad members have their own platforms online, with some amassing millions of followers individually. Members include Jason Nash, Natalie Mariduena, Josh Peck (of Drake and Josh fame), Zane Hijazi, Heath Hussar, Mariah Amato, Scotty Sire, Nick Antonyan (and his siblings Vardan and Suzy) Matt King, Toddy Smith, Corinna Kopf, Jeff Wittek, Joe Vulpis, Carly Incontro, and Erin Gilfoy.

Dom Zeglaitis was a less frequent member of the squad – and has not appeared in a vlog since 2019 – as well as other infrequent members including BigNik, Seth Francois, Brandon Calvillo and Elton Castee.

What does vlog squad member Seth have to do with this?

Seth Francois however, has spoken out about David recently although not in relation to this. Earlier this year, he stated that in one video where David set up a kissing prank on him, he was sexually assaulted by fellow member Jason Nash. In the now-deleted video, Seth says he was led to believe by David that he was filming a scene passionately kissing a woman dressed in disguise, however that person was actually Jason Nash – the 47-year-old former actor who is a regular in David’s vlogs.

David apologised to Seth in his first apology video, stating he 'missed the mark with that one'. Another vlog squad member, BigNik, has also recently came out to state that working with David made him feel 'worthless' because he was constantly subject to jokes about his dwarfism. Trisha Paytas has too been vocal about being mistreated by David and the rest of the vlog squad, claiming that they have continued to smear her character and discredit her voice in order to silence her speaking out against them.

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