YouTube star Jake Paul has had a rough summer. From arrests in Arizona to an FBI raid of his Calabasas home, Paul has been making headlines once again for events the 23-year-old probably wishes his fans wouldn’t focus on. A love-him-or-hate-him type of influencer, Paul has made a career of stirring up headlines, but last week’s headline is one he could probably live without.
Paul has a history of troubled headlines
Paul, whose YouTube channel boasts over 20 million subscribers, has long been considered a controversial influencer. The former Disney star is a brother to Logan Paul, another social media star whose name is often attached to stories that inspire more disgust than admiration. Although he got his start on The Disney Channel, Paul soon parted ways with the company when he was fired for behaving in a most un-Disney-like manner.
Paul had long been rumored to be a troublemaker in the neighborhood he rented in while working for Disney. A Local news channel, KTLA, sought to investigate complaints by neighbors to see what the aspiring YouTuber and Disney darling were really about. HollywoodReporter reports that KTLA had sought opinions from Paul’s neighbors after reports that the YouTuber and his fellow influencer housemates were, “making a nuisance of themselves, lighting fires in a drained swimming pool, mounting dirt-bike drag races outside their $18,000-per-month rented house in Beverly Grove, and drawing crowds of fans outside the Kilkea Drive residence.” True to his roguish form, Paul responded to what he felt was an intrusion on his privacy by shooting a t-shirt cannon at the reporter, climbing on the van of the KTLA crew, and mocking the reporter by recalling a 2015 meme about, “unremarkable shoes.”
Disney, shocked by the accusations, terminated their relationship with then-20-year-old Paul, who turned his focus exclusively to his YouTube channel after that. But there, too, unflattering complaints followed the up-and-coming YouTube giant. Paul was reported to have run a scam targeting his mostly young audience, and he is also well-known for YouTube videos that have content inappropriate for the children who appear to be his main target audience. There is a bevy of sexual and violent content. In 2018, Paul even uploaded a vlog titled, “I lost my virginity,” which included a semi-nude thumbnail of himself and his former girlfriend, Erika Costell.
The YouTuber continues to make waves
Paul also infamously responded to concerns about his inappropriate behavior in early 2020, with a cavalier stab at mental health, tweeting, “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 came under fire for such a blasé approach to mental health, and responded to criticism with a tweet claiming that he had intended to raise awareness about anxiety, not belittle or diminish the struggle of those who suffer from it.
In 2018 a video from 2015 surfaced which placed the YouTuber again under great scrutiny for his behavior at Coachella weekend. TMZ obtained a video of the young star freestyle-rapping over the song, “Throw Sum Mo,” by Rae Sremmurd, in which Paul frequently drops the n-word. 2018 was also the same year that Paul’s brother, Logan, was slammed for posting a vlog of himself posing in a place known as, “the suicide forest.” Jake Paul defended his brother.
Arrested in Arizona
More recently, in May of 2020, Paul and friends shared videos of themselves at the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall in Scottsdale, Arizona, amidst a dispersal order from local police after a peaceful protest turned to violence and looting. The mall was closet to protect the businesses, but Paul and friends entered and began filming. Paul tweeted about the incident after his arrest, claiming he and his friends had been peacefully protesting and were simply documenting the looting afterwards. Police did not buy the explanation, and Paul was charged with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly.
Last week, the FBI raided his Calabasas mansion and removed what appeared to be four firearms from the premises. Speculation ran rampant about the cause of the raid. Witnesses say a, “small militia,” descended upon the California home. Paul was not home at the time.
Paul speaks out about the raid
This incident in Scottsdale is what Paul claims the FBI raid was in relation to. In a video Paul posted, then later deleted, and was obtained by TMZ, the young star said, “Just to clarify things and set the record straight, the FBI raid is entirely related to the Arizona looting situation that had happened.” In the video, Paul went on to accuse someone close him of malicious behavior, and seems to suggest that the woes following the YouTuber are related to the choices of someone close to him. The 23-year-old went on to say, “my goal right now is to continue to focus on myself, boxing, music. Thank you to all the fans who have been sticking by my side through all of these crazy times.”
A spokesperson for the FBI in Phoenix confirmed to Fox News hours after the FBI raid of Paul’s home that the raid was in connection with their investigation into the “criminal acts surrounding the incident at Scottsdale Fashion Square in May 2020.
More trouble for the star?
This may not be the only thing the YouTuber needs to answer for, however. The exact same home that the FBI raided last week appears to have been the site of a boxing match on Wednesday of this week, exactly one week after the FBI raid. TMZ obtained video that shows dozens of people packed into the Calabasas mansion, watching several boxing matches, and no one appears to be taking measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 is said to be spread through respiratory droplets, which would be in high volume in an enclosed space where people are sweating, spitting, yelling, and breathing heavily. With California cases and death on the rise, this sort of public event is irresponsible enough, but with no mask-wearing evidence, the irresponsibility factor is increased exponentially.
While it is not clear whether Paul himself was home during the boxing matches, the entire incident is disturbing and begs the question who’s to blame. Earlier the same day, Paul and his ex-girlfriend were seen walking their dog around the neighborhood, and both two-legged walkers were wearing masks. So if Paul is respecting COVID-19 prevention measures, what on earth happened in his mansion last night?
Paul will certainly have some explaining to do if he was involved with the incident in his home. With all the pressure already on him from the FBI raid and questions raised about that, the YouTube titan would do well to lay low and stay out of the headlines while the FBI continues to investigate.