As both fans and advertisers ditch his channels, YouTube star David Dobrik released a second apology video early on Tuesday morning addressing claims of sexual assault against his former video collaborators.
Dobrik’s latest video comes after a woman told Insider last week she was drugged and assaulted by a former member of Dobrik’s so-called “Vlog Squad,” a group of friends and creators who frequently collaborated in prank and stunt-style YouTube content. The woman, identified by the pseudonym “Hannah,” told Insider that Vlog Squad member Dominykas Zeglaitis (known online as “Durte Dom”) got her drunk and sexually assaulted her after she came to the group’s home to film a video in 2018. The accusation came a month after former Vlog Squad member Joseth “Seth” Francois told BuzzFeed News he’d been tricked into kissing YouTuber Jason Nash in one of Dobrik’s videos.
Dobrik, in his new apology video, said he “fully” believes the woman who accused Zeglaitis of assault.
“I’m so sorry,” Dobrik said. “I was completely disconnected from the fact that when people were invited to film videos with us, especially videos that relied on shock for views or whatever, it was that I was creating an unfair power dynamic. I did not know this before.”
Dobrik continued, saying he “didn’t know what was going on in that room [with Zeglaitis and “Hannah”] and I should’ve been. I should’ve been there and making sure everyone involved was taken car of and wasn’t uncomfortable.”
He added: “People felt like they had to be silent for the sake of my video, and that’s not right and it’s f—– up and I’m sorry.”
The latest apology video comes a week after Dobrik first took to YouTube to apologize, telling his fans he was sorry he’d let them down. The latest apology also comes as more than a dozen brands — including Facebook, EA Sports and Dollar Shave Club — and 300,000 YouTube subscribers have dropped Dobrik in the last week. On Monday, Dobrik stepped down from the board of Dispo, the camera and photo-sharing app he co-founded, amid the sexual assault claims.
Dobrik still has a formidable YouTube presence, with about 18 million subscribers, but he said he plans on taking a break from posting videos so that he can add “infrastructure” to support his channel, including bringing in an HR employee who can help others “communicate discomfort in a way that’s comfortable to them.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you guys. I’m sorry that I took Dom’s word for what happened in those certain situations and I didn’t believe you,” Dobrik added. “And not only did I not believe you, I made a joke of what kind of a person Dom was, because I couldn’t wrap my head around a childhood friend of mine doing this to people and actually hurting people, and I’m sorry for that.”
You can watch his full 7 minute, 16 second video below: