Jerry Harris, a cheerleader and breakout star of Netflix’s “Cheer” docuseries, is being investigated by the FBI over accusations that he solicited sex and nude images from minors, according to USA Today.
Federal agents searched a home in Naperville, Illinois, on Monday as part of the investigation, the outlet reported. The FBI confirmed to TheWrap that a search warrant was executed there.
“The FBI is conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity in the area. We have no further comment,” a spokesperson for the Chicago bureau told TheWrap.
The FBI did not comment further on USA Today’s report.
Varsity, a large private company heavily involved in the cheerleading industry in every facet from clothing to competitions, spurred the investigation by reporting the accusations against Harris to police, according to USA Today.
Burton Brillhart, the company’s chief legal officer, wrote in an Aug. 1 letter to Florida and Texas police that the company knew of “inappropriate sexual conduct” alleged against Harris and was following the legal requirement to report it to authorities.
“As a result of the recent allegation, we have barred this person from having any affiliation with Varsity Brands or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, now and in the future,” he wrote in the letter obtained by USA Today in which he identified Harris as a former employee of Varsity who was not working for the company at the time of the incidents. Harris posted on social media that he was working for the National Cheerleaders Association, a Varsity brand, last May.
A spokesperson for Harris denied the allegations, saying in a statement, “We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager. We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”
TheWrap attempted to reach Harris through his publicist, though we did not immediately hear back. A rep for Netflix said the streamer did not have a comment.
A rep for Varsity declined to comment on an active law enforcement investigation, but said they the company continues to “cooperate with authorities in their inquiries on this matter.”
Harris was launched to stardom after “Cheer” premiered on Jan. 8. He has not posted on Instagram, where he has 1.2 million followers, since Sept. 4, but posted happy birthday messages to friends on his story Monday. The cheerleader is known for his signature “mat talk,” which involves shouting praises at his teammates to encourage them during practice.
Since his star-making role on “Cheer,” Harris has enjoyed crossover success in Hollywood. He’s done mat talk on stage with Oprah Winfrey, interviewed celebrities on the Oscars red carpet for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and even appeared in an Instagram video with Joe Biden in support of his presidential campaign.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.