Openly gay YouTube star Calum McSwiggan was charged with making a false police report on Wednesday, after claiming he was beaten outside of a bar in West Hollywood, California.
Known for his YouTube channel that discusses LGBT issues, McSwiggan faces up to 364 days in jail over allegedly making up a story about a hate crime that took place outside of the Abbey nightclub on Robertson Blvd. Monday night.
McSwiggan initially shared the story on Instagram with a photo of himself in hospital. McSwiggan wrote that Monday was the “worst night of [his] life” and described being beaten by three men, saying he suffered three broken teeth and required six stitches.
“The authorities should have been there to help and protect me but instead they treated me like a second class citizen,” he wrote. “I’ve never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye.”
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department disputed his account in a statement, saying that McSwiggan was “observed injuring himself with the handle and receiver to a payphone” after being arrested for vandalizing a vehicle. The department also noted that he suffered from no visible injuries prior to his arrest.
In a lengthy follow-up post on Facebook on Wednesday, McSwiggan gave a more detailed account, admitting that he inflicted some of the wounds himself while in jail. “I knew I had to injure myself to get out of the cell and into a hospital, and it was the only solution I could find to get myself out of there,” he claimed.
He also admitted that he could not say for sure that his sexuality was the reason for the attack, but wrote that he “can’t think of any other justification.”
“Many people are trying to discredit my story but this is the full and entire truth,” he wrote. “Just because there were no visible marks on my face does not mean I was not attacked. Being accused of being a liar and being called a disgrace to the LGBT+ community, a community I’ve dedicated my life to, is more painful than any hate crime could ever be.”
Read both of McSwiggan’s posts, in full, below:
Last night was the worst night of my life and I'm really struggling to find the words to talk about it. After one of the most wonderful weekends at VidCon we went out to a gay club to celebrate, and towards the end of the evening I was separated from my friends and beaten up by three guys. The authorities should have been there to help and protect me but instead they treated me like a second class citizen. With three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead, I've never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye. All I can do is thank my wonderful friends @riyadhk, @melaniiemurphy and @douga_ for being with me the whole way. I'd be lost without them. Right now I don't feel that I'm in the right place to talk about this but I will be addressing this fully in the future.