YouTube celebrity David Dobrik apologized for a second time Tuesday for allegations of rape and sexual assault against a former collaborator that have affected his burgeoning internet business.
In a seven-minute YouTube video, the popular influencer said he believed in women who accused his longtime friend and collaborator Dominykas Zeglaitis of sexual misconduct while expressing remorse for not having addressed the issue sooner.
“I was completely disconnected from the fact that when people were invited to shoot videos with us, especially videos that depended on the impact of the views or whatever, it was creating an unfair power dynamic. I didn’t know this before, ”Dobrik said in the emotional clip posted to his 18 million subscriber YouTube channel early Tuesday morning.
“It was completely wrong and I wish I was more responsible and I wish I was more aware in that moment and I’m sorry I missed that.”
Dobrik’s monologue came as the allegations began to unravel the fledgling media empire the 24-year-old has built around his “Vlog Squad,” which featured Zeglaitis, known online as Durte Dom, as a member until 2019.
An Insider investigation detailed a young woman’s account of how members of the Vlog Squad gave her alcohol before Zeglaitis had sex with her while she was too drunk to consent. In the week since the report was published, Dobrik left the directory of his photo-sharing app Dispo, and a dozen brands, including Chipotle, DoorDash and EA Sports, reportedly cut ties with him.
Dobrik, 24, posted a shorter apology video last week that he said was insufficient. In the new video, he said he would take a “short break” from social media as he worked to establish “checks and balances” in his digital content operation, such as a human resources department so that people can “communicate their discomfort from in a way that is comfortable for them. “
Dobik said he was wrong to post pictures of the woman from the night Zeglaitis allegedly raped her even though she gave him permission to do so the next day.
“I want to apologize to her and her friends for putting them in an environment that I enabled and that made them feel that their safety and values were compromised,” he said.
“I didn’t know what was going on in that room, and I should have known.”
Dobrik also said that he regretted having ignored previous allegations against Zeglaitis from others such as YouTuber Ally Hardesty, who reportedly accused him of groping her without consent and forcibly kissing her.
Dobrik previously praised Zeglaitis for posting an apology video in 2017 saying that Hardesty’s allegations were true “to some extent,” according to Insider.
“I couldn’t understand a childhood friend of mine doing this to people and really hurting people, and I’m sorry,” Dobrik said of Zeglaitis in his new video.
A representative for Zeglaitis did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.