YouTuber Jessi Smiles released several recorded clips of phone conversations she had about Curtis Lepore, her ex-boyfriend whom she accused of rape in 2013, with fellow YouTuber Gabbie Hanna.
In a series of videos on Monday, Smiles, whose real name is Jessica Vasquez, tweeted that she and Hanna had a phone call last summer that they had both consented to be recorded but that she had "never planned to release." The recordings were long and "edited for brevity," Smiles said in a tweet.
During the call, the former friends talked about Lepore and Hanna's relationship with him after learning about the allegation. After Smiles accused him of rape, Lepore was convicted of felony assault in 2014 under a plea agreement. The rape charges were subsequently dropped.
Smiles said in a YouTube video in 2019 that Hanna's continued relationship with Lepore after the incident broke the close friendship between the two women. Smiles tweeted that she was compelled to publicize the call because she feels Hanna consistently brings up what happened "in order to 'defend herself' against things that she ... actually did." She called Hanna's actions "beyond triggering."
Hanna was recently featured in an extensive profile by BuzzFeed News in which she denied ever being Lepore's friend. BuzzFeed News has reached out to Hanna about the released calls.
BuzzFeed News has also reached out to Smiles to ask whether the release of the recordings was prompted by the profile and Hanna's assertion.
Gabbie and I had a phone call last summer. I never planned to release it. In fact, there’s nothing I want more than to never talk or think about Gabbie ever again. But her continued lying about my trauma has officially broken me and I don’t know what else to do.
Smiles says she believes Hanna has mischaracterized the nature of her relationship with Lepore. In the first video clip, Smiles writes that she believed Hanna and her ex-boyfriend had only spoken once, but she is apparently heard in the recording recounting two other times she had made contact with Lepore.
In subsequent recordings, Smiles confronts Hanna and accuses her of lying about defending Lepore. The two argue over the "real truth" of what happened. Smiles inserted screenshots in the video of tweets and correspondences that were meant to disprove Hanna's assertions throughout their call.
At one point, Hanna is heard asking Smiles for a "public apology" for outing their fallout in 2019.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it a thousand times, Gabbie Hanna’s treatment of Jessi, and the fans she contacted in order to delegitimize her, was abhorrent, and this just makes it all worse. I actually cried hearing these, I can’t even believe who could be this cruel. https://t.co/Eb3TIELHuT
Hanna has not publicly commented on Smiles' allegations.
A previous version of this story’s headline referred to Lepore as an alleged rapist. Lepore was convicted of assaulting Smiles under an agreement in which the rape charge he faced was dismissed.