American comedian Chris D’Elia is accused of sexual misconduct with underage girls and we’re seeing more and more cases like this.
On June 16, 2020, Twitter user Simone Rossi posted screenshots of disturbing email messages between her and American actor/comedian Chris D’Elia from 2014 to 2015. Disturbing because they exchanged these messages when Rossi was only 16-years-old. D’Elia was 34.
After Rossi started the online conversation, she opened the floodgates, so to speak. Many Twitter users added to her thread, sharing their own screenshots of similar conversations with D’Elia (pictured below).
All the conversations were predatory and all their stories eerily similar. D’Elia was frequently made aware that the girls were not at least 18 years old, and he continued to pursue them anyway, inviting them to make out, inviting them to his hotel room, and soliciting pictures from them.
“imagine being 16 and being groomed by a stand up comedian twice ur age and the only reason you never met up and never got physically m*lested was because u had just gotten a boyfriend ur own age.”
“for the longest time i thought it was embarrassing for ME that i was interacting with this older man but he was the one who DM’d me on twitter and was the one who was twice my age and was the one that used the power imbalance between us to his advantage so f*ck chris d’elia”
“Alright y’all, I went back to my 2011 Facebook messenger and found the DMs from Chris D’Elia being creepy and persistent to me when I was 17.
Chris D’Elia quickly began trending on Twitter, and he has since come out and denied all of these claims in a statement to TMZ, saying:
“I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point. All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me. That being said, I really am truly sorry. I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That’s MY fault. I own it. I’ve been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better.”
Not that it matters, but his statement hasn’t addressed the real problem.
The serious and illegal issue of men his age pursuing and engaging in relationships with girls of 16 and 17 years of age.
And it’s not just D’Elia, and it’s not just famous guys.
There are regular men everywhere who seek to exploit and manipulate underage girls or barely legal young women for romantic relationships for disturbing reasons. They prey on easily impressed young girls who are easily fascinated by the wealth and fame of a C-list celeb like D’Elia.
This means they may also be easily impressed by a regular, non-famous guy who has an established career and shows interest in a young girl who may not be getting attention from guys her age.
An adult man can get consent from a sixteen-year-old, sure, but she’s not of legal age, and that’s where the issue is.
A fourteen, fifteen, or sixteen-year-old is not of legal age. Nope, not even the seventeen-year-old who has a birthday coming up. And if you’re waiting for her to turn 18 before you ask her out, you’re a predator too.
She is a minor. It does not matter how old she looks. It does not matter how mature she acts or talks. It does not matter how “sexy” you think she dresses. If one person is an adult, and the other is not — that is an issue. A legality issue. A morality issue. And frankly, a disturbing psychological issue that should be addressed.
If you‘re aware that someone is not of legal age, and you knowingly pursue and make sexual advances at them, that makes you a pedophile. Hard stop.
And if you’re waiting for her to turn 18 before you ask her out, you’re a predator too.
Sure, these are all just allegations against Chris D’Elia at the time of this article. No charges have been pressed. D’Elia’s representatives haven’t returned comment to the many outlets reporting on this news and he himself has denied the claims. But this is far from the first time we’ve heard of disturbing stories of high-profile individuals messaging underage girls.
And now, these girls come with receipts. The girls who have been pursued, harassed, and messaged by D’Elia inviting them to his hotel room and offering to fly them to the city of his next show have proof.
Welcome to the age of screenshots and cellphone recording.
This conversation is not so much about Chris D’Elia as it is about the misogynistic culture surrounding our young girls today — a culture that is filled with older men who seem fixated on how young girls appear, look, act, and dress much older than they actually are.
Exhibit A: The video below shows an interview with Mr. Chris D’Elia himself, where he comments on how “there is no such thing as a fourteen-year-old girl anymore. They go from 6–25.” Yikes. Video link
I’m very familiar with the thrill of catching the attention of someone famous that these young girls are feeling. I slept with my celebrity crush years ago, and while there wasn’t an age gap between us, there was definitely a maturity gap.
I did things during our time together that I wish I hadn’t, simply because he was a celebrity. However, it was all consensual, we were both of legal age, and it’s now just a learning experience in my past. But I wish someone had talked to me about the red flags in power imbalances in romantic relationships.
So, if you are a young girl underage or barely 18 and a much older man, famous or not, is hitting on you, asking you out, trying to buy you things, inviting you to fly you to his city, please — stay away. Screenshot his messages, don’t engage, and stay away.
There is so much that comes with older, predatory men hitting on underage girls that young girls can’t understand as it’s happening. And when a celebrity is involved, it’s hard to say no. I know.
But there is a power imbalance involved in dating a much older man while you are underage that you’ll be convinced isn’t there. There is manipulation happening that your mind can’t even begin to dissect — and that’s why these men go after girls like you.
It’s because you can’t see it.
And this doesn’t make it your fault or your responsibility.
If you’ve fallen for someone like this, do not blame yourself. I’m sorry you were put in that position.
They are the adult. They should know better. They should’ve never pursued you in the first place. They should’ve backed off when you told them how old you were — and it’s not an excuse that “you look older than your actual age.” They should’ve apologized to you after. And if justice is ever served, you are not the one to blame for the punishment they receive.
And to the girls who came forward about D’Elia, I’m sorry you’re getting harassed for NOT staying away from a celebrity.
Because what 16-year-old wouldn’t freak out at the thought of a famous person showing interest in them? But in typical victim-shaming fashion, these girls are being harassed online, with comments that they should have known better, that they should’ve avoided the situation altogether — instead of telling the 40-year-old man to stop messaging underage girls.
And for that, we have failed these young girls. But it’s not too late to educate our young men and women on predatory behavior and what red flags to look out for. Because an older man showing interest in an underage girl should not be exciting or complimentary, it is a red flag.
And if you’ve fallen for an older person who doesn’t have your best interests, it is not your fault now or then and you should never let someone make you feel like it is. The fault lies solely on the older person knowingly pursuing an underage individual.
© Jessica Lovejoy 2021. All Rights Reserved.