Vine Star Curtis Lepore Accused Of Raping Ex-Girlfriend
Curtis Lepore, an Internet star on Vine, has been accused of raping his ex-girlfriend while she had a concussion and was sleeping.
He was in court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to charges that he raped Jessi Smiles (whose real name is Jessica Vazquez), according to TMZ. (Smiles told TMZ that it was okay to use her name in its story.) Lepore was arrested back in October and released on $100,000 bail.
Smiles is also famous on the six-second video-sharing app. Lepore and Smiles are megastars on Vine, with 3.4 million and 2.7 million followers, respectively. He's a tattooed Vine jokester who posts videos of himself doing silly things and of his popular pup Buster Beans. Smiles, 20, uploads humorous and dorky Vines that play off of her stunning blonde look.
The two Viners publicly started and ended their relationship on the video app together. According to Esquire, after some online flirting, they met for the first time in Washington Square Park in New York in front of hundreds of their fans on Aug. 4 and shot a Vine of it:
Smiles, who hails from Miami, Fla. flew to L.A. to visit Curtis on Aug. 21 and tweeted about it, but they broke up just a few days later. (The relationship had lasted three weeks.) However, Smiles suffered a concussion while shooting a Vine video and Curtis offered to help her out while she recovered. When he came over on Aug. 31, he allegedly raped her when she had fallen asleep, according to court documents obtained by TMZ.
The next day, Smiles tweeted:
Be careful of who you trust. Always be cautious for your safety. Be strong and don't let your guard down...— Jessi Smiles (@jessismiles__) September 1, 2013
In the same month Lepore was arrested, Smiles tweeted a number of sad messages:
People are so crazy in this world. Please be safe.— Jessi Smiles (@jessismiles__) October 24, 2013
You're everything I thought you never were and nothing like I thought you could've been.— Jessi Smiles (@jessismiles__) October 26, 2013
I don't feel like living on this planet today. Goodbye.— Jessi Smiles (@jessismiles__) October 24, 2013
Lepore responded to the TMZ report on Twitter, charging that Smiles' allegations were nothing but an (incredibly dark) publicity stunt:
Wow. TMZ? It all makes sense now. Let the second publicity stunt begin!— NERDY CURTY (@curtislepore) January 16, 2014
Lepore's lawyer told TMZ, "Things are not always as they appear and there are two sides to every story."
Here are some of Lepore and Smiles' Vine videos: