Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Vine Star Curtis Lepore Accused Of Raping Ex-Girlfriend

curtis-and-jessi.png
Curtis Lepore and Jessi Smiles (Photo via Curtis Lepore's Instagram)
Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

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:

Support for LAist comes from

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:

In the same month Lepore was arrested, Smiles tweeted a number of sad messages:

Lepore responded to the TMZ report on Twitter, charging that Smiles' allegations were nothing but an (incredibly dark) publicity stunt:

Support for LAist comes from

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: