Update 1/12: Callaghan has responded to the sexual assault and harassment allegations. In a statement made to TMZ, the media personality alleges that one of the victims, Caroline Elise, asked for money with a "close source" telling the outlet that she requested money " just minutes" before This Place Rules aired on HBO.
Callaghan's legal representative told TMZ, "Andrew is devastated that he is being accused of any type of physical or mental coercion against anyone. Conversations about pressure and consent are extremely important and Andrew wants to have these conversations, so he can continue to learn and grow. While every dynamic is open to interpretation and proper communication is critical from all those involved, repeated requests for money should not be part of these conversations."
On January 11, H3H3Production's Ethan Klein claimed to have had contact with Callaghan after the allegations began circulating. Klein claimed that Callaghan has admitted to Elise's and Dana's recollections of their encounters with him. He has checked himself into a psychiatric ward due to experiencing panic attacks in light of the allegations and was reportedly working on a statement.
Below, read our initial report of the allegations.
CW: This article contains mentions of sexual assault and harassment.
Andrew Callaghan, best known as the host of Channel 5 on YouTube, is being faced with multiple accusations of sexual assault. The accusations come shortly after the December 30 release of his HBO documentary This Place Rules.
Billed as a "digital journalism experience," Callaghan rose to prominence for his raw and unfiltered coverage of everything from conventions and concerts to political rallies and protests. Wearing his signature tan suit, Callaghan became a recognizable figure known for capturing eccentric personalities wherever he went with his unique style of lo-fi gonzo reporting.
Two women have come forward on TikTok to open up about their experiences with Callaghan, exposing his pattern of sexual coercion. The first video came from Caroline Elise who goes by the username @cornbreadasserole on the video-sharing platform. She said that she messaged Callaghan and they had a conversation. He eventually asked if he could stay with her after having a falling out with one of his crew members. Despite telling him that she was not interested in having sex with him, Elise said that Callaghan "eventually got my consent because he wore me down."
Elise says that the two visited a bar and were both drunk upon returning home. She further went on to say, "I said whatever because I was trying to get the whole thing over with…it doesn’t discount that I told him no. [He] still found a way to coerce me into doing things I didn’t want to do."
Elise eventually felt the need to come forward after seeing his platform begin to grow, especially after the release of This Place Rules. “It’s even more hard to have to relive the trauma that I endured every single day by seeing this man as a social justice warrior, as someone who cares about human rights, get a platform," she said. Elise previously attempted to come forward about her experience but Callaghan allegedly texted her not to, saying it would "ruin his life."
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Elise began to receive comments on her original TikTok, which briefly went private due to harassment, in which several other victims came forward to corroborate her experience with their own. One of those commenters was Dana who goes by the handle @moldyfreckle.
In a series of videos detailing her own experience, Dana said that she hooked up with Callaghan once but was put off by him being "mean" and "demanding." Nonetheless, he asked to hang out again and pestered her when she said no. He eventually invited her to dinner to personally apologize for his behavior. She arrived to the dinner and noticed "he's not really talking." When she asked if he wanted to say anything, he asked if they could have sex in her car afterward. He apologized for making her feel uncomfortable and went back to asking if they could have sex in her car.
Dana then recalls offering to drive him home. Callaghan allegedly began groping her and kissing her without her consent. "I told him to stop. I told him to get off of me multiple times," she said. "He tried to put my hand down his pants and I was fighting against him during this, telling him to please stop." Danna alleges that he eventually exited her car after she asked, but not before asking if she could perform oral sex on him.
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Both Elise and Dana subsequently posted proof that they interacted with Callaghan and showed messages confirming that they made plans to hang out. Elise also shared a selfie that the two took in the bar they visited the night of the incident.
Since then, members of the fan subreddit /r/Channel5ive have compiled other allegations that have been circulating since 2020 about Callaghan.
One screenshot alleges that Callaghan attempted to pursue a drunk woman, while another alleges that he raped a high school girl in Seattle and flirted with other underaged girls. One of Dana's friends also came forward on behalf of their girlfriend and alleges that Callaghan repeatedly tried to grab, kiss and isolate her when they were 17 and Callaghan was 22. When she said she had a boyfriend, he attempted to propose a threesome with her and his alleged long-distance girlfriend.
Since beginning Channel 5, Callaghan has amassed 2.26 million subscribers and over 105 million views on his YouTube channel. He also runs a Patreon with over a thousand members who pledge $5 to $10 a month for uncensored and longer versions of the videos on his public channel.
Callaghan has not responded to PAPER's request for comment.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, contact RAINN via chat or phone at 800-656-4673 for support and resources.
Photo courtesy of HBO