“Nothing ever went further than twerking videos. There were never any nudes, never any physical contact, it never happened.”
YouTube singer Austin Jones, 24, was arrested Monday on two charges of production of child pornography, the result of him asking 14 and 15-year-old teenage girls to send him sexually explicit videos of them dancing. But these videos in question are not the first time Jones has gotten in trouble — or apologized — for similar behavior.
The videos Jones solicited from the two teenage girls by challenging them to “prove” they were his biggest fans were from 2016 and 2017, according to the criminal complaint filed against the singer. But in 2015 Jones posted a video “setting the record straight” about online rumors he had asked female fans to send him videos of them twerking.
“I used to ask fans for twerking videos,” Jones says in the video. “It’s not something that I’m proud of, it’s not something that I think is right and I shouldn’t have done it.”
He goes on to state, “Nothing ever went further than twerking videos. There were never any nudes, never any physical contact, it never happened.”
In the nearly 17-minute long video Jones continues to explain himself while staring into the camera, saying that his initial apology was delayed because he had been hospitalized for “suicidal tendencies” as soon as he returned home from the tour he canceled in response. He also discusses his personal issues in-depth, including the death of his older sister during his childhood, his estranged father’s issues with drug and alcohol addiction and how he used to cut his own wrists.
“All of these life events, all of these deaths, this loss, left me with really deep depression and I was an insecure depressed guy and I began searching for attention in the wrong ways, asking fans for those things,” he says. “It was because I was desperate for attention, I was desperate for reassurance, I wanted to feel good about myself. At the time I thought it was just fun and goofy. I was young, I was stupid, I wasn’t thinking clearly. Over time, I’ve began to see it was wrong and I shouldn’t have done it.”
Watch that full video here: