22 June 2020 18:37
Image copyright Rosa Russo / Alamy Stock Photo YouTuber Syndicate, real name Tom Cassell, has denied sexually assaulting two of his ex-partners. Cassell tweeted to say he "will be making a statement regarding the false allegations in the following days". Cassell, 26, has gaming and lifestyle channels with over 12 million subscribers and is also popular on streaming site Twitch. He has been accused of rape by Twitch streamer and YouTuber Natalie Casanova, who uses the name TheZombiUnicorn. She alleges an incident took place while the two were filming the Legends of Gaming show in 2016.
Natalie, who lives in the US, didn't disclose the location - but filming for the show took place in Los Angeles. Manchester-born Cassell has also been accused of abusing former girlfriend, Kaitlin Witcher, in a hotel in LA in 2012. Both women came forward with the allegations in videos shared on Twitter over the weekend. Skip Twitter post by @ProSyndicate I honestly don't know what to say with all these allegations being made against me. — Tom Syndicate (@ProSyndicate) June 21, 2020 Report Twitch says it is looking into accusations of sexual harassment and assault against streamers on their platform.
"We take accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct extremely seriously," it says in a statement. "We are actively looking into the accounts concerning streamers affiliated with Twitch and will work with law enforcement where applicable. "We're thankful for the bravery shown by those who have come forward to speak about their experiences, and we are committed to working to make the streaming community safer for everyone." Casanova said in a video posted on her Twitter account that some of the sex the pair had was non-consensual and that Cassell had agreed he'd withdraw before ejaculating and when the time came he pinned her down. She said: "He held me down physically, so that I could not get off of him. "I smacked him and said 'no, stop!'" She also says one of Cassell's staff members took her to get a morning-after pill at a pharmacy the next day. Casanova said she tried to remain friends with him after the incident, but didn't want to come forward in case he tried "to come after me". 'I felt alone' Kaitlin Witcher also spoke out following Casanova's video - posting a thread of clips on Twitter about what happened when Cassell was her first boyfriend in 2012. She says that whilst in a hotel room he "wanted to do things", which she refused, and he assaulted her without consent. Witcher says she said "no" several times. "I don't want to feel alone, like I how I felt alone, I'm sorry to anyone who was affected by him because I didn't come out sooner - I was just so scared to" she said in the video. BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat has contacted Tom Cassell, Natalie Casanova, Kaitlin Witcher and YouTube for comment. You can access information and support about sexual assault here. Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays - or listen back here. A piece of Shocking news has befallen the Twitch community as streamer Natalie 'ZombieUnicorn' Casanova accused Tom 'ProSyndicate' Casell of sexually abusing her. Natalie shared her story on Twitter over a video last night. Warning: THE VIDEO CONTAINS EXPLICIT DETAILS Seeing so many brave women come forward with their stories, I FINALLY realized my own story of sexual abuse that I'd long passed off as him just "being a dick." I tried to remain cordial bc of his position/power until I just cut him off entirely. @/ProSyndicate pic.twitter.com/6UpWHOH6sl — #BLM Nati Casanova Ⓥ (@TheZombiUnicorn) June 21, 2020 The allegations on the Twitch streamer The Speakout movement has inspired many women to come out with their stories. Before posting the video, she had tweeted asking her fans what they think of the scenario. So when you have sex with someone and they lie about having condoms then hold you down to cum inside without your consent *on purpose*, forcing you to take Plan B which they knew gives you extreme side effects that you avoid by using other birth control… What do you call that? According to Natalie, the incident happened when she was working with Syndicate for Legends of Gaming. She clarifies that they were 'friends with benefits' back then, but one night she was forced down. "There was a time when I went to his place at night. I always made sure that we had condoms and one night we were drinking and he said, he didn't have any and I said we can only continue if you pull out. Because I don't take birth control, cause the hormones affect me. I told him he had to do that", Natalie said. Allegedly, Syndicate pulled her down and refused to let her go. She asked to stop, but Syndicate paid no heed. When she finally got off, she went to clean herself and found condoms in the bathroom. Natalie also says she confronted him as to why he lied. A woman that worked for Syndicate took them both the next day for work and got Natalie contraceptives while the accused stayed in the car. Natalie repeatedly mentions she knows other girls who have suffered the same fate but held back from naming them. Aftermath Natalie cut off contact with Syndicate only after a while because she was scared of what he'd do. She adds that he has done it for a long time to many others but got away every single time. "He has done it for a long time. He gets away with it because of his money and power", Natalie said. In a subsequent tweet, she mentions how she had shared this with her friends and family and had gradually moved on. She also accused Syndicate of sharing her private pictures with his friends. After it happened, I did share this with friends and family privately. A lot of friends know/knew and I moved on from it for years. But yesterday realizing it for what it was, it brought a new wave of emotion/numbness. Now that I've said my peace, I would like to move on again. — #BLM Nati Casanova Ⓥ (@TheZombiUnicorn) June 21, 2020 Shortly afterward, Syndicate's ex-girlfriend Kaitlin Witcher shared her story in a couple of Twitter videos. She starts off apologizing for not speaking up sooner. Kaitlin further says that Syndicate has forced her into doing things she didn't want to. Another story involving him. This is so painful to watch, but I believe every word. I'm so sorry this happened to you, we support you and I feel your pain. I hope you can now begin to heal from this. Sending so much love <3 thread: — #BLM Nati Casanova Ⓥ (@TheZombiUnicorn) June 21, 2020 Syndicate's response Syndicate responded to the allegations on Twitter. He claimed he's shocked and that he'd address all the issues in the coming days. I honestly don't know what to say with all these allegations being made against me. I'm in actual shock. I seriously am. I want to address every single thing that's been said. I will be making a statement regarding all the false allegations in the following days. — Tom Syndicate (@ProSyndicate) June 21, 2020 Syndicate is one of the most popular streamers on Twitch. Such allegations against him come as a shocker. We'd have to wait and see what his stance is.