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YouTube star David Dobrik has abandoned his post as a board member of Dispo — a photography app he cofounded — amid a controversy concerning a sexual assault allegation against a former collaborator known as Durte Dom.
Hours after venture-capital company Spark Capital divested from Dispo because of allegations against Durte Dom, Insider reported Monday that Dobrik had exited the app, which was designed to make digital photos appear as if they were taken with a disposable camera. Dobrik also was recently dropped by DoorDash, Dollar Shave Club, EA Sports and other brands.
Dobrik's Dispo departure is the latest development in the saga involving Durte Dom, a former member of Dobrik's Vlog Squad production ensemble whose real name is Dominykas Zeglaitis. (The Vlog Squad is known for making absurdist comedy video diaries.)
Earlier this month, a woman accused Zeglaitis via Insider of raping her while filming a video for Dobrik's YouTube channel in 2018. Since then, two more women have accused Zeglaitis via social media of inappropriate behavior.
"In light of recent news about the Vlog Squad and David Dobrik, the cofounder of Dispo, we have made the decision to sever all ties with the company," Spark Capital tweeted Sunday evening.
"We have stepped down from our position on the board and we are in the process of making arrangements to ensure we do not profit from our recent investment in Dispo."
2/ We have stepped down from our position on the board and we are in the process of making arrangements to ensure we do not profit from our recent investment in Dispo.
— Spark Capital (@sparkcapital) March 22, 2021
Last Tuesday, Dobrik briefly responded to the rape allegation leveled against Zeglaitis, emphasizing that the pair no longer had a working relationship. As part of an investigation conducted by Insider, Zeglaitis' accuser said that she was too incapacitated to consent to sexual activity during a Vlog Squad production shot by Dobrik.
"Consent is something that's super, super important to me," Dobrik said in his latest YouTube video. "Whether I'm shooting with a friend or shooting with a stranger, I always make sure that whatever the video I'm putting out, I have the approval from that person. And I also acknowledge that there's times where a person can change their mind and decide that they no longer want to be associated ... and then I'll take the video down."
According to Insider, the video featuring Zeglaitis and his accuser was removed by Dobrik at the latter's request after amassing 5 million views on YouTube. Under the pseudonym Hannah, the woman told Insider that she and friends were recruited to participate in a project starring Zeglaitis as a sex addict.
Zeglaitis allegedly invited Hannah and others to his apartment, where the Vlog Squad offered them alcohol, and Dobrik filmed Hannah and Zeglaitis entering the latter's bedroom. In the video, titled "SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE PLAYED WITH FIRE!!," the scene fits into a group-sex narrative. At the time, Zeglaitis was 23 and Hannah was 20.
Zeglaitis did not respond immediately to The Times' request for comment. He previously declined to comment on Hannah's account when reached by Insider and has not been active on YouTube or social media since the story surfaced.
"With people in my life that I don't film with anymore — like Dom and the other people ... — I chose to distance myself because I don't align with some of the actions, and I don't stand for any kind of misconduct," Dobrik continued in his YouTube statement.
"I've been really disappointed by some of my friends. And, for that reason, I've separated from a lot of them. With any video I make, my main purpose is to make people happy and inspire people, and I never want anything to get in the way of that. ... I'm sorry if I've let you down, and things like that won't happen again."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.