Taylor Nicole Dean is denying claims that any of her animals have died from neglect.
The YouTube personality, who creates videos about caring for exotic animals, is the subject of a Vice documentary that was published on Tuesday that discusses her battles with addiction and a dysfunctional relationship with her ex Jonny Craig.
In the wake of the Vice piece, Dean said that she’s heard that there are “some comments about how I kill all my animals and that I blame my ex for having an addiction.”
In a lengthy post on Twitter, Dean is denying those claims.
“I’ll just say once again, I haven’t had any reptiles die except the one time I had a horrible heat malfunction,” Dean wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “And that was absolutely disgusting, and a horrible mistake of mine that made me consider rehoming all my animals.”
In 2018, Dean shared in a video that one of her heat regulators broke, causing the tanks for some of her reptiles to get too hot and with the result that the animals passed away.
Ultimately, Dean decided to keep her animals — in the Vice piece, she says she currently has between 20 and 25 — and stressed the point that most of the animals who died in her care were fish or died from natural causes like old age or cancer, in the case of one hedgehog.
“I know I impulse bought animals,” Dean admitted in her Twitter post.
“But animals became the only thing that made me feel like I was important and served a purpose which is NOT okay and is one of the reasons I rehomed 12 of them when I got to rehab,” she continued. “I’m not perfect and definitely have made mistakes, but I never got into the animal hobby just for YouTube views, nor do I neglect animals.”
“I haven’t had a single animal pass, not even from old age, since I have lived in my apartments,” Dean went on. “I’ll continue to always be honest when an animal dies, but I truly know they have never died from neglect and if I did, I’d rehome them because that’s the last thing I’d ever be able to live with is watching an animal suffer.”
As for comments accusing her of blaming her addiction on Craig, Dean said in her Twitter post on Wednesday that she struggled with addiction long before that relationship.
“I was one before I knew my ex and I’ll be one forever,” she said. “I have never once tried to say he’s the only reason I’m an addict. And if that’s portrayed anywhere, it isn’t correct.”
In a statement to Vice, Craig denied that he ever forced Dean to use drugs.
“Jonny is very open about his previous addictions and his commitment to staying clean. He has had several baseless accusations directed at him regarding statements made by Taylor in her most recent monetized video,” his statement said. “It has been made very clear by not only Taylor herself in a written statement but also Jonny, that she was never forced to use heroin. To quote a recent email she has sent to Jonny, ‘We were both sick when we used. You never forced me.'”
“This is the story of two grown adults that both struggled with their separate drug use, and amicably separated for the better. As Jonny prepares for the addition of his first child, a role as a father, and a recovered former drug addict. We would like to put this matter to rest in order to protect his own personal character and protect the privacy of him and his future family.”