TikTok influencer Benji Krol has released a 30-minute video addressing allegations that he and Jorge Garay a.k.a. JeyJey Gardi, groomed a 15-year-old boy, claiming that Jorge had a large part in manipulating the victim as well as Benji.
The initial allegations against 19-year-old Benji and 18-year-old Jorge emerged in August when a 15-year-old boy recounted his experiences with the two TikTokers via an anonymous Twitter account.
The individual alleged that he had been sent explicit FaceTime screenshots of Benji by Jorge. He said, “they took advantage of my friendship, and exploited and coerced me, a minor, into doing what they wanted for sexual pleasure.” They also shared screenshots of call logs and messages supposedly sent by the pair as evidence.
Benji Krol and JeyJey Gardi accused of allegedly grooming and sexting a minor. Benji has 11.3M and JeyJey has 4.6M followers on TikTok. The alleged victim is a 15-year-old boy and he described his experiences using an anonymous Twitter account. More in thread. pic.twitter.com/zarpG3kwja
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) August 22, 2020
After the accusations gained traction on Twitter, Benji released his initial response on August 23. He said his apology had taken longer than expected due to a suicide attempt, though stressed that “it’s not the first time” and was not a direct result of the allegations.
He explained that the explicit FaceTime was true, but that he “told Jorge it was wrong and was very uncomfortable with it.” In addition, he revealed that he “doesn’t even know the full story” and that “Jorge knows everything else,” but he doesn’t have access to that information as Jorge took off to go back to his own home.
— Benji Krol (@BenjiKrol) August 23, 2020
Jorge’s response to the allegation followed about a week later, on August 30, and stressed firstly that “I am not the victim,” calling his actions “very wrong” and also claiming he “manipulated” Benji alongside the victim.
“I did sexually talk to the affected person and involved Benji without his permission as well as pressured him into it. I’m sorry to both,” he said.
— Jorge Garay (@jeyjeygardi) August 30, 2020
Nearly a month later, on September 25, Benji uploaded a 30-minute video titled “clearing things up” in which he went into detail about his side of the story.
Benji claimed that the alleged victim lied about his age, claiming he was actually 16 (the legal age of consent in Spain) instead of 15. Benji said he’s not “trying to shift the blame” but instead clarifying the information at the time.
He said that on multiple occasions Jorge had sent pictures of Benji to multiple other people without his consent, and included screenshots of Jorge supposedly bragging about it on Twitter, writing “that awkward moment when you tell your bf you have sent his nudes to a friend.”
Revealing that he had come into contact with some of the victim’s friends, Benji shared screenshots of a conversation between them and the victim that, if genuine screenshots, show the victim saying things like “Benji keeps ignoring me, should I just expose him?” At the time of writing neither of the other parties involved have commented further.
Benji Krol is TikToker with 11 million followers, with former partner Jorge Garay at a little over 4 million.