The Grammys took place on Sunday with many creators in attendance, but one creator who wasn’t there was Ashley Leechin. The TikTok star, who creates content as a Taylor Swift superfan and doppelgänger, said she landed in Los Angeles for the ceremony that Friday but that the invite to “walk the red carpet” was rescinded the moment she stepped off the plane.
Back on Feb. 1, Leechin claimed in a TikTok that she “partnered” with the Grammys, only to stitch the video two days later of her looking despondent, standing in the airport with her luggage with the caption: “’It’s Hollywood … it happens all the time,’ they said … well I just landed in Los Angeles but OKAY.”
In a subsequent video responding to the “What’s your biggest fear” trend, the TikToker claimed she was contractually obliged to announce she partnered with the Grammys by a certain deadline and spent over $2,000 on flights, childcare, clothes, and lodgings, only to be told after she landed that “there were no more tickets” and that she was no longer able to attend.
Commenters and fellow TikTokers were skeptical of Leechin’s account, with many claiming that, at best, she was scammed by a third party, and, at worst, is a “pathological liar.” In one TikTok that got over 102,000 views, user Jacey Gibbs said, “So we all agree that she was never going, right? It was either two things, neither of which are better. It’s either she was never going, and it was a scam, or she was going and Taylor Nation were like, ‘Never mind.’”
In response to the widespread skepticism, Leechin made a series of TikToks with purported screenshots of emails, direct message conversations, and what appears to be a contract. In these TikToks, Leechin claimed she was one of multiple creators invited to the Grammys by media outlet Sweety High, with the outlet purportedly wanting Leechin to give a “Swifty perspective” on the musician’s Grammys appearance and nominations.
According to Leechin, she was initially contacted by Sweety High back on Jan. 18 and said the outlet told her that while she’d have to pay for her own travel and accommodation—and wouldn’t be compensated for her time—Sweety High would provide her tickets to the Grammys and that she’d be able to walk the red carpet. As previously reported by Passionfruit, companies will often arrange deals with creators for free products or tickets in exchange for sponsored posts, although the practice is a subject of controversy.
The creator also claimed she asked if her husband could come, too, but the outlet was unclear on whether or not he could join her.
After purportedly spending $2,000 out of her own pocket to fly to Los Angeles, Leechin alleged the Sweety High offered to “pay [her] off.” In the video she explained, “She [a Sweety High employee] wanted to give me a bunch of money. … It wasn’t about the money for me, it was more about the experience. And after she found out I had reached out to the CEO [of the Grammys] she got very, very angry, and tried to offer more money to keep me quiet.”
Leechin, the Grammys, and Sweety High didn’t immediately respond to Passionfruit’s request for comment via email.
Update 9:02am CT, Feb. 7: In a statement to Passionfruit, Leechin reiterated her allegations in her TikTok videos, saying she trusted Sweety High because she was “someone who has never done something like this.”
“What Sweety High failed to understand is that I owed my followers an explanation for anything that would change on their or my end. When I signed the contract I was given the green light that all was good and I would see them on Friday and I could proceed with my deliverables for them. … I have not heard from Sweety High or the Grammys since I got the call on Friday canceling my attendance to the Grammys. That is when I decided to make a timeline video(s) so that I would not be falsely accused or considered a LIAR. I felt responsible for the video I posted January 31, 2023 and asked SweetyHigh how should I proceed when I was pulled from attending. Veronica (one of the owners) told me just to delete it. I could not do that and that’s when I felt Sweety High had deceived, manipulated and USED me for their own gain like I was disposable. I have learned moving forward that I will always speak my truth and protect myself anyway I can.”