On Monday, Trisha Paytas released a video distancing themself from their former podcast co-host Colleen Ballinger, whose former fans recently accused of sending sexual and inappropriate messages to minors and using followers as cheap or free labor.
In Paytas’ video, which amassed over 1.9 million views, the controversial creator and OnlyFans star discussed how “disgusted” they were after news broke last week that Colleen Ballinger allegedly mocked Paytas by sending their nude photographs to underaged people.
“I feel like this is beyond drama,” Paytas said. “Even though my feelings are very hurt, I’ve had a sick-to-my-stomach feeling for a while now.”
Paytas and Ballinger were “friendly” over the years, releasing multiple videos together since 2018. But when Paytas had a daughter in September 2022, the pair decided to do a podcast about going through cancellations and motherhood. Paytas claimed that they were unaware of the allegations about Ballinger until stories started to spread. Paytas noted they take a strong stance against adult celebrities “talking to anyone underage.”
When Ballinger’s infamous ukulele “apology” video came out, Paytas says they were “shocked that [Ballinger] didn’t take accountability” but still believed the words of someone they knew and were “friendly with.” But that quickly changed.
“I will never speak on Colleen again,” Paytas said in their latest video. “She doesn’t exist to me anymore.”
A Troubling Timeline
Weeks before Ballinger’s ukulele apology video came out, Johnny Silvestri, who had worked on one of Ballinger’s tours and spoken with her often, tweeted that Ballinger and “her friends” would host “viewing parties just to body shame and make fun of” Paytas. Paytas claims when these rumors first started circulating, they confronted Ballinger, who assured Paytas she had “never sent photos of (Paytas)” and that it was actually the fan sending the nude photographs.
“I do not condone sending unsolicited nudes,” Paytas said. “Using nudes as a way to make fun of someone or make light of them is the lowest form of human intelligence. I think that’s so disgusting.”
On Monday morning, Silvestri tweeted multiple conversations showing Ballinger mocking Paytas’ nude OnlyFans content while he was 21. Adam McIntyre, a YouTuber who claims Ballinger sent him multiple inappropriate sexual messages and a pair of women’s lingerie when he was underage, confirmed in his own video that Ballinger also sent him nude images of Paytas while he was underage.
“Trisha none of this is your fault, you don’t need to apologize for it,” McIntyre said in his video. “I’m really sorry that even though I was 14, I was engaging in these conversations with her.”
After McIntyre’s original video discussing the claims released on June 4, Paytas was still positive about Ballinger. “I love Colleen and getting to know her on such a deeper level,” Paytas said in a June 11 video. “She’s so sweet in every way and just so understanding.”
Trisha Paytas is Confusing
Trisha Paytas is one of the internet’s most confusing public figures. They first rose to fame as an internet troll in the late 2000s, posting tongue-in-cheek videos asking if “dogs have brains” and admitting they planned to vote for Mitt Romney because they found him attractive. Over the next two decades, they became a YouTube fixture, regularly posting make-up tutorials while gaining infamy from meltdowns on the kitchen floor and claiming they “identify as a chicken nugget.”
They told Business Insider in 2015 that they used to think “dumbing [them]self down” would get attention and views without “really understanding” more people would watch if they were “true” to themself.
Paytas reached a new audience from a brief collaboration with Ethan Klein of h3h3 Productions on the Frenemies podcast. While filming, Paytas got engaged and eventually married Moses Klein, Ethan’s brother-in-law, and the family’s issues would often boil over into content. The series lasted 41 episodes, with Paytas finally leaving after a series of public-facing meltdowns soured the working partnership.
But over the past year and a half, Paytas became less the center of YouTube drama. After becoming pregnant, Paytas’ content shifted to family vlogging and they’ve stayed out of the spotlight. Paytas’ entire career is built as a troll, actively monetizing drama for personal gain (and to promote their OnlyFans). So it’s a bit hard to take Paytas’ word as fact. Still, others have come to Paytas’ defense.
Trisha Paytas is rightfully upset with Colleen Ballinger, and it’s fascinating to see the internet take Paytas’ side for a change. After decades of drama and intentional trolling, seeing a genuine Paytas comes off as a bit other-worldly. But growth can happen in all forms, even with one of the internet’s most notorious trolls.