- Natalie Mariduena confirmed that she was “standing by [Dobrik] 100%” following his controversies.
- She said in a recent podcast that Dobrik “just happened to be there” when an alleged rape occurred.
- Mariduena and Dobrik were childhood friends, with Mariduena later working as his assistant.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
David Dobrik’s childhood friend Natalie Mariduena spoke publicly for the first time about the criticism he faced earlier this year when a member of the Vlog Squad was accused of rape.
She discussed her relationship with Dobrik in the latest episode of the “BFFs” podcast released on Wednesday, which is hosted by TikTok star Josh Richards and Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy.
When Portnoy asked her about the allegations and subsequent backlash against Dobrik, she responded, “It’s tough, and I’ve never talked about it publicly.”
She went on to defend Dobrik, who recently returned to YouTube after a three-month hiatus. Mariduena said, “I know him the best out of everybody and I think it’s really s—ty. I think that everything that happened was really s—ty and he’s a really great guy. And it really sucks to see someone who’s actually a good person being accused of terrible things.”
On March 16, Insider reported that a woman accused Dominykas Zeglaitis, aka “Durte Dom,” of raping her in 2018. Zeglaitis is Dobrik’s former friend and was previously a member of his YouTube collective the Vlog Squad. On the night in question, the accuser and her friends were appearing as extras in a video that would go on to be posted to Dobrik’s YouTube channel. The video was subsequently deleted.
The accuser, who went by the pseudonym “Hannah,” and her friends also alleged that fellow Vlog Squad member, Mariduena’s boyfriend Todd Smith, bought her and her friends alcohol despite them being under the legal drinking age.
After the allegations came to light, Dobrik faced backlash and was dropped by several high-profile brands before releasing an apology video on March 22. He then stopped posting to social media for several months before making a return to his YouTube channel with regular vlogs on June 16.
When asked if she “stood behind [him] 100%” in light of the allegations against him and the Vlog Squad, Mariduena said: “Yeah, he’s my best friend.”
Referring to the rape allegations against Zeglaitis directly, she added: “Even the s— that went down, it was really about another dude. Another guy did something and David just happened to be there.”
Mariduena is a childhood friend of Dobrik. She previously worked as his assistant and they co-founded the photo-sharing app Dispo.
Following the accusations against Zeglaitis, Mariduena posted a statement on Twitter, saying, “Like many of you, I’m upset and angry and do not condone the behavior detailed in the article or any sexual misconduct/abuse for that matter. I want to make it clear that I acknowledge, hear and support those who came forward and I stand by the victims.”
On July 19, vlogger and former Vlog Squad fan Javier Aliaga posted a video of him confronting Mariduena and Dobrik in person, asking them both: “Who gave the alcohol to young girls?”
While Dobrik shook his head and walked away, saying that Aliaga doesn’t “know the details of anything,” Mariduena accused Aliaga of spreading “conspiracy theories.”
Aliaga later called out Mariduena for “laughing” and “smiling” throughout the encounter, during which he mentioned that her boyfriend, Smith, was accused by Hannah and her friends of buying them alcohol.