- David Dobrik’s Vlog Squad is one of the most beloved friend groups on YouTube.
- Now, an extra in a 2018 vlog says she was too intoxicated to consent to sex with Dominykas Zeglaitis, aka Durte Dom, during the night they were filming for the vlog.
- The same woman says she was raped and that she believes the video’s portrayal of the sex as consensual is inaccurate.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A group of seven college students were on their way to meet David Dobrik, but Hannah didn’t know who he was.
The friends piled into one of their cars to go shoot a video with Dobrik’s YouTube-famous posse the Vlog Squad. Hannah knew her friends watched videos made by the group, yet had no idea how famous they really were.
At the time, November 2018, Dobrik was about to surpass 10 million YouTube subscribers and was well on his way to being one of the platform’s biggest stars. David and the Vlog Squad are known for their fast-paced comedy videos that have been described as “half-scripted.” The content feels like a mix of reality TV, improv, and situational comedy.
By March 2020, he’d be named “Gen Z’s Jimmy Fallon” by The Wall Street Journal, living in a $US9.5 ($12) million mansion with a $US200,000 ($258,092) Aston Martin, thanks to lucrative sponsorships with brands such as SeatGeek and Chipotle, which once sold a burrito named after him.
Earlier that day, some of the students had begun chatting over Instagram with a Vlog Squad member who went by the name Durte Dom. Dom, whose real name is Dominykas Zeglaitis, said he wanted to “hook up” with them – according to direct-message transcripts reviewed by Insider – and some of Hannah’s friends were interested. That night, Hannah would become ensnared in the no-holds-barred, clicks-and-cash-fueled lifestyle that the Vlog Squad members celebrated in their videos.
The students who had watched Dobrik’s videos knew Zeglaitis played a character in the vlogs who was a sex addict. They didn’t know where the character started and ended, and weren’t sure whether they were actually supposed to be having sex with him that night.
“The sexy stuff won’t be in the vlog, right?” they asked over direct messages on Instagram.
“Might need to take a pic just to show dave so he believes me haha,” Zeglaitis, age 23 at the time, replied, presumably referring to Dobrik.
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Hannah, a 20-year-old sophomore at a private liberal-arts school in Los Angeles at the time, didn’t know what to expect, but she was up for an adventure.
She said she couldn’t have predicted what would happen that evening, she said, and that the events have left her with trauma.
In phone interviews with Insider, Hannah accused Zeglaitis of rape by engaging in sexual activity with her that night while she was so incapacitated by alcohol that she could not consent. She says members of the Vlog Squad supplied alcohol to her and her friends, who were too young to buy it themselves.
Dobrik filmed Hannah at the apartment, and as she entered Zeglaitis’ bedroom with him. He edited and uploaded the footage as a “threesome” plot a few days later, in a vlog called “SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE PLAYED WITH FIRE!!” Before it was deleted at Hannah’s request, it was viewed 5 million times.
Hannah spoke with Insider on the condition of anonymity out of concern that sharing her full name could affect employment opportunities. (In this story, her name and those of her friends who went with her to Zeglaitis’ apartment are not their real names, but pseudonyms chosen by Insider, which is aware of their real identities.)
In late February, when Insider first reached out to Zeglaitis about Hannah’s story, he said he didn’t want to talk about the Vlog Squad but would speak to his “own achievements.” Reached again in early March about the allegations, he declined to comment.
Insider also reached out to Dobrik’s management and each member of the Vlog Squad who appeared in the scenes featuring Hannah – Jason Nash, Jeff Wittek, Todd Smith, Nick Antonyan, and Brandon Calvillo. Only Wittek responded.
The same attorney, Bryan Freedman, released an additional statement to Insider that said “David will be addressing his community directly.” The statement went on to say “Anyone who knows him knows he does not condone misconduct in any form. Vlog participants provide consent before anything is posted. Whenever consent is retracted, posts are removed. Any insinuation of wrongdoing is inaccurate and defamatory.”
Hannah says she quickly felt uncomfortable with the Vlog Squad members
The video filmed the night Hannah says she was assaulted follows a classic Dobrik vlog format. It’s 4 minutes and 20 seconds long and includes a celebrity cameo and comedy scenes featuring Dobrik’s friends.
Zeglaitis appears 2 minutes and 13 seconds in, according to a copy of the video reviewed by Insider. “I invited these girls over to have a five-some,” he says, implying that he’ll have sex with four women at once. “So hopefully I’ll have a five-some tonight.”
The next shot is of Hannah and her friends walking into the apartment on Hollywood and Highland, where Dobrik, Zeglaitis, and other Vlog Squad members are gathered.
As soon as she walked in the door, Hannah said, someone shoved a camera in her face. She has one line of dialogue in the video: As she and her friends sit down on the couch, Hannah is heard saying she doesn’t actually know who anyone in the Vlog Squad is.
“Get the fuck out!” Vlog Squad member Nash yells in response as everyone laughs. In real life, Hannah says she didn’t find the banter funny. At one point, she said, Nash, who was 45 at the time, made a comment along the lines of “Oh, you have a personality? Hot girls like you usually don’t.”
“I immediately felt really uncomfortable because I was under the impression that we were going to meet these cool creators, we were going to hang out, maybe film something,” Hannah told Insider. “It was high pressure from the moment we walked in.”
Hannah and her friend Sarah, who drove everyone to the apartment, told Insider that they never intended to have group sex with Zeglaitis that night, a hesitance reflected in the vlog. In his voiceover, Dobrik says, “After a couple minutes of talking, it was clear there was no five-some happening.” But, Dobrik added, “by some stroke of luck and master negotiating, Dom made progress.”
Hannah told Insider that she felt pressured by Zeglaitis and the other Vlog Squad members into helping them create content that objectified her. She said Zeglaitis took turns interacting with Hannah and her friends, and that he pulled her onto his lap at one point without asking permission.
“It was very much an environment where it felt like saying ‘no’ was not OK,” Hannah said. “It felt like from the moment we came there was an expectation that they were doing us a favor and we had to give them content. They were verbally, like, ‘Why aren’t you guys being fun? Do something sort of sexy.'”
Hannah said Zeglaitis started calling her “baby” and asking her if she wanted to be his “Instagram girlfriend.” She said Zeglaitis told her she could make $US10,000 ($12,905) a week and become famous if she agreed, but Hannah says she declined and Zeglaitis briefly seemed to move on from her.
As the night went on, Hannah says Zeglaitis became aggressive
A while later, Hannah said Zeglaitis approached her again and asked if he could talk to her. She agreed, and said Zeglaitis led her out of the room her friends were in, down a hallway, and into a pitch-black bedroom.
Hannah says Zeglaitis “guided” her in through the door, and she said she quickly turned around and told him that she wanted to go back to where her friends were. But Zeglaitis blocked the exit with his body, Hannah said, and started asking her why she didn’t like him and wouldn’t date him. Hannah said Zeglaitis asked if they could “hook up.” She replied “No,” she told Insider.
“He was, like, ‘No, you at least have to give me a kiss,” Hannah said. “I was getting really scared because he wasn’t letting me leave, my friends were in a totally different part of the house. I was, like, ‘What happens if I keep saying no?’ So I just gave him a kiss.”
She returned to where her friends were sitting, she said, and around that time she said a couple members of the Vlog Squad returned with a bottle of dark-colored liquor.
Trisha Paytas, a former Vlog Squad member, told Insider she was at the apartment for about 45 minutes that night with Hannah and her friends. Paytas said the night was “not a good situation.” She said she left because the women were drinking while underage, which felt “insane” to her. Paytas also said the women made it clear they did not want to have group sex with Zeglaitis.
“They were, like, ‘Oh shit: We’re here, but we don’t want to have sex,'” Paytas said.
Paytas told Insider that Vlog Squad member Jeff Wittek went to go buy liquor for the party after she told Nash, her boyfriend at the time, not to. Paytas said she and Nash left before Wittek got back.
Paytas and Nash are no longer dating, and she has frequently criticized Dobrik and Nash on social media, including for what she claims is a pattern of behavior that exploits young women. She also made a TikTok stating that she once crashed her car into Nash’s house while high on meth. Dobrik’s fans have questioned Paytas’ credibility, including by citing her history of negative posts about Dobrik and Nash.
Hannah’s friend Sarah, who said she didn’t drink that night because she was driving, told Insider she remembers Todd Smith asking the group what kind of alcohol people wanted. Sarah also said she remembers Smith and Wittek coming back to the apartment with Smith holding a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Sarah shared a photo with Insider of Zeglaitis sitting with Hannah and her friends alongside a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey and a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi.
In a phone call with Insider, Wittek denied buying the alcohol and said he didn’t think Smith would have bought it either, though he said Smith “loves whiskey.”
“At this point, I can’t really remember much,” Hannah said. “I just remember being really uncomfortable and being honestly really upset and angry that my friends thought these guys were really cool and they’re really just objectifying and gross.”
Hannah’s friends say Zeglaitis had sex with her while she was ‘blacked out’
Hannah said she drank so much alcohol the night she filmed with the Vlog Squad that she blacked out. Sarah told Insider that Hannah wanted to go to Zeglaitis’ room with Zeglaitis and their friend Audrey. Though Sarah said she could tell that Hannah was drunk, she was comfortable with letting her go into the room because Hannah wouldn’t be alone with Zeglaitis.
“I just remember seeing her and Dom talking a lot,” added Sarah, who said Hannah and Zeglaitis were both drinking. “They were both on the floor, and definitely a lot of alcohol was being exchanged and kind of, like, nudged toward her. There were definitely times she was drinking it of her own volition, but there were also times where he was clearly trying to get her to drink more.”
Sarah said Hannah was able to walk into the room, but that she could tell Hannah was drunk because she started talking excessively and expressed “abstract thoughts” – things that Sarah said Hannah usually did when she was drunk.
“She was not fully coherent and articulate,” Sarah said. “You could tell she was definitely affected by something. It was very obvious in the way she was speaking, which was very fast and a lot.”
Once Hannah and Audrey were in the room with Zeglaitis, Sarah said the other members of the Vlog Squad started trying to listen in. Some of them even opened the door to look at what was happening, Sarah said. In retrospect, Sarah thought it was “disgusting” that people were watching.
“Obviously she did not consent to the act itself, but she especially did not consent to having multiple men peek their heads in to confirm what was happening,” Sarah said. Sarah said that Zeglaitis locked the door to the bedroom at one point while he was having sex to stop the other Vlog Squad members from coming in.
Sarah said Dobrik was among the Vlog Squad members trying to look into the room. She shared a video of Dobrik she took that night with Insider in which Dobrik can be seen responding to someone asking if he found “success” in getting into the room with Zeglaitis, Hannah, and Audrey. “No, he locked the door,” Dobrik responds in the video, camera in hand.
Sarah said that Zeglaitis and Audrey came out of the room first, and that Sarah went in after him to find Hannah lying “limp” on the bed. Sarah said she was immediately concerned, and that she remembered Hannah tugging on her ear and asking where her earring was.
Hannah said she does not remember having sex with Zeglaitis, and that Audrey told her Zeglaitis performed sexual acts on her that were penetrative. Specifically, Hannah said Audrey told her that Zeglaitis was having sex with Hannah and didn’t stop as Hannah showed signs of losing consciousness, so Audrey “took over” to get Zeglaitis to stop.
Audrey declined to comment. But in a text she sent to Hannah this month about their night with Zeglaitis, she wrote, “I remember you were starting to close your eyes and just were obviously drunk so I finished him off just to get him away from you.” Hannah shared the text with Insider.
After Zeglaitis finished, Hannah said, she was too drunk to dress herself. “What I do remember is lying on the bed in that room alone, and my roommate at the time coming in and being super worried and putting my underwear on me because I couldn’t do that by myself,” Hannah said.
Sarah said she and Hannah’s roommate took her into Zeglaitis’ bathroom, where Hannah couldn’t stand or sit up on the toilet by herself. Sarah said Hannah fell over and passed out on the bathroom floor briefly, and when Hannah’s friends pulled her back up, Sarah said they had to “pull trig” (slang for forcing someone to vomit).
The California penal code says that “rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator where a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by the accused.” Hannah never contacted the police, and no charges have ever been filed against Zeglaitis.
After Hannah threw up, Sarah and her friends had to physically support Hannah’s body as they exited the apartment. Sarah shared a photo with Insider she says was taken that night that shows Hannah leaning against one of their other friends outside the apartment. Dobrik, Antonyan, Smith, and Wittek are visible in the picture. Sarah says she watched Dobrik’s Tesla pull out of the apartment building as she walked with Hannah back to her parked car.
Sarah said Hannah started vomiting again back at their dorm. When she finally got Hannah into her bed, Sarah said, she started asking questions about what had just happened. Dread started to seep in, Sarah said, when Hannah didn’t seem to remember leaving campus at all.
The next morning, Hannah said she woke up and still felt “extremely drunk.” When she looked at her phone, she saw a text conversation with Zeglaitis and photos from the night before. She texted him that “anything at ur discretion is ok for the vlog just maybe not anything that a future employer could use against me.”
Hannah said she still had no memory of having sex the night before. Then her friends woke up, and Sarah said she told Hannah for a second time that Zeglaitis had sex with her.
“That’s when I started internally freaking out because it’s concerning enough that the first time she didn’t remember it. The second time was really scary,” Sarah said.
When she finally started to process the scope of what she had been told had happened, Hannah said she tried to laugh it off. For two days, Dobrik didn’t post any footage of her or their night at the apartment, and Hannah said she tried not to think about it.
Then, on November 28, the vlog came out.
Hannah says she struggled to process the footage in Dobrik’s vlog
In the vlog that featured Hannah, the bit about the “threesome” includes scenes that Sarah said were shot that night as well as a scene Sarah said was reshot but made to look like it occurred that night. In the scenes shot as the sex was occurring, Dobrik and Vlog Squad members Smith, Wittek, Antonyan, Ernst, and Calvillo joke about Zeglaitis having sex with Hannah and Audrey.
In one scene, Wittek is standing in the hallway outside Zeglaitis’ room and says, “We just need to get in there to get a headcount for the vlog.” Wittek opens the door and tells Dobrik there are three people in the room. Then, Antonyan opens the door and says, “Oh, my God” while Dobrik laughs. Smith says, “I’m kinda getting horny just like listening to this,” and the four men laugh.
In the next scene, Zeglaitis is standing in his room drenched in “sweat.” Sarah said she did not believe this scene was shot while she and Hannah were at the apartment, and that Zeglaitis wasn’t actually dripping sweat that night. Zeglaitis says “Thanks, David” and gives him a high-five after Dobrik asks if it was his “first threesome.” Then, Zeglaitis asks Ernst to smell his finger, and Ernst says the finger smells like “Brandon’s sister.”
At the end of the vlog, Dobrik films himself, Smith, and Calvillo in the car. Sarah said this appeared to have been filmed the same night, since the men are wearing the same clothes and had let the building in the same Tesla. In the scene Dobrik says, “Dom just had a threesome and I think we’re all – ” before Smith interrupts him to say “going to jail.” Dobrik laughs and says “I think we’re all going to jail.” Calvillo says “See you in 20 years.”
In a podcast interview with Travis Mills recorded the day the vlog with Hannah was posted, Dobrik recalled Dom inviting the women over for a staged “five-some.”
“When they all got there they were, like, ‘Oh no, I don’t want to have sex, I don’t want to have sex,'” Dobrik told Mills. “Except two of the girls wanted to have sex, so he ended up having a threesome. Which was still his first threesome, and it was very exciting for him.”
Mills asked if the other Vlog Squad members peeked into the room to confirm Zeglaitis was having sex with two women, as they were depicted in the vlog, and Dobrik said, “Yeah, well, you know, he didn’t have sex with them unless we saw it with our own eyes.”
Dobrik went on to say that he was “always pretty good at asking” his friends for permission to put their clickbait-worthy moments in the vlog. There is no sex shown in the vlog, but Hannah told Insider what ended up being portrayed in the video about her was “totally misconstrued,” since it doesn’t show the extent of her intoxication.
“It seemed like I had a super-fun night with these famous vloggers basically, which is not what happened,” she said. “Every single person that I know is messaging me, ‘You were in David Dobrik’s vlog, that’s so cool.’ Or ‘Oh my God, I saw the vlog you were in.'”
On the day the vlog was released, it was viewed more than 800,000 times. People came up to Hannah in the library and in line at the coffee shop to talk about it, she said. Hannah said her little sister even texted her about overhearing people at Hannah’s old high school talking about the vlog in the bathroom. It made Hannah feel “so alone,” she said.
“It’s difficult to describe how it feels knowing that millions of strangers have seen a video of me in a night that affected me and traumatized me in nearly incomprehensible ways, not knowing that anything was wrong,” Hannah said.
The first time Hannah said she described what happened that night as “rape,” she said she was in the back of a cab in her hometown after a night of drinking with a friend. It was over winter break, a month after she filmed with the Vlog Squad. The next morning, Hannah said her friend asked her if she remembered that she had a panic attack in the car and said “I was raped” over and over again on the way home.
“I don’t want that to be my identity. It’s not my identity. I can comfortably say I was the victim of rape, but I don’t identify as a victim,” Hannah said. “That’s just something that happened to me. And so that’s why I didn’t speak to anyone about it for a long time.”
After she processed the events of the night with the Vlog Squad, Hannah said she did research about the legal system in California and decided it wouldn’t be worth pursuing a case because she was so intoxicated at the time. But she still wanted to do something.
On February 2, 2019, Paytas uploaded a since deleted video accusing Dobrik of being “an actual horrible person” who she said, along with Nash, exploited young women in his vlogs. Hannah watched the video and said it made her wonder if other women also felt objectified while filming with the Vlog Squad. Three months later after she last texted Zeglaitis, Hannah decided to reach back out.
Even after the vlog was gone, Hannah still struggled to find closure
Shortly before midnight on a Monday in February 2019, Hannah sent Zeglaitis a long text message.
“It’s incredibly disturbing to me to have a video online that documents an entire night that I have no recollection of, and have everyone around me view that as a reflection of my character, especially considering the mature content,” Hannah wrote in the text to Zeglaitis. “Looking back on the experience, I feel taken advantage of.”
“I did NOT want to participate in sexual contact with any of the men in the room,” she also wrote.
Just over an hour later, Zeglaitis wrote back “Okay, I respect your wishes. The videos down.” Neither Zeglaitis nor anyone else in the Vlog Squad ever said anything to Hannah again.
“It took me two weeks to muster up the courage to essentially reach out to him and tell him how I perceived and felt about the situation,” Hannah said. “It’s not a place for me to say whether or not he should say sorry, and I don’t expect that from him, but to not even have these things that were obviously deeply vulnerable for me to say acknowledged whatsoever was, quite frankly, mean.”
Hannah said she was glad the vlog was off Dobrik’s channel, but that she still deals with the psychological effects of the night to this day. When she drinks, she said she still experiences panic attacks sometimes. If she’s having sex with a new partner after drinking, she said she sometimes starts crying uncontrollably.
“I have nightmares where I’m raped, and when I’m not dreaming I can’t recall what Dom’s voice sounds like or what any of their voices sound like, but when I have these dreams I hear his voice,” Hannah said. “That’s really fucking weird and disturbing, knowing that somewhere in my brain this incident is so alive.”
At the same time Hannah says she was processing her trauma, Zeglaitis’ appearances in the vlogs were becoming less frequent, and by the end of 2019, he had stopped appearing entirely.
In November 2019, Zeglaitis uploaded a video explaining why he didn’t appear on Dobrik’s channel anymore, saying he wanted to pursue other opportunities. Zeglaitis has since released music as Durte Dom, along with Dobrik-style vlogs of his own on YouTube.
Zeglaitis had previously been accused of sexual assault
Zeglaitis was one of Dobrik’s childhood friends and moved out to Los Angeles to build an influencer career from scratch. He’s one of more than two dozen returning cast members in Dobrik’s vlogs, and, like many of them, his relationship with Dobrik yielded financial success, online fame, and a platform to reach millions of fans. Zeglaitis now has over 1.2 million Instagram followers and nearly 900,000 YouTube subscribers.
Before Zeglaitis invited Hannah to the apartment that night, he had already been publicly accused of sexual assault. The YouTuber Ally Hardesty said Zeglaitis reached down her shirt to grope her bare breast without her consent at a 2017 party and that he forcibly kissed her after she repeatedly told him to stop. The same week, the comedian Elijah Daniel also accused Zeglaitis of groping Daniel’s friend “3 times without consent.”
In response to Hardesty and Daniel, Zeglaitis posted an apology video. In it, Zeglaitis said the accusations against him were not “100% true” but “to an extent they are.” He didn’t specify which allegations, but Zeglaitis said he was “aggressive” and “too intense” when approaching women, and that he had come to understand he was being disrespectful. He also apologized for bringing “bad energy” to the videos he made with his friends.
Dobrik commented under Zeglaitis’ apology: “Proud of you Dom. Being an idiot is easy. Owning up to it is tough! Glad you made this!!!” He didn’t make any other public statements of support for Zeglaitis, but on June 28, two days earlier, a fan account for Dobrik tweeted screenshots purported to be direct messages from Dobrik to one of his fan groups.
In the 2017 messages, Dobrik wrote: “I’ve read all of it but guys idk what Dom does when he’s not around me lol I can’t control him.” He also wrote, “Yea I mean we are obviously done with those jokes… didn’t know they were so close to reality.”
After Insider reached out to Zeglaitis with Hannah’s claims, he uploaded a YouTube video addressing backlash against the Vlog Squad. Zeglaitis did not address Hannah’s accusations in the video.
Hannah said her hope in sharing her accusations against Zeglaitis is partly that he and Dobrik and the other members of the Vlog Squad recognize her perspective of that night. But she said she doesn’t assume or expect there will be a process of accountability.
“Of course it would be nice to get an apology, to get them to admit what they did wrong,” Hannah said. “I was exploited for content and stripped of autonomy and a voice.”
Steven Asarch contributed reporting.
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