A man who says he was with gay YouTuber Calum McSwiggan on the night of an alleged anti-gay assault, has claimed the online personality fabricated the incident.
UPDATE: It is now being reported that police have attained CCTV of the incident, which they will not release as it is part of the ongoing investigation.
The revelation comes as McSwiggan appeared in court on Thursday to defend himself against charges of filing a false police report.
YouTube personality McSwiggan posted a photo of himself in a hospital bed on social media earlier this week, claiming that he was attacked outside a gay bar in West Hollywood Monday.
McSwiggan told his followers that he had three broken teeth and needed stitches in his head after being beaten up by “three guys” outside the club, saying it was “the worst night of his life”.
Nichols sent photos of the car which he says McSwiggan vandalised
He also said that the authorities had made him feel like a “second class citizen”.
West Hollywood police since said the YouTuber was arrested after officers witnessed him vandalising a car near the club.
Speaking in court today in LA, where he was formally charged, McSwiggan said he was “honestly really, really shocked and upset and honestly appalled that I now have a criminal charge against me for calling police in a time of need.”
“I think if somebody is a victim of a crime, that person should be given the benefit of the doubt and believed,” said McSwiggan, reports the Advocate.
“Just because there are no physical markings on my face other than the broken teeth, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t assaulted, and that is why the police think I wasn’t assaulted.”
Now a man who says he and two friends were with McSwiggan on the night of the incident, has said the YouTuber made up the story after becoming violent and vandalising his friend’s car.
Damien Nichols wrote on Facebook in response to a post by fellow YouTuber Melanie Murphy corroborating McSwiggan’s version of events, that he bumped into McSwiggan outside the Abbey club, and that the YouTuber had stolen a bottle of alcohol from the bar.
Murphy’s post said that McSwiggan chose not to press charges “out of fear”, and that police told them at the scene that “they’d likely only get a couple of weeks in jail, and they said stuff like this happens every night of the week.”
Writing on Facebook Nichols said: “WTF MAN! you were smashing peoples cars, you keyed my friends car! you stole a fucking bottle from the abbey. No one beat you up! you were the one acting crazy! You need to apologize for this, honestly we have gay bashing all over this world, every day. Young men and women are killed, for being gay. Don’t cry wolf!”
He later posted urging friends and followers not to threaten McSwiggan, saying: “Please don’t threaten Calum, yes what he did was wrong; creating a false allegation about a hate crime is definitely a severe issue. I would like him to apologize about this, and fix my friends car. That is still no excuse to threaten him, especially with violence. He made a mistake, which could have put an innocent man in jail, but he didn’t kill anyone or even physically hurt anyone but himself. The truth is out and this is an individual, not our community. Boycott not threaten. Thank you, I love you all for your positive support.”
Nichols spoke to PinkNews from a police station in West Hollywood, to say that McSwiggan was drunk and became violent towards his straight friend. Nichols says he was with two friends, one gay and one straight, and that McSwiggan had shown erratic behaviour, eventually vandalising his friend’s Lexus.
He said he planned to make a statement to police.
Speaking to PinkNews, Nichols alleged: “Faking a hate crime is a horrible thing, abusing the system that protects us from such things as hate crimes only devalues the voices of actual true victims and victims of the future.
“If I, as a gay man, were to get gay bashed walking down the street, my honesty might have to be questioned because people like Callum want to use such a serious topic to gain fame.”
Earlier, speaking To KCAL9, Nichols said: “It’s all completely made up,” referring to McSwiggan’s statement.
“He destroyed someone else’s car, and then he tells the police and tells the media that the person’s car he destroyed is beating him up? Absurd,” he adds.
Nichols added that he was upset that McSwiggan would allegedly fabricate a hate crime so soon after the Orlando mass shooting, saying it is “inexcusable”.
Speaking in court on Thursday, McSwiggan was asked about Nichols and said: “I don’t know that name.”
The YouTuber is due back in court on 19 July.
Holly M. Perez – captain of the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – told The Advocate that McSwiggan had no “visible injuries” up his arrest, sharing his mugshot (above) to substantiate their claim.
The YouTuber released a lengthy statement on Wednesday evening titled ‘The truth and full story of the events on June 26th’, refuting the police report, maintaining that he had been attacked.
Police have since released a statement saying that McSwiggan has been charged with filing the false report, as well as vandalising a car, and will appear in court.
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A statement from authorities read: “Calum McSwiggan, who is known for his online posts and videos, is scheduled to be in court today on a charge of making a false police report, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
“McSwiggan (dob 5/21/90) of London faces one misdemeanor count of false report to a peace officer that a felony was committed in case 6AR31941.
“Arraignment is scheduled today in Department W73 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.
“On June 27, McSwiggan allegedly falsely reported to police that he had been beaten by three men, prosecutors said.
“The defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of 364 days in county jail if convicted as charged.
“The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, West Hollywood Station.”
If convicted, McSwiggan faces a maximum of 364 days in county jail.
Earlier this year, the video-maker spoke to PinkNews ahead of uploading earlier a video in which he revealed his past performing sex acts on webcam for money.