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A female TikTok influencer is under fire after allegedly grooming an underage fan, after video of the two kissing and cuddling circulated online.
19-year-old Zoe LaVerne is facing backlash for kissing and maintaining an inappropriate relationship with her 13 year old fan.
Video of the pair kissing circulated online, drawing harsh criticism from fans, who accused her of having groomed the child. Zoe's mother defended her on live stream, saying "Anybody can reach over and kiss somebody. They’re best friends.”
The multiple videos that circulated showed Laverne and fan Connor Joyce kissing romantically, cuddling, and holding hands, as documented by YouTuber Def Noodles.
After making a tearful appearance on yet another live stream from her mother, LaVerne acknowledged the situation and offered what some are calling an apology in which she insisted that she and her young fan "never had a relationship" even though they had mutual feelings for each other.
"I would like to say i am aware of what was leaked.. but connor was nor raped etc. connor and I kissed yes.. never had a relationship but we did catch feelings for each other after being so close," LaVerne wrote. "These videos were from months ago and we both realized it was wrong and we both cut it off."
Laverne went on, saying that she had already told Joyce's mother about the situation. "She wasn’t happy obviously but she understood that we are both teenagers and that feelings can be caught.
"I am aware that I am an adult and I am aware that I have done something wrong and I am very sorry for what I have done. Connor and I will go live together as soon as this all calms down and explain our selves."
She also noted that she and Connor had cut off communication, writing "we are still friends but we think it’s best to stop talking and work on each other’s mental health and spend time with our family’s [sic]."
Joyce also acknowledged the situation on live stream, telling followers that he is "not running away from the situation" and that he plans on addressing it in the future, but that "right now...I'm not stable enough to do so."