It’s been a rough few months for YouTube star Calum McSwiggan.
In June, the 26-year-old internet celebrity claimed he was the victim of a violent antigay hate crime outside the Abbey in West Hollywood that allegedly left him “with three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead.”
“Last night was the worst night of my life and I’m really struggling to find the words to talk about it,” he said in an Instagram post. “I’ve never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye.”
Sources at West Hollywood’s Sheriff’s Station, however, were quick to refute McSwiggan’s claims.
Captain Holly Perez said McSwiggan was examined in the parking lot of Pavilions grocery store on Santa Monica Boulevard the night of the alleged attack, and that he showed absolutely no signs of any injuries. Not just that, but he was seen ripping a rearview mirror off an automobile and scratching the paint on another car. When he was taken to police station holding cell, Perez reported, he allegedly started hitting his face with a telephone receiver. And that’s when he was taken to the hospital.
McSwiggan later admitted to busting his own face with the phone, but, he says, it was only out of desperation. “I knew I had to injure myself to get out of the cell and into a hospital,” he said, “and it was the only solution I could find to get myself out of there.”
McSwiggan was eventually charged with filing a false police report, as well as with vandalizing a car.
After missing his first scheduled court appearance because it conflicted with his vacation to Spain, McSwiggan appeared before a Los Angeles court yesterday, where he entered a not guilty plea to both of the charges against him.
Throughout all this, McSwiggan has insisted that the hate crime happened and had voiced frustration over people thinking he’s made the whole thing up.
“Many people are trying to discredit my story but this is the full and entire truth,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “Just because there were no visible marks on my face does not mean I was not attacked.”
He continued: “Being accused of being a liar and being called a disgrace to the LGBT+ community, a community I’ve dedicated my life to, is more painful than any hate crime could ever be.”
A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for November 7. If convicted, McSwiggan could face up to a year in jail.