Imagine this scenario: One morning you wake up to find that your character, credibility, reputation, and career have been destroyed by half-truths, twisted facts, and stories fabricated by a group of influencers that you once considered friends. Overnight you became a pariah, and everyone you considered a friend fled in the name of self-preservation or out of fear of speaking against these influencers and their platforms. To add insult to injury, some even hopped on the hype-train for their “5 seconds of fame”. This nightmare nearly drove me to suicide, and if it weren’t for my incredible support system, I don’t think I’d be here today.
In February, The Wrap’s film reporter, Umberto Gonzalez, published an “investigative” piece highlighting 5 influencers: Matt Ramos aka “Supes”, Taya Miller (anonymous contributor), Charmian Lee (anonymous contributor), Kode Abdo aka “Bosslogic” and Julian Green aka “Straw Hat Goofy” (anonymous contributor), who were supposedly upset about their work experience with me — none of this was disclosed to me by them. I worked with only 3 of these 5 and had a management agreement with just one, who I haven’t even spoken to in years. The exposé desperately tried to paint me as a shady manager who used young influencers for fame and fortune (I am neither famous nor rich), detailing many vague recollections of situations with no evidence. All the while, conveniently ignoring a Google Drive folder that I sent Gonzalez back in January (a month before the article went LIVE), featuring screenshots of texts, emails, invoices, bank transactions and DMs, along with detailed and lengthy summaries that completely negated their stories.
I’m still baffled at how The Wrap allowed this to be released and then touted as an “investigative” piece when the party in question provided immense evidence that was either purposefully taken out of context or completely ignored. Accusations that were initially brought up and proven to be lies were left out of the article completely. That is not investigative journalism, that is selective storytelling. Thankfully, Louisa Marshall with NickiSwift.com wrote multiple exclusives (PART 1, PART 2) and 2 follow-up pieces (PART 3, PART 4) on this situation, highlighting the evidence which brought a whole new level of understanding and context to a situation that was severely lacking.
At the core of this smear campaign is the weaponization and deliberate omission of a mutually beneficial collaboration. The narrative that I used them would imply that I didn’t provide any value or assistance and simply gained from my relationship with them. If you’re coaching, writing emails, building decks, attending meetings/events/photoshoots, creating new deal opportunities, making introductions to business contacts, managing campaigns, handling day-to-day communications with brands, editing footage, coordinating and completing social media verifications, and providing nearly round-the-clock availability, both personally and professionally, you are providing value. When someone “uses” you, they are getting tremendous value from you yet provide little to no help, assistance, or value in return — and generally leave abruptly once they’re done with you.
The 3rd image is a DM from Matt Ramos’ mother on Instagram.
In August of last year, I had a sit-down chat with Matt Ramos aka “Supes” about what I perceived to be his erratic and concerning behavior. I was worried that if he didn’t get control of his emotions and insecurities, they would ruin him.
Tantrums when he didn’t get his way: (Wasn’t the host for a major press junket, Didn’t get approved for an interview with top talent for a release, Wasn’t invited to a premiere) — I’ve blurred out the first half of the last name of the high-level Studio executive to which he was referring to — They are aware of this. (middle image)
He had a very aggressive mindset which I attributed to him being a motivated and determined young, naïve professional. I began to see an alarming pattern of him viciously speaking about his competition, people who he publicly treated like friends and yet privately would say things to me like “she’s done” or “I’m going to take everything they’ve ever worked for”.
In November, only a few months later, I had a similar conversation with him, offering what I believed to be a harsh but necessary dose of reality:
“Take away your social media, what are you?”
The young TikToker did not respond well to my attempt to keep him grounded and prevent him from going deeper down a path of arrogance, entitlement, and ego — which, unfortunately, we often see with young influencers. Days after that conversation, now a year ago, Matt completely cut me out of his life with no warning and began systematically dismantling everything I had built in my career — After being notified by multiple brands and contacts of what was being said and done, my attorneys issued cease & desist letters to Matt Ramos and Taya Miller about a month later.
Nothing was shared with my litigation counsel.
Ironically, I laughed off Matt’s “I’m going to take everything they’ve ever worked for” comments as a young kid motivating himself. Now, however, his statements ring true as that’s exactly what he did to me.
Sadly, I’ve seen clickbait, virality, and the desperate need for social media “fame” corrupt good people; morality, empathy and integrity are quickly abandoned in the process of attempting to expedite their “success”.
Charmian Lee, an acquaintance of mine for almost 5 years, recorded this testimonial almost 2 years ago. In the article she claimed I told her to leave college, when in reality I’ve written multiple letters of recommendation for her entry into college.
Social media has created a space where what once was private, is now utilized for content to create attention, sympathy and clicks for monetization, at whatever and whoever’s expense — with little to no repercussions. This small group of friends publicly attacked my reputation, character, and credibility with no evidence to support their claims. Taya Miller even went so far as to utilize her participation as one of the anonymous sources in the article to promote her new Twitter account by unveiling her identity in-line with the article going LIVE, gaining thousands of followers in the process.
Taya Miller’s last communication with me during her “traumatic experience”, a few days before my conversation with Matt and a week before they cut me off.
Things aren’t always as they seem, and the people you follow on the internet aren’t always who they portray themselves to be.
Their “victim campaign” on social media lasted 48–72 hours and they quickly moved on; yet I am still trying to pick up the pieces of my shattered life.
The practice of “innocent until proven guilty” seems to have been abandoned in my case. Why was there so much weight placed on the words of a group of influencers who provided no evidence to support their narrative? Why did no one ask me for my side of the story before making rash decisions? I wasn’t hiding and I had answers waiting, with evidence to support — Yet no one came to genuinely inquire (friends, business contacts, sponsors, etc.). I spent almost 2 decades working hard and building a good reputation for myself in the sports and entertainment industries; how was it so easily destroyed by unsubstantiated claims? I have almost as many years of working experience as Matt Ramos has been alive on this planet, yet credibility was instantly given to an inexperienced kid and his friends.
Julian Green (Straw Hat Goofy), Taya Miller, Matt Ramos (Supes), Charmian Lee (4 of the 5 in the article)
Photo Cred: Charmian Lee | Instagram
Matt and I were best friends and I truly looked at him as my little brother. I took him under my wing and taught him everything I could, both personally and professionally — I even took him on my family vacation to Hawaii in August of last year (just a few months before he cut me off).
The value we both brought to our collaborations was clear. I brought my experience, and he brought his social media platform.
One of these can disappear overnight, and it’s not my experience.
This situation provides a shocking example of the dangers of toxic influencers with large platforms. The truly scary part…if this can happen to me, it can happen to you. With platforms of this size, millions of young, passionate, impressionable followers can be so easily manipulated and weaponized to blindly spread misinformation and hatred. Since the day the article dropped I lost my sponsors, relationships that I cherished and my ability to earn a living. I was immediately removed from collaboration projects that I spent months building. The worst part — I was harassed and abused on social media daily, for months and sent thousands of the most vile, abhorrent, and hateful messages on every platform.
I’m sure some of you reading this now are saying “move on!”, “get over this already!”, “no one cares!”. For a moment, put yourself in my shoes — Imagine everything you’ve worked for in the last 15 years+ has been destroyed overnight by lies. From what we’ve observed about trauma, it doesn’t go away easily, and it certainly doesn’t go away after 48–72 hours. If you’re extremely lucky, it won’t be with you for the rest of your life. This has been the most alienating, hurtful, and horrifying experience and I truly wouldn’t wish it on anyone — For the first 5 months I couldn’t sleep without medication, suffered from depression, experienced panic attacks, lost weight due to lack of appetite, dealt with stomach/chest pain from the stress and there were days when I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue because I had lost everything, so what’s the point?
To be frank, Matt Ramos (Supes) and the other parties involved are very lucky they do not have my death on their conscience.
Now a year has gone by and thankfully I’m able to say I’m in a much better place mentally, physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, the lies that were told have devastated me professionally. Financially, I’m destroyed. My relationships have been damaged, seemingly beyond repair, and my ability to make a living, even trying to find a job now, feels impossible when you’ve been vilified and smeared publicly the way that I have — Hard to “move on” when you can’t move forward.
If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that we must do better. Content, clicks, followers, and social media pseudo-fame should not be prioritized over the health and well-being of others. Your words and actions, digital or otherwise, will leave an impact…make sure it’s a positive one. Lastly, no one, and I mean no one, should ever be put in a situation or environment to where they think suicide is the only option due to the words and actions of others (intentional or not), especially when the narrative is not based in truth.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.
- - - STORY UPDATE - - -
The day after posting this article, Bosslogic reached out to me directly via Direct Message on Instagram. We had a lengthy, yet great conversation and agreed the way this situation played out was completely unnecessary and it should've been handled differently. With a simple conversation, we would've been able to easily solve whatever issues or differences that existed without it going the route it did.
After our chat, we agreed to make a joint statement on social media, echoing what we discussed and moving forward from this in a positive, mature and professional manner.
We have since followed each other back on social media and have been communicating regularly and supporting each other's work and content ever since.
Friends grow apart, relationships end, and collaborations fall through. This is part of life, it happens every single day and people move on. Adversity is guaranteed in any relationship. Communication is pivotal to figure out issues or miscommunications when they occur, one way or another.
Sadly, there was no conversation or communication of any kind with the other individuals involved prior to things escalating to the point of an "investigative" piece being published by The Wrap.
A lot of pain and damage (personally and professionally) could've been easily avoided.