It's maddening how famous and wealthy Jake Paul and his elder brother Logan continue to be, considering how many reprehensible acts they've literally filmed themselves committing. In her latest column for the New York Times, tech reporter Taylor Lorenz did a deep-dive on the Team 10 house that Jake Paul founded in 2016. Not super surprisingly, she dug up way more evidence that Paul and his cronies are the worst.
Nowadays, "collab houses" are commonplace, with influencers bunking together in lavish mansions and creating content as a group. When Paul launched Team 10, he pretty much pioneered the idea that these social media communes could also function as lucrative business entities. "Team 10 didn’t invent the collab house, but they became the most famous collab house and really defined it. They created the culture," Brendan Gahan, chief social officer at ad agency Mekanism, told the Times.
As Lorenz helped illuminate, toxic things were brewing behind the scenes at the Team 10 house. When he was 14, aspiring musician AJ Mitchell was recruited by Paul to join the collective. While his parents were skeptical, they were swayed by the magnitude of the opportunity. Mitchell and the other Team 10 members got to live in a Los Angeles mansion for free, and by association with Paul, their followings would balloon. In return, the rising influencers agreed to produce regular content and participate in brand deals brokered by Paul.
But when money was clearly coming in, Mitchell and the others never benefitted. “People see these mansions and they see people living like royalty, but no one knew I was sleeping on the floor or I didn’t have food,” Mitchell, who's now 19, told the Times. When Mitchell was given a bed, he had to share a room with Paul's then 19-year-old girlfriend Alissa Violet. He later entered a sexual relationship with a woman a decade older than him, who he met at an influencer party, and now says he understands it wasn't a consensual relationship. “I was a baby. I had a baby face,” he told Lorenz. “I feel like that’s just weird now.”
The vibe at Team 10 seems to have been generally lawless. Residents described being woken up by Paul hacking through their bedroom door with a chainsaw, The Shining style. Old YouTube videos chronicled him electrically shocking members without warning and pressuring them to jump off the mansion's roof into the swimming pool. It now seems likely some of Paul's behavior was actually criminal: on April 9, Justine Paradise posted a YouTube video accusing Paul of sexually assaulting her at the Team 10 house in 2019. Railey Lollie, who started working with him when she was 17, told the Times that Paul often called her "jailbait" and once groped her in 2017.
The Paul brothers maintain they're unfairly targeted and haters just want to see them fail. Meanwhile, Jake has expanded his empire to encompass both boxing and venture capital. He's thus far escaped any sort of accountability, but perhaps with more attention being paid to those he allegedly victimized, the tide could be starting to turn against him.