EIC

I owe you an apology: I was a creep.

I've made mistakes.

I’ve had time to think about the consequences of my actions. I had inappropriate conversations with a young adult in direct messages on Twitter last year. I should have known better than to engage in that way, and I should have asked more questions if I was going to be as open with her about my personal life as I ultimately was. Being a one-man show, I selfishly came to value connection in my isolation, and I selfishly allowed an inappropriate conversation between myself and this person to happen. She was drinking, and I foolishly assumed she was in her mid-twenties when she was only encroaching on twenty-one at the time.

I understand how this has undercut people’s faith in my judgment, as it undercut my faith in my own judgment. I made these mistakes. I’m not excusing it, but as a human, this mistake made me angry that I had made it because I hold myself to a higher standard, and I held onto my anger and disappointment with myself instead of dealing with it. It was unprofessional and it was creepy. This isn’t something I will ever allow to happen again. It isn’t me, and it isn’t how I wish to connect with others.

In no way am I trying to invalidate anyone’s experience. I want to make that as clear as I can.

I wasn’t offering anything in exchange for these conversations. There was no exchange expected other than human connection. The people involved were not fans of mine, readers of mine, listeners of mine, or hopefuls to join any endeavors of mine. So I foolishly overlooked how our power dynamic could be at play in our communications, and for that, I am sincerely sorry, and I apologize to anyone that I hurt and to anyone that has lost faith in my judgment.

I am proud of the Star Wars community for rallying around a young woman when she said something wasn’t right. I’ve seen horrendous things happen in this community, and the victims suffer blame on top of their abuse. I think we’re getting better, and I applaud that.

If you want to know more about what happened from my perspective and the intentions behind some of the language I used, you can keep reading. There’s a lot of muddy stuff being said and confusion being spread. Below, I share exactly what happened from my perspective, and this is just my own experience, but I do attempt to share it as honestly as I can. Maybe my experience will help someone. Maybe it will help this whole thing heal? Just because I acted like a creep does not mean I have to be a creep, and I truly in my heart believe I am not. It took a lot of internal wrestling to realize my actions can be creepy even if my intentions were not. Once again, I want to apologize for my actions because honestly, it wasn’t cool.

My Experience as a Content Creator 

Every day, I get around a hundred direct messages on my Twitter account from a variety of people who read my site. These messages might include fan theories, questions on the authenticity of a rumor, people just wanting to say hello, and so on. As thousands of you know, I answer all of these to the best of my ability. It’s vital to my work that I know what questions people are asking and what they want to know.

My Twitter philosophy has always been that I follow back any fan who follows me and interacts with me in a respectful nature. I have a hugely deserved reputation for being difficult if not outright mean on the internet, but the truth is: I have always treated people how they treated me. If you treated me or my work as a joke, I treated you….wait for it… as a joke, and my behavior and tone would reflect that in my communications. This is not the way to be the bigger person. I now realize that’s not the best way to conduct myself on a larger stage. If I was mean to you on social media, I apologize. We should all interact with one another with kindness and respect.

Last year, a site that doesn’t like Disney-era Star Wars posted my home address. People showed up at my house where my kids live. We had to move. Now, that same site is claiming that I’m a pedophile, that I wife swap, that someone close to me who was raped absolutely was not, and just brick after brick of total fabricated shit. Their “source” is the same forum that claimed my ex-wife and I were “killing another one of our children” because she was attending Celebration in a wheelchair. The true darkness and cruelty of the harassment and the threats and the horrible YouTube videos made about me because of my participation in the Star Wars fan community are just unbelievable. No one ever understands the anxiety and terror experienced at the hands of this kind of attention.

The stress from social pressure and the constant drama and in-fighting within this community turned me into a depressive and angry person in the aftermath of The Force Awakens. I went up in weight considerably. It put distance between me and my then-wife. By the time I lost all the weight and I realized this, it was too late and she needed to move on. Leaving my self made Star Wars gig behind wasn’t going to fix my life. I couldn’t bear to lose my marriage and my dream job all at once. I yearned to leave everything behind–my career, my professional contacts, and countless years of work building up a network of talented and dedicated colleagues and friends who shared my passion–, but I kept telling myself to just finish what I started: See The Rise of Skywalker through and then walk away. I lived my dream and the dream is not what I thought it was going to be. I often question if dreams are lies we tell ourselves to keep on living.

Addressing Allegations of Trading Leaks for Nudes: Meeting Chelsea

There is an allegation that I traded “nudes” for “leaks.” This never happened. I had a flirtation with a woman who I met outside of the internet. She never sent “nudes” to me but she did send me flirtatious photos. She was a Star Wars fan and I showed her a few production photos that were being shared privately online. She shared those photos with a colleague. Then word of mouth transformed that into a sexual exchange that never occurred.

Last year around late September probably, I was at Galaxy’s Edge with my kids when I ran into Chris Seekel of StarWarsUnderworld.com, his roommate, and a woman we’ll call Chelsea (name changed, as I don’t want anyone being harassed or approached). After hanging out that night, Chelsea and I exchanged social media information. Chelsea would tell me that, after she was told I was single, she boasted to Seekel I was going to be up in her direct messages later.

Chelsea and I talked on Facebook, which then moved to private conversations, and then finally to phone calls. I would describe our friendship as flirtatious at first. Our friendship became deeper and we discussed past traumas and future goals.

Without my knowledge, Chelsea started to send screenshots of our conversations to Chris Seekel to show him she was right.

That whole year I had been working on scooping The Rise of Skywalker. My sources gave me images from the film, and a few of those images ended up circulating on the internet, not through me, but rather some other way that I can’t truthfully explain. I ended up getting direct messages from many of my followers about a few of the images, asking if they were real. I warned the people writing me that those images were indeed real and not to share them openly. The images in question pertained to Palpatine’s throne, Ben Solo helping Rey, and some other stuff that all ended up publicly leaking online.

I promptly warned my sources that if they had shared those images anywhere else, those images were now out in the world and making their way around. My sources knew what happened and that the images leaking was imminent.

Chelsea and I talked a lot during this time. As our flirtation continued, Chelsea never sent me “nudes,” but she did send me a lot of suggestive pictures very close to it. I never asked her for a nude or a lude photo but I did not actively discourage it either.  We talked for hours during those weeks on Facetime or the phone. Knowing that Palpatine’s throne was out there, one night we were talking about The Rise of Skywalker, and I showed her a copy of the Palpatine throne picture that was floating around. Chelsea joked that she wanted to see Leia from The Rise of Skywalker. Honoring my sources, I only would only share spoiler images that are already currently circulating, I did not send her anything but what fans already had in their possession online already.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, she was in contact with Seekel and sending him the leaked photos I shared with her.

We made plans for Chelsea to come over and hang out on the night of The Rise of Skywalker trailer, the day tickets went on sale. That night she didn’t show up because she went to Seekel’s house to watch the trailer and according to her he bad-mouthed me that I was talking to “all of these girls” which seemed to embarrass Chelsea. Seekel told her I was offering to let girls stay with me during Celebration and other things that just are not true.. The truth was I had told a girl I could pick her up from the airport because it’s really close to me. It should also be noted that there were others I was going to pick up and I did this at Celebration Chicago since I had a car there. Essentially telling someone “let me know if you need a ride” turned into something gross when it was not.

The truth was, I wasn’t romantically or sexually “talking”  to all of these other girls online. I was dating outside of the internet and Star Wars, sure. But I didn’t promise Chelsea anything. We didn’t date. And most of all, I never exchanged spoilers or content with her for sexual images or anything at all for that matter. I would never do that. We had a flirtation and we were both Star Wars fans and that stuff came up and I showed her what was out in the wild.

Today, I see that I should never talk about my work or anything considered to be privileged information with anyone where power can be at play. This is the type of rookie mistake I felt I would have made had I been single when I started this. I fucked up and made that mistake when I actually had a stage to fuck it up on.

Chelsea was upset with me after Seekel’s party, however, when I showed her I didn’t offer to let anyone stay with me during Celebration and that this was a weird game of telephone at play we patched things up. We agreed to be friends after that. She came over often. We went to Disneyland as friends. We played Fallen Order and ate cereal. I considered her a buddy and I cherished her friendship and was very happy we were able to get past the flirtation and the misunderstandings. However, these misunderstandings allowed the idea that I exchanged nudes for leaks which just is not true.

Lisa

I’m going to use another pseudonym here and we’ll call her Lisa. Some of this is concurrent with what was happening with Chelsea above. For clarity, I’m compartmentalizing the overlap between these two intertwined stories.

Lisa was married when I was married. She was very active on social media for The Rise of Skywalker. We didn’t really interact that I can recall but I knew of her around the time of Rogue One (so like 2016 probably). And the truth is I don’t really remember our first interactions, just the pictures of her and her ex in South America or something like that. At the time, I just knew she was in Canada, she’d lived in other countries, she was recently separated from her husband, and she was very vocal about Star Wars on social media. I admired her enthusiasm for Star Wars.

I had written some really large scoops about the Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker. I was being called a liar by a lot of people. I found this weird after all of the years of accurate scoops I had. One day, I believe Lisa dropped a little piece of info I knew was legit about the name of Kylo’s TIE Fighter in The Rise of Skywalker. She seemed like someone I should talk to. I also foolishly felt like she had her own avenues of info so she was probably pretty capable of handling information as others had trusted her so she was someone I should network with and get to know.

Meanwhile, that image of Palpatine on the Throne kept coming to me from random places in direct messages asking me if I’d seen them and if they were real. I was frankly surprised they hadn’t leaked yet.

I talked to Lisa and told her that a lot of her friends, my most vocal detractors, should generally listen to what I’m saying because my info was pretty solid. I’ll be honest, it has always been hard for me to be called a liar when I’m telling the truth and I find it maddening to know the truth and to be called dishonest over it. I showed Lisa the image to prove to her this information is real and I’m not misleading them. I hoped she would tell her followers on that part of the internet that my work was legit, and please don’t shoot the messenger. If they have a problem it isn’t with me, it is with the movie. It should also be noted that while this article is about women, I also shared these copies with many men too.

Meanwhile, Lisa is exchanging the images with Seekel because they were friends but Seekel already saw them via Chelsea. I didn’t know Lisa and Seekel were acquainted at this time because I honestly wasn’t paying that close of attention and the amount of social posting was too intense for me to keep up with or really care about.

Chelsea made it seem to Seekel, according to Lisa, that I was giving her images to get into her pants. I think she pushed this idea factiously based on their bet I would end up “in her DMs.”  Chelsea was aware I talked to Lisa and she saw the emojis Lisa sent in some communications as come-ons. I just laughed off because it was dumb and kind of embarrassing.

Side Note: The 15-year-Old

There is this gross and sick allegation I had inappropriate communications with a 15-year-old girl. I posted the conversation in full because it was completely family-friendly. The conversations were always started by the 15-year-old and they were dispersed over time.

After Lisa had said a few things about the legitimacy of my reports and those of others, I got a direct message from said 15-year-old girl. She essentially apologized for some things she had said and I said it was water under the bridge. I was pleased with the time by the character of this individual who actually said she was sorry for her behavior over my reports. I told her that in all my years of doing this, a handful of people at best have done what she had done. Honestly, in a weird way, I’m inspired by her to set the record straight and own up to my mistakes based on her example.

I had it on good authority from another outlet that the Palp Picture was going to be posted and I had better post it if I wanted to be first. I don’t post images, I only write about them. I thought I would send the kid the image because I felt her commendable tact deserved something and it was going to leak anyways. So I shot it her way and made her day. I did watermark it so she didn’t post it, just in case. I told her to feel free to tell people my stuff is legit, just don’t take any heat for me or get herself into trouble.

Now, there are some people who say I should not have interacted with a 15-year-old online. I do not make it my practice to do so, and I wish I hadn’t now because of the way it has been weaponized and distorted to further the devious thesis I’m a predator. I interact with readers and followers who contact me with questions. That’s it.

I don’t like there’s anything wrong with our interactions. It was nothing but wholesome. Sometime later she said she couldn’t afford to see The Rise of Skywalker opening day. I told her if I got giveaway gift cards from a vendor, as I sometimes did, I would toss a code her way. I’ve done this over the years for many people and I felt bad that she couldn’t see the movie.

This girl says liked a picture of her online on another social media platform. If I did, it’s a coincidence and probably had to do with something Star Wars related and I definitely didn’t know it was her. Beats me. I couldn’t find her Instagram right now if I wanted to.

These 15-year-old girl allegations are disingenuous at best. But I hate that this 15-year-old had to reexamine our interactions and then felt creeped out because of what followed.

The Halloween Party in November

Lisa and I intermittently conversed about things here and there for a while. On the morning of 11-7-19, she directly messaged me that people were saying I was Lisa’s uncle and that’s why she knows certain things are legit. It was a ridiculous internet rumor. I don’t even know how to deal with that level of stupidity and I jokingly became her uncle, which is an inside joke that needs context. A context I have now provided. She started calling me “Uncle Jason” here and thereafter that because it was so ridiculous. We laughed at the incestuous nature of the joke and she even compared us to be the new Luke and Leia with a twist. I responded I wanted to be corny Uncle Joey from Full House and not the horny uncles like on Porn Hub. She thought this was funny. We both did.

With this, our friendship moved into the space of commiseration. I don’t want to overemphasize the value of that. But I also don’t want to undercut how rare it is that someone understands what I go through from the insanity of the internet and I appreciated Lisa seeing a bit of it and that we had the ability to laugh about it. We also laughed as I submitted a Celebration media pass I was going to be denied.

Lisa went to tweet about Aquaman. But she also tweeted “I couldn’t finish Aquaman even though I loved him in the animated show and I love Jason.” It was clearly a little flirty but mostly just funny. I just responded that I was her uncle and that her familial feelings made sense.

During our conversation, she told me she had been drinking. I should have bailed right then. I regret not doing just that. I hate myself for not just ignoring the direct messages until the next morning now.  Instead, I told her “that was me last night”. Then I told her to “have fun” thinking she would go on with whatever she was doing but she continued messaging me. She then said everyone left her party and it was just her and her vodka and she sent me a sad face. I felt kind of bad she was alone, I knew the feeling of being awake after the party’s over and you’re alone.

She told me she couldn’t wear her Rey costume ever again. I thought she was kind of asking me to see it, but I didn’t ask to see her costume. I just admitted to talking to exes while buzzed the night before. She said she wasn’t texting exes just me. To which I made a joke about our “torrid affair” and she mentioned the “uncle daughter thing is so kinky.” Now, her writing was perfect, and I figured she wasn’t actually that drunk, so I didn’t take this conversation super seriously and I didn’t see her as impaired. I should have just closed Twitter.

Unprompted, she said she told the guys at her party that “whoever got her a cigarette could rip her Rey costume open.” She then explained to me that one of the girls was dressed as a bunny, and that, by the end of the party, she just had her “ripped Rey shirt, panties, bunny ears, and fishnets on.” I didn’t ask to see. I just made a joke that if Rey was serious about making “Reylo” happen that’s one way to do it. She continued to describe her state of dress, and I just made a joke that I and my niece know how to party. She laughed and said it was a thing now and I said: “until the next outlandish rumor”.

At this point, Lisa began to tell me she’s a maid which I’m supposed to see a French Maid probably, I don’t know.. It’s pretty clear she’s flirting but it isn’t anything notable. I tell her to make sure she drinks some water before she goes to bed, slightly trying to break the rhythm of our conversation to which she replies “Thanks Uncle Jason.”

Done with my work night at 12:30 am, now the 19th of November, I got myself a drink. I joked she was a bad influence to which she replied she was an angel. I mocked the people saying we were family, and I joked that the real story was that I ripped her Rey costume, and I gave her the pictures to keep her quiet.

Lisa said she does have pictures, but they’re not the ones I’m referring to. This is the point where if I wanted to press to explicitly request nudes from Lisa, I would have. I changed the subject to say I didn’t have any cranberry juice and I just took a shot of vodka. She said “one shot, weeeeeeaaaaak.” She talked about her pineapple ring pop that was terrible and I joked it was like Snoke’s pimp ring. I laughed that the tinges of my hangover were gone with the drinks we were having.

We jokingly sent emojis back and forth that were sexually suggestive in good fun (eggplants and peaches, etc).

Lisa then tells me that at least eight people signed her chest that night, and she made out with a few girls and some guys too. My response was “good for you, have fun”. After being married and it not working out, you have to cut loose and if that’s her way, I wasn’t there to judge her. I had been doing the same thing, after all. I’m no better than anyone else.

I acted like I didn’t know she was married before, but I did because I hoped to commiserate some more. I wanted to connect about that. We had both been through huge life events that year. She said she didn’t tell people, but I knew because I remembered from before. The conversation moved to kink and then she said: “that last shot was a lot”. I said “yeah, I’m slowing down now too” and she laughed.

She then said “Don’t be a pussy. I have hours on you as far as drinking tonight.”  I took another drink and commented on how awful my Vodka tastes with Kool-Aid but how good it tasted then. She said her motto was if she’s “already tipsy, fuck it”. I quoted Step Brothers and said, “did we just become best friends?”

I then talked about my post-divorce misadventures. I regret sharing the personal details of a previous partner with her. I was struggling with the aftermath of a brief relationship that was very out of my world. She matched my story with her own endeavors. I have to admit it was kind of nice in that moment to talk to someone who had gone through what I had in their own way. I asked her how she could drink so much because I needed to slow down, and she said “practice, I mostly only drink vodka. Sometimes bourbon, beer, and Sambuca, but vodka is my favorite.”

I never thought to ask her age. I turned 40 last summer. I just didn’t want to think about that. I hate to hear it. But I’m a man and as a man, I should have confronted that and I should have been responsible and asked her how old she was to make sure. This is in no way an excuse, but I feel like I can tell if someone is in their twenties, thirties, or forties easily but I’m very good at being precise about it. I own this mistake.

As our drinking continued, I talked about my old band days of lighting a trumpet on fire using vodka. I commented that back in my punk days, I was a very angry young man, and now I’m just on the internet “chatting with a hot Rey.” I immediately regretted saying that and said as much. She responded it was cool because she’s glad she’s considered hot by someone and she had chips. It was in good fun and just really stupid. We joked about having Postmates bring more chips.

Lisa then says “Tell me to stop being a bitch and take another shot. I need motivation.” It is stupid but this challenge challenged me and I accepted. I should have been a bigger man.

She joked I was holding out on her. We had been joking about Postmates, but I decided to just walk to the store because I didn’t want this to escalate but a part of me liked the attention. I sent her a picture of the vodka I had left, and she mocked me for using a laptop on Twitter, and we talked about laptops. She then said she was going to take two more shots. I did nothing to prompt her to do this.

We continued our suggestive emojis conversation.

She told me “I got the coolest Darkside shot glasses from Hallmark” and I just replied “it’s 2 am here” because it was getting late. I have to confess that I was not thinking of her age and her having shot glasses made her seem like a woman in her mid-twenties.

Lisa then sent an emoji of a naked leg, and I laughed at how bad it was, and then she sent me a picture of her Rey costume with her shirt open a bit. It was something posted publicly and google photos made into a GIF for her. This was posted online already. I said it was “pretty magical.” I joked that had she posted the images she mentioned earlier, she’d become the “President of Star Wars,” and Google would be there to animate them for her.

Lisa then sent me two pictures of her in her ripped Rey costume. She had written all over her chest from people at her party. I laughed to myself and responded “I would sign my whole name.” She then said that one girl wrote her entire Instagram handle on her chest, and she said she made out with that girl. We then talked about failed threesomes, and how the girls she’s dated have been “crazy bitches. Hot but insane.” I said the same, and we agreed it was unfair that life worked that way for us. Commiseration. Inappropriate commiseration.

I then suggested we clear this chat before we went to bed because who wants this shit all over the internet? Right? But I made a joke when she asked why, and I said because there’s “hot pictures of you in it, and I’m your uncle damnit, it’s against the law!” She laughed. I really thought our commiserating was better left forgotten as a dorky night between two friends online. This has since, of course, been exaggerated into meaning something darkly nefarious. It was wrong and I own that but truly this is where I would have pressed for more if I wanted it to escalate and I did not.

Lisa commented “I’m glad you think it’s insanely hot.” I stupidly responded that at first I offered to pick her up from the airport” just to be nice but now I’ll bring chips like Postmates.” She then sent me the Instagram of the girl that drew on her chest, and we talked about some Star Wars rumors. I did not have any indications she wanted this conversation to cease and she was obviously conscious enough to type and hold a conversation so I didn’t see my actions as inappropriate in the moment. I’ve never capitalized on a drunk woman in my life and I hate how close this comes to that through my sheer carelessness.

We talked about music and a bad experience she had at a metal show. She then sent me a picture of her in a nighty and stockings that she wore to that show. This was the fourth image she’d sent me, all of which had been posted publicly in some way before she had sent them to me, and while I had been complimentary about them, I never asked for more. I told her she had a “rocking body.” A part of me knew this was wrong and a part of me wanted this to continue. I diverted by talking about another woman I was interested in hoping to slow it down with an appropriate party foul.

We then talked about music for a really long time. She wanted me to drink more and I didn’t really want to. She called me a “Pussy” for not drinking more. Still kind of diverting, I joked I wanted to hang out with her at Celebration, but it would probably end up with us both having dicks drawn on our faces based on how the night was going. We kept talking about music and sharing the stuff we both did musically. We kept talking about music and she encouraged me to drink more.

The Call

Chris Seekel started ringing me at 4am. I didn’t take the call. He had wanted to talk to me the day before or so because he was worried about his reputation. Knowing what Chelsea had told me here and there, I wasn’t super keen on speaking with him.

However, Seekel keeps calling. I answer. He screams at me to “get off the internet, she’s underage!” This really confuses me in the moment. Because I’m not talking to a teenager. I’m talking to an adult. How can a woman that was married, lived in various countries, and so many experiences be underage? What the fuck is going on? When I asked this he stopped for a moment. Then he got kind of befuddled. Then he started on about how I’m encouraging her to drink. But she came to me drinking from a party. She needed no encouragement from me. I didn’t buy her the drinks. I’m not even in the same location as her and she’s the one jokingly humiliating me for not catching up to her drink count.

“She’s only 20 and you’re encouraging a minor to drink!” Seekel then threatened to call the police on me.

At this point, I’m a bit under the influence. But I’m also really let down that my “friend” didn’t call me and warn me or give me a heads up. There was no “hey dude, just so you know she’s not 21,” instead he’s getting screenshots from her and threatening to call the police on me.

I hang up. I pick my phone back up and I tell her what just happened. She responds by saying “I’m an adult” and “why is he texting you?” To which I responded he called me.

Then my Facebook messenger starts blowing up from Seekel’s roommate telling me I’m messing with her “friends.” And I’m clearly ‘a predator’ and this can’t be the first time. I responded with “Fuck off.” Once again, I own my mistake but calling me a predator in this moment was insulting to me then.

With that, the thesis I was a predator was being pushed. I never spoke to either of them again. We had been casual friends, but they were really into this idea that I was this huge piece of shit because Chelsea said she could get into my life and she saw some Star Wars pictures. It was weird back at the party they’d had when Chelsea thought I was seeing a lot of girls and she’d become angry with me and shit talked me to them but we squashed that later with context and communication.

Lisa has no idea who Seekel’s roommate even is. She tells me “I’ve never talked to that person in my life.”

I told her “I thought you were already 21.” Clearly feeling bad, she responds with “God.” Then says “I’m 20 but I’ve been living in Toronto where it’s legal to drink at 19.” I tell her to tell them. She says “I’m sorry. Ugh.” I call them dorks and she says “I’m sorry about all of this god.”

Meanwhile Seekel’s roommate is telling me to “publicly apologize.” I tell Lisa and she says “Publicly apologize for what?” She then says even if she were completely sober she’d be confused by Seekel and the roommate. I was too. I say they’re angry about our “sexual conversations” to which she responded “What sexual conversations?”

She then tells me she sent Seekel the same pictures she sent me. She then shows me a conversation with Seekel from Snapchat where she’d been drunk with Seekel online before and that she’d sent him the same pictures she sent me and that “He knows I usually drink vodka.”

Now, I’m not trying to deflect from my clear error in thinking this woman was older than she was. Lisa then clearly pretends to not know how Seekel knows all of this. But she’s been sending him screenshots. For a second I wonder if this was some kind of setup by Seekel because of the shit talking he’d said to Chelsea and how upset he made her.

I tell her I have to stop talking to her. I asked her in the DM Did I encourage you to do it? Was it all my idea?”

She sends an eye rolling emoji and says No.” I ask her not to send the screenshots to them because they clearly have an agenda against me. She doesn’t answer that because she already had. I ask when she’s going to be 21. She tells me and I say “I’ll buy you a drink at Celebration” and we both laughed. I really didn’t interact with her afterward and I stepped away.

I was hurt by my “friend” Seekel and confused by his roommate. The whole thing just left me disappointed in people and mostly disappointed in myself. My interactions with Lisa after this were really small.

LOSS

In late November I saw a post on social media about Lisa’s miscarriage. I told her I hoped she was okay. She said “Thank you” with heart emojis and said “Same to you.” I lost a daughter the day she was to be born. I shared my story with her and we briefly talked about it. She thanked me for sharing my story with her. Later we wished one another a “Happy New Year.”

THE WTF MOMENT  1-5-20

She writes me out of the blue months later in the middle of the night while I’m on date:

“I want you to know first that I’ve talked to a lot of people since I was in LA and I’ve heard a lot of things about you that I didn’t know that don’t sit well with me and a lot of them have told me that I should tell everyone how you were exchanging nudes for leaks and what happened that night I was drunk–including you encouraging me to drink more, talking about sexual things, getting me to send you pictures from the party and then trying to get me to delete the conversation while I was still drunk. Knowing everything I know about your past and your reputation and things you’ve done behind the scenes I agree with them. I don’t hate you although you probably will hate me, I feel sorry for you and I don’t want to hurt you but I also don’t want other women to get hurt.”

Basically she talked to people who don’t like me. So that means I’m bad. I mention my ex debunking a lot of the rumors about why we split up and things she listed off from salty people that don’t know a thing about my life. She then says I was interviewed by EVS. I tell her I agreed to be interviewed by him so he could beat me up with a conspiracy theory so he’d stop his “Star Wars Sex Scandal” series that was going to eventaully delve into the rape of my exwife at SDCC years before. She says I threw women from the community under the bus in that interview and I say no, EVS had done a series already using their tweets and names and when he ran my interview uncut four months later, those women had forgotten that and felt mentioned again but had it went out that week, they would never have thought twice that I deferred to EVS to ask those women as I can’t speak for them.

At this point, Lisa and Chelsea talk, and Chelsea cleared it all up. Lisa calls me and says that people hate me. Basically while at Seekel’s house for The Rise of Skywalker, they just shit talked me for hours building this thing up. Lisa mentions she’s upset I still follow EVS and I say it was to keep our DMs open, we don’t socially interact. I also told her that when EVS makes as many videos about your family as he has mine, you can tell me to follow him or not to which she responded with “I can’t argue with that.”

We talked on the phone and I explained everything to her about why the people she mentioned had issues with me. None of this was any of her business, mind you. She just felt that if people  didn’t like me, I must be bad and she had dirt so she should use it. She starts saying she heard another person has “dirt” on me and all of this speculative stuff she’d picked up talking about me while in LA.

She then says that “Chris and a few other people who I won’t name” are encouraging her to “destroy me.”

The next day she saw the far left and the far right of Star Wars fandom gang up on me in one thread with people calling me a misogynist and an SJW at the same time. She appeared to get it. Then she let it go and things were casual.

THE JOKE

I really wanted nothing to do with her after that. She had caused me so much anxiety over my stupid fuck up assuming she was 21 when she was 20. I felt held hostage. I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. I tried to maintain a distance without upsetting her. I think she’s a good person. I think she means well and I hate that anything that happened between us would make her think of me in such a light that the joke I made was taken so out of context and wrongly.

I was actually on FaceTime with Chelsea hanging out, bored during quarantine. Lisa tweeted that the best relationship she ever had was with a 50 year old man. Lisa has a Baby Yoda tattoo and I responded with a GIF of Baby Yoda, the joke being the 50 year old she dated was Baby Yoda who is 50. Chelsea thought it was funny. But Lisa didn’t get it apparently.

Lisa took my joke as if I was coming onto her. As if I’m 50,  when I’m not. It was a dumb joke implying the mystery man in the tweet was Baby Yoda. But she used that as the catalyst to do what she was encouraged to do by Chris Seekel, spread what happened around, and capitalized on my mistake of thinking she was older. A mistake I regret but something these people older adults used to distort what happened.

They used open language to make it seem like Lisa, Chelsea, and that 15 year old that DM’d me were just the tip of the iceberg. People have made it sound like there were so many other women. Or that I hit on this 15 year old. Chelsea was going to share her story, but then she buckled under the pressure. I just don’t think she can handle it. I don’t blame her for taking the path of least resistance.

Today

Now, according to the internet I’m a predator. I never asked any of these girls for pictures. I never let it escalate to anything truly sexual between us. I was friends with all of the girls in this until certain people pressed for this narrative. It’s fucking disgusing and awful. I’m ashamed of my mistakes and I’m deeply hurt by the violation of my privacy in this.

Now, I have people calling me a pedophile. Throw me in jail without a trial some of them say. Friends are direct-messaging me that they’re going to unfollow me because they’re being pressured by groups of bullies. I don’t blame them for taking the path of the least resistance. I don’t want anyone to have any shit because I thought a married woman must be in her mid-twenties like an idiot. And if I was interested or I wasn’t interested in her it isn’t anyone’s business to say what two adults decide to do one way or another. I liked the attention and I wish I hadn’t.

I really truly do regret talking to Lisa as if she was older. If I had known she was twenty, I would have conducted myself differently.  But make no mistake about it, I didn’t draw anything out of her. I didn’t draw anything out of Chelsea. I was complimentary at my worst.  I’m sorry for any distress I caused them. I’m sorry for being a creep in my actions and thinking my intentions change that.

As I started this piece with, I’ve had to endure more than I often could in doing this. I’m proud of my work. I’m proud of my accomplishments. But my experience in this community is just pure insanity. It’s insane to me how many scoops  Star Wars fans will deny are real but how open they are to believing any egregious drama that allows them to get their e-pitchforks out.

I always ran MSW with a punk rock DIY mentality. I always treated everyone as an equal. I brought information to the people. That information was usually right. I did it all my way. What happened was not my way. What happened was a mistake based in poor judgement.

I always pushed anyone’s podcast that was new that I saw. I always gave anyone a chance to work with me in anyone they wanted to contribute. A lot of you were really great. I don’t need to suffer clout chasers who are willing to depict me as a pedophile, that spreads rumors I abused people, and probably worse. It just isn’t worth it to talk about laser swords and space magicians.

The Star Wars community is whatever we make it. I’m proud of the community for sticking up for women. I really am. I am deeply hurt by a lot but that hurt stems from my error in judgment and I have to own and endure that for the rest of my life. I’m sorry to Lisa and Chelsea that my carelessness allowed for this to happen. I’m also sorry to friends and colleagues that may have had to deal with anything because of this. I’m better than this and I want to make it better.

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Jason Ward (EIC)

Owner, Editor and content supervisor of MakingStarWars.net
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