1. Curtis Lepore, an emerging star of Vine, the fast-growing six-second video sharing platform, is facing trial for allegedly raping fellow Vine star Jessi Smiles.
TMZ reports, citing “law enforcement sources”, that LA-based Lepore was arrested in October, released on bail on payment of a $100,000 bond and attended a preliminary court hearing on Tuesday, where he pleaded not guilty.
Curtis’s lawyer told TMZ: “Things are not always as they appear and there are two sides to every story.”
Smiles, from Florida, whose real name is Jessica Vazquez, gave TMZ consent to identity her as the alleged victim.
The pair had been involved in a brief relationship, following a long period of flirting on Twitter and via vines, culminating in a meeting in New York in front of hundreds of fans (partly stage-managed by each others’ management teams).
2. Smiles tweeted this cryptic message around the time the alleged incident took place.
3. Lepore himself posted a Vine late last night repeating the “two sides to every story” line - but there has been no denial of TMZ’s story that he faces trial.
4. Smiles has carried on posting Vines as normal in recent weeks.
5. The pair had become the closest thing Vine has to a celebrity couple.
Smiles and Lepore are part of a small band of Vine celebrities who command millions of followers. We featured both of them in a recent article on this phenomenon.