Cheerleading Reality Star Under FBI Investigation

Jerry Harris of Netflix's 'Cheer' accused of soliciting minors for sex when he was 19
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2020 12:03 AM CDT
The FBI Is Investigating a Celebrity Cheerleader
Greta Gerwig, right, talks to Jerry Harris on the red carpet at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/John Locher)

One of the stars of Netflix's Cheer is under investigation by the FBI, accused of soliciting minors for sex. Twin brothers, age 14, tell USA Today Jerry Harris sexually harassed them online and at cheer competitions starting when they were 13, and continuing for more than a year. They accuse him of propositioning them for sex and asking for explicit photos. A spokesperson tells TMZ that Harris, who is now 21, was 19 at the time of the 2019 allegations, which Harris "categorically disputes," per his rep. Sources say Varsity, a company involved in the cheerleading industry, learned about the claims last month and alerted authorities, providing them with screenshots including a Snapchat message in which Harris allegedly wrote, "Would you ever want to ****." No physical contact is alleged, and no charges have been filed.

Harris is a fan favorite on the popular docuseries, which follows his Texas college cheerleading team; he is known as the "king of mat talk" and has appeared with Oprah Winfrey, Joe Biden, and more. His Instagram page has more than a million followers, and he has partnered with multiple brands. He is accused of soliciting sexually explicit photos from minors, and a search warrant was allegedly carried out at an Illinois home Monday. Authorities were reportedly investigating alleged possession of child porn. "We are confident that when the investigation is complete the true facts will be revealed," Harris' rep says. As for the twins, they say they've received threats since coming forward. "I would not be putting myself out there and doing all this stuff and literally losing my friends about this for no reason,” one says. “Jerry is just an example of how you can see someone as one way, but they're truly a different person." (More Netflix stories.)

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