Mom of YouTube star Piper Rockelle accused of abusing young content creators
The mother of a teen YouTube sensation was accused of sexually, physically and emotionally abusing nearly a dozen of her daughter’s young co-creators and will face her alleged victims in court Monday.
Tiffany Smith, whose daughter is 15-year-old YouTuber Piper Rockelle, was sued last year by the 11 young content creators over the alleged abuse as well as an apparent lack of compensation for their work.
Smith is accused of “harassment, molestation and abuse,” according to the complaint filed in January 2022. The civil trial expected to start Monday, NBC News reported.
The momager earned the reputation of a “mean-spirited control freak” whose interactions with the content creators “were not only sexually inappropriate and confrontational, but often reprehensible and even illegal,” the suit alleges.
In total, the plaintiffs — who are all former members of the “Piper Squad” and starred on her daughter’s YouTube channel — are seeking at least $22 million in damages from Smith and her boyfriend, Hunter Hill, who is also involved in the production of Piper’s channel.
The complaint accuses Smith of making shocking remarks about the teens’ genitalia, including reportedly asking one content maker how long his penis was. She also allegedly told another creator she was flat-chested.
In another disturbing instance, the complaint claims Smith mailed an unknown man her daughter’s underwear because “old men like to smell this stuff” she allegedly told one of the plaintiffs.
She also was accused of touching the legs, thighs and buttocks of the children inappropriately, and encouraging the teens to be sexually aggressive during video shoots to make the staged romantic connection look more real, the lawsuit states.
The pretend romantic crushes that the young creators were supposed to have on each other allegedly caused online bullying, according to NBC News.
“I just want peace back with my kids,” Ashley Anne-Rock Smith told the outlet. Her two daughters are cousins of Rockelle and appeared in nearly 100 of her videos.
The plaintiffs were never compensated by Smith for their likeness which was used to promote Piper’s content, the lawsuit alleges. However, they acknowledged that compensation wasn’t promised beforehand.
When nine of the content creators left “Piper’s Squad,” their own YouTube channels got less clicks and subscribers, according to the suit. The plaintiffs claimed Smith and her boyfriend falsely flagged their videos as inappropriate or embedded their content on porn sites so it was restricted on YouTube.
As a result, they all missed out on collecting more revenue, the suit says.
Smith countersued for $30 million in July, claiming the plaintiffs’ mothers were working together to exhort money by making up lies about any alleged sexual abuse, but she dropped it shortly after, NBC News reported.
One of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs reportedly called Smith’s claims “baseless.”
Piper was only 9-years-old when she became an online sensation.
Her channel, which has more than 10 million subscribers, was demonetized in February 2022 after Business Insider reached out to YouTube about the numerous allegations against Smith and Hill.