Fash­ion blog­ger’s mom tries to put IS kid­nap ru­mours to rest

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - AN­DREW GRIF­FIN

LON­DON: The mother of Ma­rina Joyce, the fash­ion blog­ger who some claimed had been kid­napped by IS, has at­tempted to put ru­mours to rest.

Con­cerned fans should not be wor­ried that the vlog­ger is in­volved in a hoax, has been kid­napped or is en­dan­gered in some other way, she said yes­ter­day. The state­ment came as part of a livestreamed video, hosted by fel­low vlog­ger Aaron Cur­rey, that ap­peared to be an at­tempt to shut down the furore over Joyce’s videos, which has seen po­lice visit her house and tweets from many of YouTube’s most pop­u­lar stars.

Cryptic videos posted by the YouTu­ber ini­tially led to con­cern her be­hav­iour ap­peared un­usual. And it erupted when one user claimed Joyce had said “help me” in one of the videos.

That quickly led to a the­ory Joyce had been kid­napped. Pro­po­nents pointed to ev­i­dence in­clud­ing strange be­hav­iour in other videos and un­usual items like guns seen in some videos.

Joyce ad­dressed those claims ini­tially in a live stream of her own. Af­ter that came to an un­ex­pected end, she be­gan another video that was struc­tured as an in­ter­view.

Dur­ing that video, Joyce’s mother ap­peared on cam­era to ad­dress the claims her daugh­ter had been kid­napped or was oth­er­wise un­well.

Joyce’s mother in par­tic­u­lar ad­dressed claims her daugh­ter had whis­pered “help me” in her most re­cent videos. That was the claim that be­gan much of the spec­u­la­tion.

But Joyce’s mother said what could be heard was ac­tu­ally her say­ing “like me”, as she at­tempted to tell her daugh­ter how she should spin around for the video.

In the same livestream she ad­dressed many of the other con­cerns fans have voiced. She said what ap­peared to be some­one telling her how to act was her and that fin­gers and pieces of pa­per that ap­peared in the video – and be­came the cen­tre of spec­u­la­tion – were ac­tu­ally just her help­ing out while mak­ing the film.

Joyce’s mother, who has been re­ported to be called Ch­eryl, said the bruis­ing had come about be­cause the fam­ily bruises eas­ily. “There’s no abu­sive re­la­tion­ship,” she said.

She also said her daugh­ter did have some strange be­liefs – in­clud­ing about tem­ples in Peru – but they were not un­like the sorts of things ev­ery­one thinks about when they are young. – The In­de­pen­dent

PIC­TURE: AP

Bill Cosby faces ac­cu­sa­tions of sex­ual as­sault by more than 50 women. Cosby de­nies th­ese al­le­ga­tions.

Ma­rina Joyce

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