Calum McSwiggan, Gay YouTube Star, Faked Gay Bashing Story, According to Sheriff

Calum McSwiggan, Gay YouTube Star, Faked Gay Bashing Story, According to Sheriff
Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram

Out gay YouTube star Calum McSwiggan, 26, claimed he was the victim of a targeted attack Sunday night outside a West Hollywood gay bar. The West Hollywood sheriff's department, however, said it is "unable to substantiate" that story — and have a very different story to tell.

McSwiggan "had no visible injuries" and was arrested "after deputies observed him vandalizing a car" on the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, according to a statement from the sheriff's department given to Mic over the phone. When he was placed in a cell by himself in the station, personnel say McSwiggan "injured himself with the handle and receiver to a payphone inside the cell."

In his booking photograph, McSwiggan displays no visible injuries. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the photo was taken before authorities observed McSwiggan injuring himself. 

Calum McSwiggan's photograph after being booked
Source: 
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

However, this isn't how McSwiggan recalled the story in an Instagram post published Monday. He said three men had followed him at a club and beat him up. In the photo, McSwiggan is seen lying down in a hospital bed. He called the experience "the worst night of my life." McSwiggan said authorities "treated me like a second-class citizen" and that he was left with "three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead." 

McSwiggan was in town for VidCon. His friend, Riyadh Kalaf, corroborated his version of the story in a series of tweets. But, notably, he also said he did not personally witness the attack.

Other friends, including YouTubers Melanie Murphy and Doug Armstrong, also addressed the story on social media. 


Source: Instagram

On Tuesday evening, Khalaf responded to reports doubting the veracity of McSwiggan's story, saying "he didn't fake it" and that he saw McSwiggan "crying after the attack."

Since news broke that the sheriff's department could not substantiate McSwiggan's story, people on Twitter have expressed disgust with the situation. 

Currently, McSwiggan and Khalaf are not speaking about the incident, claiming they cannot do so legally. McSwiggan has not responded to Mic's request for comment.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 

Read more:
Orlando's Gay Community Describes Pulse Nightclub In Their Own Words 
Here's One Brutal Truth Every White Gay Man Needs to Hear 
This Slut Shaming LGBTQ Pride Meme Is Making the Internet Very Angry

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew Rodriguez is a Staff Writer at Mic. He is a queer Latino New Yorker who enjoys female rappers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Flannery O'Connor. He is a former editor at TheBody.com and he is working on a memoir.

MORE FROM

The six words that will make you sound smarter than all your friends when watching the eclipse

What is an umbra? How does the Saros cycle work? The total solar eclipse, explained.

Do you have little freckles in your eyes? This might be why.

Remember to protect your eyes.

The US desperately needs computer science majors, so keep coding

There are more than 500,000 computing jobs open in the US right now.

The 2017 solar eclipse will help scientists figure out just how much energy we get from the sun

Reflections are tricky things — as we'll learn when August's total solar eclipse hits.

No, Mars didn’t grow 12 more moons — here’s what’s happening in this stunning picture

Mars and the mysteriously multiplying moon.

Scooby-Doo’s real name isn’t Scoobert Doobert

It's time to call Scooby by his real name.

The six words that will make you sound smarter than all your friends when watching the eclipse

What is an umbra? How does the Saros cycle work? The total solar eclipse, explained.

Do you have little freckles in your eyes? This might be why.

Remember to protect your eyes.

The US desperately needs computer science majors, so keep coding

There are more than 500,000 computing jobs open in the US right now.

The 2017 solar eclipse will help scientists figure out just how much energy we get from the sun

Reflections are tricky things — as we'll learn when August's total solar eclipse hits.

No, Mars didn’t grow 12 more moons — here’s what’s happening in this stunning picture

Mars and the mysteriously multiplying moon.

Scooby-Doo’s real name isn’t Scoobert Doobert

It's time to call Scooby by his real name.