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This post contains discussion of suicide.
Nearly a week after Etika’s suicide was confirmed by New York police, YouTube gossip host Keemstar continues to face controversy for his perceived role in Etika’s death. But on Sunday, Keemstar tweeted a text message he said was from Etika’s mother insisting Keemstar was not to blame.
“I wish to inform Etika’s fans, friends, and viewers that Keemstar is not responsible for Etika’s passing and should not be held accountable for my son’s actions,” Etika’s mother wrote to Keemstar.
During that interview, Etika, whose real name was Daniel Desmond Amofah, called himself the Antichrist and said, “I’ve come to purge the planet of all human life.”
During the interview, Keemstar asked Etika if he was having a mental breakdown and asked if Etika’s actions were simply a publicity stunt. At one point, Keemstar asked, “The cops took you to the mental place today. What happened?” Etika replied, “I went, I became God, and I walked out.”
After the interview, Keemstar revealed that Etika had blocked him on Twitter. Then, Keemstar called Etika “weak.”
Keemstar defended himself in a video saying, “A lot of people are looking for someone to blame for the Etika thing, and obviously I am the target they have picked. They’re pulling up old tweets where I’m making some banter jokes about what was going on with Etika and these oubursts. They’re like, ‘You’re to blame, Keem. You’re to blame.’ Nobody goes and shows tweets where I’m genuinely concerned because that doesn’t fit the narrative of ‘You’re the one to blame.’”
Keemstar said Etika was totally fine when they spoke privately, and Etika apparently referred to how much publicity he was receiving. Keemstar also said doctors believed Etika was stable as well.
Now, Etika’s mother has come to his defense, writing that “Etika loved Keemstar’s show.”
Alice Pika, a former girlfriend of Etika, confirmed Etika’s mother had contacted Keemstar.
Etika went missing last month after posting a vlog in which he said he was going to end his life.
“I’m sorry for leaving such a stained legacy,” he said. “I hope that my story maybe helps to make YouTube a better place in the future where people know boundaries and limits and how far things should go. In an attempt to be edgy, I fucked up my entire life.”
In the video description, he wrote, “My time ends now, but if there is a way for me too, I’ll send you all as many blessings as I can from the other side.”
That video has since been taken down by YouTube because of its suicide ideation.
Keemstar has lobbied YouTube to restore Etika’s final video, and he said he’s mourning the loss of his friend.
“Trust me, I’m beating myself up about a lot of stuff. I am,” Keemstar said. “I could have done this differently. I didn’t talk to him in the last weeks. I should have talked to him in the last two weeks. He didn’t reach out to me, and I didn’t reach out to him, because, again, I thought everything was fine.”
- YouTuber Etika found dead, NYPD confirms
- Twitch star Etika says he wants to ‘purge all life’ in bonkers interview
- Hundreds of thousands demand that Etika’s previously deleted YouTube channel be restored
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Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.