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Two women who were formerly employed by Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi have come forward with accusations of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment.
According to BuzzFeed, Robyn Byrd and Katie Rice were befriended by Kricfalusi in the early ’90s and later employed at Spumco, his animation studio. Byrd was 13 when she sent Kricfalusi a video tape detailing her dream of becoming an animator; he sent her a letter back and set up an AOL account for her. She started living with him in L.A. when she was 16 and interning at the studio, and she moved in permanently at 17.
Rice wrote to Kricfalusi when she was 14, and they started chatting on AOL and the phone. The conversations started turning sexual, but Rice claims they never had a sexual relationship. When she was hired at Spumco at age 18, she alleges that Kricfalusi started sexually harassing her, including making a joke about raping her. Rice says she finally quit when she found child pornography on his computer, which she eventually reported to police at the end of 2017. An ex-girlfriend of Kricfalusi, who asked not to be named in the report, claimed she also found child pornography on his computer in 2007.
BuzzFeed also spoke to two former employees of Spumco who claimed his relationship with Byrd was essentially an open secret, as was his history of harassing young girls. They both claimed that at parties, Kricfalusi showed them Polaroids of Byrd naked, or engaged in sex acts.
Kricfalusi’s attorney confirmed to BuzzFeed that “for a brief time, 25 years ago, he had a 16-year-old girlfriend.” He added that “The 1990s were a time of mental and emotional fragility for Mr. Kricfalusi, especially after losing Ren and Stimpy, his most prized creation,” and claimed that “Over the years John struggled with what were eventually diagnosed mental illnesses in 2008.”
Kricfalusi has not personally responded to the allegations.
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.