Pages

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Joe Biden held an Instagram chat with Jerry Harris weeks before the Cheer star was placed under FBI investigation 'for soliciting sex and explicit pictures from twin brothers'

 

  • Cheer's Jerry Harris took part in an Instagram chat with Joe Biden in June 
  • Harris is currently under FBI investigation for allegedly soliciting sex and explicit photographs from 2 minors
  • In the Instagram session with Biden, Harris and the former VP discuss important issues facing young adults and the black community

Democratic candidate Joe Biden held an Instagram chat with Jerry Harris weeks before the Cheer star was placed under FBI investigation for allegedly soliciting sex and explicit pictures from two minors.  

The allegations against Harris, 21, come from 14-year-old Texas twins, Charlie and Sam, who claim they were harassed at cheerleading competitions and online from when they were 13 and Harris was 19 years old.  

In June, Harris tweeted a clip of a short Instagram session where he appeared alongside Joe Biden. The post was accompanied with a caption urging black voters to turn out on Election Day to vote for the former Vice President.  

'I had the opportunity to speak with Vice President @JoeBiden a few days ago about some really important issues facing our country right now, in particular young adults and the Black community,' Harris tweeted on June 12. 

In June, Harris appeared in a short video alongside Joe Biden in which he urged black voters to turn out on Election Day and vote for the former Vice President

In June, Harris appeared in a short video alongside Joe Biden in which he urged black voters to turn out on Election Day and vote for the former Vice President

'Check out part of our conversation about voter apathy and why it is so important that we all register to vote. Together we have the power to make a real change!'

In the video, Biden said voting is 'the most powerful non-violent tool we have'. 

'If the same percentage of young blacks turned out and registered to vote as the average voter, you'd increase voting by several million people, you could change the outcome of elections', Biden added.  

He closed the conversation by telling Harris he'd like to spend the day with him. 

Cheerleader Jerry Harris, famed for his appearance on Netflix's Cheer, is being investigated by the FBI after he allegedly solicited sex and sexually explicit photos from minors, according to USA Today

Cheerleader Jerry Harris, famed for his appearance on Netflix's Cheer, is being investigated by the FBI after he allegedly solicited sex and sexually explicit photos from minors, according to USA Today 

'Absolutely!,' Harris said.  

There is no suggestion Biden was aware of the allegations against Harris at the time of the session. 

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment.  

Federal agents executed a search warrant at Harris's home in Naperville, Illinois, on Monday afternoon as part of the investigation, sources told USA Today.     

Harris has not been criminally charged. The 21-year-old has not publicly commented on the allegations or subsequent investigation. 

A DailyMail.com request seeking comment through his publicist has not yet been returned.

The criminal probe is based on allegations that were reported to police separately by Varsity, the global authority of competitive cheerleading.

USA Today reported that in letters to police in Florida and Texas dated August 1, the company's chief legal officer Burton Brilhart said Varsity had learned of 'inappropriate sexual conduct' allegations against Harris and was disclosing the information as legally required.

'As a result of the recent allegation, we have barred this person from having any affiliation with Varsity Brands or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, now and in the future,' Brillhart wrote, as reported by USA Today. 

In his letters, Brillhart describes Harris as a former employee who was not actively working for Varsity at the time of the alleged incidents. 

However, social media posts of Harris' from May 2019 claim that he was working for the National Cheerleaders Association, which is a Varsity brand.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks about climate change and the wildfires on the West Coast at the Delaware Museum of Natural History yesterday in Wilmington, Delaware

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks about climate change and the wildfires on the West Coast at the Delaware Museum of Natural History yesterday in Wilmington, Delaware

Later the same year, in the summer, he posted a number of photos and videos of himself apparently coaching at one of NCA's camps. 

After Cheer was released on Netflix Charlie says his friends begged him to FaceTime Harris so they could say hello and he claims Harris agree on the condition that Charlie sent him nude images. 

Included within the letters were two screenshots. In one of the images, taken from Snapchat, a picture, said to show the upper part of Harris' face, is accompanied with a message to Sam on February 9 reading, 'Would you ever want to ****'. 

The second screenshot, consisting of a series of text messages from a May 2, 2019 exchange, reportedly shows an individual named 'jerry harris' writing: 'Hey btw I found a place for us to do stuff it’s actually pretty good haha.'

The message was from the day before The Summit cheerleading competition in Orlando, Florida and Charlie says he let him down gently. 

'I just didn't want to make a deal out of anything at all,' Charlie told USA Today. 

Responding to an image of Charlie posing with his leg stretched above his head, the account replied: 'Do it naked and take a video and show me.' 

Charlie added: 'What everyone is seeing of Jerry Harris, from the outside view, from social media, is a completely different person from when you actually know him.'  

In an interview with USA Today conducted in August, Charlie said the contact left him with anxiety, resulting in lack of sleep and suffered grades.

'It was just eating me alive,' Charlie said. 'It was just making me so gross and uncomfortable. Every time I saw his name or something like that, I was just cringing about it.' 

The FBI investigation includes agents in Texas where the twins live and in Illinois (pictured)

The FBI investigation includes agents in Texas where the twins live and in Illinois (pictured)

Cheer was released on Netflix in January and the complaints to authorities began in May

Cheer was released on Netflix in January and the complaints to authorities began in May

Jerry Harris (right) attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on February 9, 2020

Jerry Harris (right) attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on February 9, 2020

Harris became Cheer's break-out star, and later appeared on the Ellen Show as a guest presenter, interviewing celebrities at the Oscars (pictured above during a different appearance)

Harris became Cheer's break-out star, and later appeared on the Ellen Show as a guest presenter, interviewing celebrities at the Oscars (pictured above during a different appearance)

The FBI interviewed the twins on August 28 and then spoke to Charlie again on Friday, according to their mother Kristen. 

She said the agency retrieved evidence from their cell phones and gathered documentation from cheer events they attended where Harris was present.

Kristen said she first learned about the messages earlier this year and ordered her sons to deleted the communications because she was in shock.

She claims that it included a video of Harris masturbating and say she now regrets making them delete it.

Kristen also saw a message believed to be from Harris saying 'I'm sorry for what I've done in the past' and felt bad for him after learning from the Netflix show that Harris lost his mother to cancer as a child.

However when her sons said they alleged they were sexually assaulted by cheerleading coach, Shaquille Brown, at a party in May, she took action against Harris. Brown was arrested in July and denied the allegations to USA Today.

Kristen first reported the allegations to the US All Star Federation (USASF) on May 15 but only got a brief reply from Vice President of Membership Amy Clark.

Kristen followed up on July 9 with a second report prompting Clark to set up a phone call with her. The mother filed a report with police in Fort Worth in July and then the FBI in August. The allegations have also been reported to law enforcement agencies in Florida.

'I am not sure whether I can trust your organization,' Kristen wrote to Clark in an August 6 email, according to USA Today.  'I feel like on July 10 you tried to finesse me into ignoring the fact that your organization had done virtually nothing with the information.'

Sam tweeted in July: 'Pedophilia in cheer needs to be addressed. There are actual monsters of people who we all praise who are preying on little kids. It is sad how it’s almost gotten normalized in this industry.' 

Brown was suspended from USASF, which governs the cheer sport, however Harris wasn't until Monday when the allegations were reported by USA Today. 

On Monday, Kristen sued Varsity, USASF, and Cheer Athletics Gym where Harris has cheered. 

Cheer Athletics Gym owner Angela Rogers said that while she hasn't been affiliated with the gym in Texas since March 1, she reported the allegations to police in May. 

In a statement to DailyMail.com, Varsity said: 'We can’t comment on an active law enforcement investigation; we continue to cooperate with authorities in their inquiries on this matter.'

Harris was made famous earlier this year, following the January release of Netflix's Cheer documentary series, which followed Texas' Navarro College cheerleaders in their bid to secure a national title.

He was known for his cheerful attitude despite being sidelined much of the time and even secured a deal with General Mills' Cheerios.  

Cheer later received six Emmy nominations, and Harris, beloved for his positive and supportive demeanor in the show, became its break-out star.

In February, Harris starred as a guest presenter interviewing celebrities on the red carpet of the Oscars for the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Then in June, he appeared in a short video alongside Joe Biden in which he urged black voters to turn out on Election Day and vote for the former Vice President.

Harris, who has amassed more than 1.2 million Instagram followers, also partnered with a number of companies for various advertising campaigns, including Walmart, Cheerios and Starburst. 

Netflix declined to comment about the investigation when approached by DailyMail.com.

Special agent Siobhan Johnson of Chicago FBI said: 'The FBI is conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity in that area. Department of Justice policy prevents the FBI from commenting on the existence or nonexistence of any investigations that may be occurring. There is no further information at this time.' 

General Mills said on Monday that it had suspended its Cheerios contract with Harris

General Mills said on Monday that it had suspended its Cheerios contract with Harris

1 comment: