During the early stages of the #KickVic campaign, a campaign started in order to bring awareness to accusations of misconduct leveled at voice actor Vic Mignogna and to advocate for his removal from various projects, popular cosplayer Jessie Pridemore took to her personal Facebook page to recount her experience involving Mignogna, which was related to a serious allegation of sexual assault at the hands of an unnamed voice actor whose identity was soon revealed as he defended himself against the accusations.

On January 28th, Pridemore recounted the assault while also declining to name the alleged assailant due to his influence within the community:

About ten years ago, I was a bright eyed and bushy tailed cosplayer at the height of my cosplay career. I was really well known for being the official character model for several anime companies and worked a lot with voice actors for events. I was also a high up staffer at a convention I loved. I was also going through a divorce.

A voice actor (I’m not willing to name because I can’t be alone when I do this. He’s too powerful in the community) that I really admired and thought was cute was flirting with me. Used my divorce as an “in.” Him and another man kept feeding me drinks. Despite another voice actor kicking him in the leg to stop, he kept going. He inviting me up to his room to see his “Japanese candy collection.” I blacked out. I woke up half off his bed and undressed just from the waist down. I couldn’t even see who’s room I was in. I gathered my stuff and left horrified. After talking to a couple people, I pieced together what had happened that night. I was too young to understand what consent was in that situation and thought that he was truly interested in me. I’d give more details, but it would give his identity. So I went to the next convention he did. He spent the entire weekend treating me like garbage. When I finally opened up to my ex husband about what had happened, he told me I was raped. Even then I didn’t want to admit it. Over the years, I found there was more girls that it happened to. He started telling people I was obsessed with him and just mad he didn’t want to date me.

[…]

I know this will probably tarnish me getting invited to cons. It’s why I started moving away from working for anime companies. I’ve become really good at ignoring shitty people over the years. But it is long past time that this comes out to light. Maybe one day I’ll be strong enough to name the other one.

More from Bounding Into Comics

The identity of the alleged assailant was revealed three days later on January 31st, as Dragon Ball Kai, Fairy Tail, and Attack on Titan voice actor Todd Haberkorn identified himself as the unnamed assailant due to his response to Pridemore’s accusations. In his response, Haberkorn recounted the event from his perspective, as well as claiming that the encounter they had was consensual:

Strangely, the post was removed. Here it is again:

The recent narrative posted on Facebook by J. Pridemore made me think of a story I hadn’t thought of in quite some time. Years ago, I was at a convention as a guest. One of my friends there was working for a company that happened to have a booth in the dealer’s room of the convention and we met up to hang on the Saturday of the con. He mentioned that a very close friend of his wanted to meet me and that she would be at the convention weekend party with an open bar that is very common at 95% of conventions that take place in the U.S.

So, this buddy of mine, Adam, and I met up with this friend of his that he mentioned. We all hit it off and, like adults often do at a party, we had drinks. The woman at the time, was 24. I was 27. We both were adults who could vote, who could buy guns, who could enlist in the armed forces and be trained on how to kill people – and we certainly could decide if we wanted to drink alcohol or not. We both chose to have drinks as is very common when grown ups go out for an evening of partying.

This woman I had just met expressed how much of a brother Adam was to her and I heard stories of how they met and their interactions. In turn, I shared my experiences with Adam. We all bonded over talking, laughter, and drinks. The conversation and hanging went on into the wee hours of the night. The attractive girl I had met and myself continued the flirting that had been going on between us for the majority of the evening. The flirting led back to my hotel room where we engaged in consensual, adult intimacy: sex.

Due to the very late hour of the night (around 5 to 6am cause the sun was coming up), the long convention day, and drinks, both she and I passed out for some sleep. Sunday was another convention day and we both had appointments to keep – so, as much as it hurt to go without some good sleep – we had to get up and get to it. We left the hotel room together – she went her way and I went mine.

Haberkorn then states that despite their physical intimacy, a deeper connection between the two was not feasible, and the two went their separate ways:

The convention came to an end and I flew back to my home. About a week later, this young woman contacted me online and we began chatting; getting to know each other a bit more. She mentioned that she was glad Adam had introduced us. I was very complimentary and kind, but made it clear that I was not a keepsake, but a toy right now. I was going through the early stages of divorce and wasn’t ready for another female by my side. The woman responded that she, too, was going through a divorce and that she wanted to be “toyed” with at the time…she proceeded to tell me about how damaged she was, how broken her life was, how her health and finances weren’t in great shape.

Quickly I saw that she had some issues that I didn’t feel equipped to take on given my own circumstances. Conversations continued for a fair amount of time and we ran into each other at another convention. This same woman found me in the gym at the con we were both at, and brought up the idea of casual sex when we meet at cons – continuing the trend that we had started when we first met. I tried to gracefully change the subject because it wasn’t something I was interested in.

After that, we lost touch but roamed in similar circuits on the con scene. If we happened to cross paths, things were pleasant and polite.

This woman was J. Pridemore.

As a sexual abuse victim myself, I’m incredibly sensitive to anyone’s experiences with abuse in this realm. In addition to that, to discuss something of an intimate nature in a public forum like this is deeply embarrassing.

But I also know that I am 50% of the equation and have just as much right to share my side of the story as well. Below you’ll see a screenshots of one of the conversations we had shortly after the “incident” she reported on Facebook. #Truth4Todd

In the screenshots provided by Haberkorn, Pridemore and Haberkorn can allegedly be seen having seemingly friendly and even flirtatious conversations. Pridemore herself admits that “I think you could be a lot of fun, Mr. Haberkorn” and when Haberkorn says that he has to “have some redeemable quality”, Pridemore responds with “I can name a few…Damnit, you can even get my mind back in the gutter. You’re dangerous.” The two also discuss how “broken” each respective person is, with Pridemore describing herself as “a broken china doll. Pretty to look at, but the cracks are very unappealing,” to which Haberkorn responds sympathetically, stating that “as long as I have the ability to hurt people as much as I have in my life – I’ll always consider myself damaged.”.

After seeing the publicly posted response by Haberkorn, Director of Events at Crunchyroll Adam Sheehan (who was mentioned by name in Haberkorn’s post) took to his Twitter account to stand in defense of Pridemore’s accusations and condemn Haberkorn for the nature of his initial response:

Sheehan would also provide further details surrounding the night of the alleged assault:

Following Sheehan’s response, Pridemore would add that there are more details concerning the experience, but that she did not wish to continue an “endless loop” with Haberkorn due to the rape and death threats she alleged to receive:

Over a month later, during a March 4th live stream hosted by Rekieta Law, it was announced that Haberkorn would be retaining Ty Beard of Beard Harris Bullock Hughes Attorneys at Law, the same lawyer representing Vic Mignogna, to represent him in possible legal action against Pridemore due to her accusations:

What do you make of Todd Haberkorn obtaining a lawyer? Do you believe the accusations made against him? Or do you believe his story?

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