Shane DeFreest, one of the original developers for the popular tabletop role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade and a former Obsidian Entertainment employee, has responded to accusations of sexual misconduct, including outright sexual assault, recently leveled against him by multiple individuals including popular cosplayer and costume designer Jessie Pridemore.
On June 23rd, during a recent resurgence of #MeToo-styled accusations against numerous individuals across the spectrum of popular entertainment, Pridemore came forward to explicitly claim that she “was raped by Shane DeFreest,” an act she describes as “calculated” and “truly evil.”
Pridemore’s Initial Accusations
Pridemore wrote, “This is very difficult to write. A female friend if mine once told me “every woman gets one.” She wasn’t wrong. Coming out against abusers is already hard. Coming out about multiple abusers is even harder.”
The costume designer added, “Those who follow me and know what I’ve gone through the past year and a half, know how hard it’s been. Having my hand forced by my abuser in the anime world who outed himself meant he was my one. But not today.”
Pridemore then stated, “I will stand with my sisters and Enbies this day as many of them have come forward about their experiences in the gaming community. Luckily for me, my abuser was ostracized already, but only because it was a repeated pattern and people had finally had enough.”
Pridemore then accused DeFreest of rape. She wrote, “I was raped by Shane DeFreest. But it was so much more than rape. It was calculated. And truly evil what he did. He planned every step. Every moment. He knew what he wanted and went through great lengths to get it.”
She then went on to detail that DeFreest was her boss after she was hired by Obsidian Entertainment to make costumes promoting Pillars of Eternity at GenCon and Pax Prime.
She goes on to indicate that when she arrived at GenCon her hotel arrangements had been changed and she was moved to “the huge bedroom that was isolated.”
According to Pridemore’s recollection, after being dumped by her then-partner, Pridemore was continually plied with drinks by DeFreest before he allegedly followed her into her room.
Due to being extremely intoxicated, Pridemore then detailed she went straight to the bathroom and threw up before she crashed onto her bed. The next thing she remembered was DeFreest on top of her and being in pain.
She explained, “The first night after a day on the floor, I was dumped via text. I was very upset. We all went to dinner and Shane said I should keep drinking to forget him. I made sure to eat a lot so that I wouldn’t get drunk, then we went to a party.”
Pridemore continued, “It ended up being pretty boring, so we went to a drag show. The other model decided she was done for the night and went back to the hotel. At the drag show, Shane kept bringing me drinks. Feeling obligated, I took them and enjoyed the show.”
“I don’t remember how we got back to the hotel. I don’t know why Shane had followed me into my room. I immediately went to the bathroom to vomit and crashed onto my bed.” she stated.
She then wrote, “The next thing I remember is him on to (sp?) off me and me crying because I was in so much pain. It was the only reason he stopped. At this point, my endometriosis had progressed a lot and unless you are 100% into it, it’s incredibly painful.”
Pridemore then claims that DeFreest planned the alleged rape, “As the days went on, it slowly started to sink in what had happened. That he had planned it all along. That he isolated me for a reason.”
She goes on to detail that she continued with her contract to attend PAX because she needed the money and this time insisted on rooming with the other model. However, she does admit that she did spend the night with one of her teammates during the convention.
Pridemore wrote, “I ended up liking one of my teammates and would spend the night in his room. We ended up dating for a couple years.”
She went on to allege that DeFreest showed up at her room on the second night, but the other model covered for her.
Pridemore wrote, “The second night of the con, Shane showed up to my room I was sharing with the other model and was waiting for me. She was covering for me, saying I was still at a party, but I’m sure Shane suspected I was with the other teammate.”
She added, “He stayed for an hour waiting for me until the model finally told him to leave because she needed to sleep.”
Pridemore would then detail that DeFreest confronted her and that during this discussion she screamed, “YOU RAPED ME” at him at public restaurant.
She wrote, “The third day, Shane told me I was longer allowed to take lunch with the other model and said I was to take lunch with him. My heart sank.”
“As we are sitting in the booth waiting to order, he comes out with “people on the team think you are being a bitch,” which wasn’t true, everyone reported they loved working with me. I told him if I was doing a bad job, he should send me home,” Pridemore continued.
She added, “He IMMEDIATELY changed his tune and said “no you’re doing a great job, everyone loves interacting with you” and I said then I don’t know what the problem is. He starts droaning on and on and I just cant take it anymore and in the middle of this busy restaurant I screamed ‘YOU RAPED ME.'”
Pridemore elaborated, “He went really quiet. Started to claim he couldn’t possibly since he hates rapists blah blah then he changes his tune again. Starts blaming be me. Said I wanted it. I was like, before or after my head was in the toilet?? Explained about endometriosis and sex.”
Following this incident, Pridemore alleges that not only did DeFreest proceed to make sexually vulgar comments related to the incident to her on the floor of the convention, but that this behavior eventually resulted in him secluding himself and stating that he was “working on himself and his behavior.”
Pridemore wrote, “He then acted like everything was fine. I didn’t even eat. We went back to the floor and I’m trying to work, but he keeps coming up to me and trying to talk to me. Eventually he asks ‘are you sure you don’t remember anything?’ I told him I explained everything I remember.”
She then stated, “He then says, no joke, ‘oh. Ive just never had a woman not remember me go down on them before.’ I. Was. Mortified.”
“He was fired from Obsidian shortly after. I only told a few people. He would message me periodically to tell be my new photos were sexy or whatever. I blocked him from everything,” she added.
Pridemore then claimed, “I found out a couple years ago he’d been ostracized from the gaming and vampire community because more women had come forward. He then secluded himself and told everyone he was ‘working on himself and his behavior.'”
Pridemore would later clarify on Twitter that, during this alleged incident, DeFreest was “100% sober and the day after was celebrating an anniversary of being sober.”
She wrote, “Shane DeFreest’s defense of raping me and dozens of people coming forward about his abuse since THE 90S is ‘well that’s like, your opinion man.’ I have told people about what happened since THE DAY AFTER and my story never changed. You were stone sober. I was really drunk.”
She continued, “I actually liked you, obviously before all this came out, and would have pursued a relationship. But you chose to take advantage of me and instead of owning up to it, you chose the weasel way out. Get f***ed.”
Pridmore then tweeted, “Woke up to such an amazing outpouring of love and support. I’m overwhelmed. Thank you everyone. Trying to get to responses.”
She added, “I also wanted to note, since I forgot this in the OP, he was 100% sober the day after was celebrating an anniversary of being sober.”
Shane DeFreest Responds
Following Pridemore’s publication of her story and the alleged public attention brought to her accusations by “Sara Hart and Anastasia Marston [who] are now promoting” the post, DeFreest took to his own Twitter account four days later to respond, seeking “to address defamatory accusations leveled against [him] on the Internet.”
Shane DeFreest Response to Jessie Pridemore, Sara Hart, and Anastasia Marston
— Shane DeFreest (@shanedefreest) June 27, 2020
DeFreest began his statement “I make this statement to address defamatory accusations leveled against me on the Internet. It seems that a group of three women are attempting to label me as a rapist and sexual predator to the public without any evidence or due process. I want to be absolutely clear that these allegations are not true and that is obvious to anyone who bothers to examine the facts.”
He adds, “Here are the facts. I have only met Sara Hart and Anastasia Marston one time each. I met Sara Hart at a social function in Las Vegas in 2006. Many years later we would become business rivals, but my brief original public interaction with her was not hostile, sexual, or criminal in any way.”
DeFreest then details his encounter with Marston, “I met Anastasia Marston at a convention in New Orleans in 2009. We had a public disagreement that was witnessed by many people. The argument did not involve sexual conduct in any way. I have not spoken to or interacted directly with either of them since.”
He added, “Apparently they hold grudges over our brief interactions and decided to defame me publicly as a sexual predator. I have never had any private or intimate interactions with either of them and neither can provide any evidence that I acted improperly toward them or anyone else.”
Turning to Pridemore’s accusation, DeFreest claims that the sexual contact “was completely consensual” but notes that “the experience wasn’t positive for either of us so we went our separate ways and never got together again.”
He wrote, “Sara Hart and Anastasia Marston are now promoting a post by Jessie Pridemore to justify their longstanding personal vendetta. Jessie Pridemore and I had a one night stand in 2014. It was completely consensual.”
“The experience wasn’t positive for either of us so we went our separate ways and never got together again. By her own account she was in a bad state of mind but there was no suggestion that anything improper happened,” DeFreest added.
DeFreest then alleges that Pridemore is conspiring with Hart and Marston, “Recently she decided to post online that I raped her. I do not know why she has suddenly decided to do this six years after our one night stand, but it is clear from their social media activity that she decided to do this together with Sara Hart and Anastasia Marston.”
DeFreest wrote, “We should all take accusations of sexual assault seriously, but there are right and wrong ways to deal with it. None of these people have filed police complaints or presented corroborating evidence of any of their claims.”
He indicates he would like a police investigation to clear his name, “I would welcome a police investigation so I can clear my name. There were many people present during my interactions with all of these people and they are eager to corroborate what actually happened.”
“Merely posting online that someone is a rapist and sexual predator without any proof or due process is irresponsible and defamatory. The result is damage to my career, name and business because many weak minded people won’t bother to examine the facts,” DeFreest added.
He concluded, “While I would like nothing more than to answer all your questions, this has now become a serious legal matter. On the advice of my attorneys, all my future statements about this will be through my lawyers as we proceed. I want to thank those who resisted the temptation to rush to judgment and either took the time to look at the facts or contact to offer support and testimony. Thank you.”
Pridemore Doubles Down
In response to DeFreest’s statement, Pridemore clarified that she had “told people about what happened since THE DAY AFTER and my story never changed.”
She also remained adamant that DeFreest “chose to take advantage of me and instead of owning up to it, you chose the weasel way out.”
Pridemore’s Previous Accusations
Pridemore previously accused Dragon Ball and Fairy Tail voice actor Todd Haberkorn of sexual assault.
Haberkorn denied the accusations and indicated the encounter between them was consensual.
In her accusation against Haberkorn, Pridemore also accused former Dragon Ball Super VA Vic Mignogna of tugging her hair.
What do you make of Pridemore’s accusations and DeFreest’s response?