YouTube star ProJared
To quickly recap:
Popular gamer Jared Knabenbauer, aka ProJared, announced his divorce from his cosplayer/vlogger wife Heidi O’Ferrall, aka AtelierHeidi, on Twitter a couple weeks back.
It was a very chill, thoughtful “conscious uncoupling” type mutual announcement.
Only it wasn’t. Not really.
Heidi responded to fans reaching out by saying she had no idea about the announcement — because she had already been BLOCKED by her husband after she claims she found out he had been having sex with their friend Holly Conrad, who is also a YouTube personality (she goes by Commander Holly) for months.
Not only that, she unleashed on ProJared, saying he had been emotionally abusive, gaslighting her about the cheating.
Oh, and he had been soliciting nudes from his fans. Ew.
ProJared lost over 100,000 YouTube subscribers in just a day!
What’s more, after her revelations, multiple fans came forward corroborating this, saying ProJared had sent them nudes and encouraged them to send them back — and then posted many of them on a private site.
At least two of these accusers claimed they were underage at the time.
Yeah. It went from the fun, juicy kind of sex scandal to the icky, need-a-shower kind.
OK, so that’s the story.
But Commander Holly, the other woman in the scenario, has a different story to tell.
According to her, it was Heidi who was the abuser, the manipulator. In fact, she claims Heidi was the one who already had herself another man — and encouraged ProJared to hook up with her in the first place!
Get it all directly from Holly, who broke her silence by tweeting up an absolute storm Monday night:
“For the past year, I’ve been trying to help someone I care about leave an abusive relationship. I’m telling my story with the receipts I can legally share, with no hate and no vindictiveness. I just need to bring the truth to light regarding @AtelierHeidi and @ProJared.
These tweets are not meant to spread hate, so please do not use them to bully @AtelierHeidi or @ProJared. What I’ve experienced for the past ten days I do not wish on anyone. I encourage you to spread healing instead of hate.
I have not spoken out sooner because on May 9th, I checked myself into a hospital because I was having self-harming thoughts. I’m not ashamed of this at all, it was the right thing to do and I was safe there. It’s OK to ask for mental health help when you need it.”
Well, that explains why we haven’t heard from her so far. Damn.
“Before going forward, I want to make clear that I do not approve of any influencer exchanging nudes with fans. This behavior is an abuse of power and that is NEVER OK. @ProJared made poor decisions.”
“That said, I have seen relevant receipts which prove that @ProJared confirmed the consent and ages of those individuals he interacted with. These accusations have legal ramifications for all involved, and for that reason, no one can comment on them or share information publicly.”
You have the evidence, but you’re not allowed to share it? Is this some kind of “my tax returns are under audit” move? It’s certainly convenient not to have to share the receipts.
“This makes it difficult to speak out. Please know that I do not expect everyone to believe me. But it’s NOT justice to treat every accusation as a conviction. Oddly enough, people can lie on the internet, and omit information.
P.S. If you are a consenting adult who swaps nudes with another consenting adult, THEN posts those nudes on the internet without consent, that is called “Revenge Porn,” which is a felony in 48 states.”
She also provided a link to a legal site explaining these laws.
But here’s where Holly spills the tea. She claims:
“In early 2018, @AtelierHeidi told @ProJared she wanted him to explore his feelings for me. She was enjoying the advantages of an open relationship (including a long-term boyfriend) and wanted Jared to do the same.”
There it is.
“On February 7th, 2018 @ProJared took me on a walk. Despite having @AtelierHeidi’s “full permission” to do more, all we did was talk about our feelings. Jared and I were transparent about our discussion with both Heidi and all others involved with the situation.
I don’t know when @ProJared started having feelings, but I didn’t realize that I had them – at all – until then. It was like being pushed into ice water. I’ve talked about being asexual for years. I never expected to have feelings and it was terrifying.”
But very quickly there was something else altogether to be scared of.
“Even though @ProJared and I had a longstanding professional and platonic relationship, Heidi never wanted us to speak again. She became extremely jealous and vindictive. Both Jared and I were scared of her.”
Wait, what? But you just said she pushed you together!
This isn’t adding up. But is it the story that’s wrong? Or the behavior??
“[email protected] was so angry. I wanted @ProJared to reassure me that she had consented. He sent me this screenshot “If it makes it easier for you I will quietly go into the bedroom,” “you have full permission to do anything you want” & “I am fine and will continue to be fine.””
And here is the receipt:
But it was after this supposed green light that Holly says Heidi became possessive and “enraged”:
“I tried to apologize multiple times to @AtelierHeidi. I tried gifts and words but nothing was “enough” for her. I wasn’t even sure what I was apologizing for, I just wanted to make her feel better and not be angry. But there was nothing I could do or say.
She continued to be enraged. I conveyed to her that I was happy to just be friends & professional colleagues with @ProJared. Her response was a fit of rage. Later in Feb ’18, she called me from Jared’s number and howled “I WANT MY HUSBAND TO THINK OF ME NOT YOU DURING SEX!””
Ooh, damn. Ouch.
Not to be a devil on the shoulder here, but why would he tell her if he thought about someone else during sex??
You can’t help what pops in there, why make things awkward?
“Even though Jared and I had not been physical at all, @AtelierHeidi called me from Jared’s phone and SCREAMED at me. I asked her what she wanted me to do, telling her I would do anything to help her feel better. All she did was scream “GO AWAY!”
I hung up on @AtelierHeidi in fear and texted @ProJared that he needed to leave this abusive relationship. After experiencing her wrath, I turned my concern to Jared’s safety. At that point, I knew communicating with her wouldn’t work.”
Wait, that equates to abusive?
Sorry, did we miss something?
Look, even if everything Holly is saying is accurate, people try and fail at the whole “open relationship” thing all the time. Sometimes these things seem utopian in theory — but when your man’s genitals are actually being handled by someone else everything gets flipped. It’s just human nature.
It isn’t easy to put that genie back in the bottle, but it’s definitely your right to change your personal relationship boundaries.
Anyway, Holly continues:
“[email protected] and I went long stretches of time afraid to communicate outside of our D&D game. @AtelierHeidi openly fantasized about ruining our D&D show because it meant so much to us. She would use this threat to control him. He would send me her texts when he was scared.”
But… isn’t that in response to something?
Remember, Heidi claimed ProJared was gaslighting her about the affair for months. Hmm.
Here’s where it gets really twisted. Holly now claims all of the accusations Heidi has made have been part of her plan for months!
“Not wanting the marriage (and her control) to end, @AtelierHeidi constantly threatened @ProJared saying that she would ruin him, publicly accuse him of being “a cheater,” and being an abuser if he went through with the divorce.”
As for that abuse she was speaking of earlier, she says it was obvious to everyone around the couple:
“[email protected]’s friends witnessed Heidi’s abuse. They watched @AtelierHeidi scream at Jared: at parties, at conventions, on planes, and in his own home. There was more than one intervention to encourage him to separate from her. They were scared for Jared’s safety.”
Holly also says the split was a much more prolonged affair than a tweet:
“After 4 attempts to separate, involving all kinds of therapists and lawyers, @AtelierHeidi only agreed to move out after she’d illegally obtained pictures and texts that she could use as leverage for her revenge campaign against @ProJared and myself.
Jared did NOT divorce Heidi on Twitter. @AtelierHeidi made the first post regarding their relationship ending and it was full of false information. @ProJared wanted to keep this a private matter. We were terrified of Heidi based on her numerous threats and extortion.”
According to Holly, this was all part of Heidi’s scheme:
“On May 7, 2019, @AtelierHeidi moved into her new home and made the following post on Facebook. She accused @ProJared of cheating on and abusing her in front of all our mutual friends, family, and our professional colleagues. She was the first one to make a public statement.”
And once again she provided some proof:
According to Holly, ProJared’s post was in response to the Facebook post:
“When @ProJared responded to @AtelierHeidi Facebook post neutrally, she enacted the vengeance she’d been planning for “a long time.” She LIED about not being poly and approving of the nudes. She slutshamed me. She did not mention her long-term boyfriend, or threats.”
Holly next posted a shot of a text convo between Heidi and Jared that proves they were talking about sex with other people.
It’s a little too NSFW to post, TBH! But it doesn’t have anyone admitting to having had sex outside the marriage — just talking about it.
Anyhow, Holly goes on to try to show how after the scandal broke, Heidi’s behavior changed. She shares quite a few of Heidi’s Facebook posts:
“On Facebook, @AtelierHeidi called what she did a “public execution” of @ProJared, and it was incredibly hard for me to experience. Seeing the internet rally around Jared’s ABUSER to mercilessly harass both of us with no evidence beyond Heidi’s words – it put me in a dark spot.”
That’s… definitely an odd phrasing for an abuse victim forced to come forward. But people react in different ways, you can’t really say “an abuse victim wouldn’t do x, y, or z.” It’s an unfair generalization. People do messed up things, sometimes not in their best interests.
Anyway, Holly continues:
“[email protected]’s friends, who knew the details of the abuse and had urged him to leave bravely, spoke out to defend him but were quickly vaporized by the one-sided, misinformed hate machine @AtelierHeidi had activated.”
Holly’s evidence is quickly becoming whatever Heidi has posted since the scandal broke.
“Meanwhile, @AtelierHeidi gloated on Facebook, bragging that she’d been retweeted by @PerezHilton, joking that @ProJared was more famous now than ever because of her accusations, and drinking white zinfandel. Adding insult to injury, she TRIED TO STEAL HIS GOLD PLAY BUTTON.”
What does any of this prove? What kind of person she is? Maybe. But does it prove she was the abuser and not the abused?
Holly tries to connect the dots for us:
“If Heidi truly felt that she had to “flee” her “abuser,” would she ever go back to the house of the person she claims abused her? Jared paid for movers, and they’d already finished by then. Survivors typically avoid their abusers out of real fear, the way Jared has, and I have.
Leaving an abuser is DIFFICULT. It takes survivors an average of 7 TIMES to leave for good. The months @ProJared tried to separate from @AtelierHeidi were excruciating. I worried about him all the time. He was broken and I was powerless, barely able to even talk to him.”
For Holly, the fact Heidi is now living high on the hog after publicly accusing Jared is proof her story is the truth.
“Beyond the satisfaction of revenge, @AtelierHeidi received 100k new Twitter followers by publicly and falsely accusing me of ruining their marriage and labeling @ProJared as an abuser. She began using the attention from the crisis to promote herself.”
Not sure we’d necessarily say that was “promoting herself” so much as looking at the silver lining. In fact, we don’t know Heidi, but some of this is coming across to us as sarcasm…
We mean, look. You’re all on YouTube, you ALL want to be famous to some degree.
And again, it has to be said. It’s not up to us to judge what an abuse victim would or wouldn’t do. And becoming super famous overnight is a strange thing to take on. We can only imagine it’s less fun becoming famous for this than for hot goss.
“This experience has fundamentally changed my relationship to the internet. I’m still here, still putting myself out there, but it’s never going to be the same. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who didn’t comment “CHEATER” and “WHORE” on my posts.
Big thanks to all of you tweethearts who have stuck by me. You waited so patiently as I recovered and processed enough to be able to tell my side of the story. I appreciate and love you all.”
Well, we guess that’s her whole story.
Oh, wait, remember when she said at the start “people can lie on the internet, and omit information”?
Holly was a married woman in February 2018.
Yeah. Didn’t mention her now ex-husband anywhere in her whole narrative about being the real victim here. Inneresting.
As you might imagine, it didn’t take long for Heidi to hear about this — and hit right back.
“The “Heidi is an abuser” narrative was started by @HollyConrad after I told her that she couldn’t have sex with my then-husband @ProJared. She just “lashed out” because she was upset.”
And Heidi brought her own receipts — screen grabs of text convos with Holly.
“Conversation happened February 10, 2018.”
“When people are like, “why did you agree to it and then change your mind?” I ended it AS it was starting. Supposedly. And she started calling me an abuser to get what she wanted from Jared.”
That was just the start of Heidi’s rebuttal.
She waded into Holly’s story:
“Okay, Holly’s Twitter thread is full of lies. She’s exaggerating, twisting details, and taking Jared’s word on a lot of stuff and running with it. But most importantly, the heart of her argument is “I was just helping my friend leave his awful wife…. by having sex with him”
As far as I can tell the whole point of these posts is to make me look bad? She’s not adding clarity to her decision to secretly sleep with a married man, she’s just saying, “look how awful his wife was”
Heidi next responds to the accusation she was cheating first — or that they were in an “open relationship”:
“As far as my supposed “long term boyfriend” goes, she is assuming a LOT. During the time Jared and I explored polyamory, I was long- distance messaging someone in another state. I ended that MYSELF when I told Jared that I needed to ask him for monogamy after he’d broken my trust
I wanted to leave that person out of this because it’s super irrelevant. I took steps to be fully transparent with Jared, make sure he knew he was always my first priority, and that he could expect the truth from me. I never had anything to hide from Jared, period.”
As far as legal issues, Heidi responds:
“Nothing I found on Jared’s phone was illegally obtained. My lawyer assured me of that. It’s community property, purchased during our marriage, unlocked in the house. I picked it up and discovered horrifically explicit proof of their ongoing affair. That they were lying about.
They wanna catch me on a technicality “oh you shouldn’t have looked!”
I’m grateful I looked. If I hadn’t looked, I would have left this marriage crushed but the belief that what Jared and Holly say about me is true.
It’s all their excuse for f**king.”
And what about the “yelling” all Jared’s friends witnessed? What Holly referred to as abuse from Heidi?
“I never pretended to be blameless. What I DID say is that I made every effort to communicate with Jared and correct my mistakes. During that time he was intensely gaslighting me, lying to me, and giving me the silent treatment EVERY time I tried to have an earnest conversation
What Holly saw, and the rest of Jared’s friends saw, were my frustrations boiling over after days, weeks, months of silent treatment and neglect from Jared. He broadcasted my frustrations, and acted like they came from nowhere. To support his narrative that I’m a bad person.”
Again, gaslighting is when someone tries to make you believe something that isn’t real. We’ve all been there.
“And that’s exactly what Holly’s doing now. She opens up talking about how good her intentions are, then devolves into a rambling mess about how I’m a terrible person and that’s the whole point.
She’s justifying her behavior with a smear campaign. Take that as you will.”
“All I want is to get away from these awful people and the reach of their social influence. I held my tongue about ALL of this until Jared started publicly gaslighting me with his initial divorce statement. He isn’t entitled to secrecy for cheating on me, neither is his mistress
I want to get back to posting cosplay and art. That’s what I’ve been doing. The only reason I ever deviated from that was to defend myself from my abuser’s public lies. They’ve been focused on discrediting me. I’m focused on breaking free and starting over.”
When a fan asked about that text convo Holly had posted, seeming to show Heidi’s support for her man cheating, she responded:
“Yes, this was my first ever initial attempt to be supportive.
I discovered that they were not capable of being honest with me in spite of my unwavering support. That was deeply hurtful, so I stopped trusting them and asked it to stop.
She’s distracting you.”
“This was the aftermath of that night, when I tried to be supportive and they ignored me for hours. I went to bed sobbing thinking Jared was hooking up with her without ever acknowledging me”
“I’m now in a position where the fact that I TRIED to embrace the idea of them being together is being used against me.
Holly and Jared hurt me deeply. They both knew exactly how I felt about polyamory in the end. I asked it to stop, and followed suit ending my own relationship
They’re scrambling to make it look like they had my permission to be together, or that I was somehow a hypocrite during the same time.
No, I was straightforward with my expectations and gave Jared the same respect. I honored him above all others.”
Here’s a question. Why was Holly trying to get Jared to leave the marriage instead of fixing it?
Heidi thinks she has the answer:
“Because her top priority was being with Jared, not rescuing him.
Think about it. If she really believed she was being a good mental health ally to someone in need, why does she start having sex with him? That’s unethical, period. She’s not an ally, she’s out for herself.”
Heidi is also NOT happy about how making light of the situation on her Facebook has been used as ammunition to paint her as some kind of self-aggrandizing schemer:
“I’ve been coping with humor on my private Facebook and now that’s being used against me too”
On going public, she says:
“I lived with constant blame, neglect, lies, and anxiety for a year while my husband insisted none of this was happening, and our marriage was failing because I was just a bad person.
Going public was the most liberating experience I’ve ever had and I don’t regret it.
People who say to me now, “stop talking about it” don’t realize that this has been an ongoing private hell. Talking about it is the only relief and peace I’ve felt in a long, long time. If you don’t want to see me talk about it you’re welcome to peace out, no hard feelings”
And she doesn’t have any plan to stop. Because now she feels like everyone being able to see what’s really going on means they’ll be on her side.
“Jared and Holly vilified me among all their friends for a year, isolating me, to help suppress their own guilt over their affair.
Now they’re doing it publicly on Twitter. This is the same fight I’ve always been fighting, privately, with only my therapist to help me.
So yeah, I’m gonna keep responding to their lies. I don’t have anything to hide and I don’t need time to come up with a story. I’m ready to share my truth.”
Heidi says being believed is actually a new feeling for her:
“I NEVER expected anyone to believe me to begin with. They had so much social power over me from the very start.
I’ve been manipulated by them for a long time and made to feel as awful as she says I am.
I overcame that through therapy, positive coping mechanisms, channeling my frustrations into productivity, pursuing new goals…. my ONLY intention is to start a new life away from them.”
She concluded for the evening by attempting to refute the idea this was all some scheme:
“One last thing… if you think I orchestrated this for personal gain, keep in mind that I stood to gain a LOT financially BY KEEPING QUIET.
I chose to come forward because my peace of mind is worth more than all the money he could ever give me.”
We don’t know specifically to what she’s referring, but that is indeed an intriguing statement.
This morning, Heidi addressed the elephant in the room — those accusations of soliciting nudes from possibly underage fans.
“Jared and Holly won’t address his sexual interactions with fans because they’ve been legally advised not to. There’s no “rule” to not speak about ongoing litigation, it’s just in their best interests not to address it. In case they say something incriminating.
Just some context for Holly’s “well I can’t talk about that” The ONLY reason to not talk about it is to protect Jared. By Jared’s instruction.
I didn’t have a problem talking about it because I have nothing to hide, and I don’t take orders from him anymore.”
I’ll reiterate that I didn’t specifically bring those allegations against him. I only had supporting evidence that indicated he was up to something, not true proof.
But I do believe the people who have come forward since then.”
Oh, and apparently having time to sleep on it didn’t cool her fire.
Because she then went OFF over Heidi’s insinuations the cheating was OK because of their attempt at an open relationship:
“Imagine sleeping with a married man and believing that he’s telling you the truth about everything. “No baby I only lie to my wife, I swear”
I’ve said it already: I wasn’t cheating on Jared. We tried polyamory, which has boundaries. When I said, “this isn’t working, I need monogamy” I followed through with ending my own side interest to demonstrate my loyalty to my marriage. I didn’t have a boyfriend during this time.
I never claimed we had a traditional marriage, I just gave the facts that mattered. I didn’t approve of a polyamorous situation between Jared and Holly. I tried to support it and they IMMEDIATELY broke my trust. I’m allowed to revoke consent.
Consent and boundaries aren’t hard to understand. Jared and Holly continually gaslit me by pretending to not get it no matter how many times I explained in detail. I was direct, specific, sincere. I always felt intentionally misunderstood.
Now they’re presenting their supposed confusion to the world like it’s the “other side”. It’s the same lies they told ME while I was just desperately asking for respect and honesty. Having my boundaries crossed was exactly what started all of this to begin with.
I had nothing to hide from Jared. He was up to date and aware of any interactions I had with this one other person. There were no lies, no cheating, no boundaries crossed on my part. That was all I wanted from any polyamorous situation. I didn’t get that from him.
This is all a LOT to take in.
What do YOU think about all this, Perezcious readers??
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