Rainn Wilson Drops Vine Star Curtis Lepore From Show After Backlash Over Rape Case
Rainn Wilson has dropped Curtis Lepore from his new show “Hollywood and Vine” amid a backlash over a rape charge against Lepore earlier this year. The Vine video star had been accused by ex-girlfriend Jessi Smiles of the sex crime; he later pleaded to a lesser felony assault charge.
“Hollywood and Vine,” produced by Wilson’s SoulPancake, follows the lives of five social media stars looking to break into mainstream Hollywood. Four other Vine stars currently tied to the project are Christian DelGrosso, Jerry Purpdrank, Lele Pons and Simone Shepherd.
When Lepore was announced as a star of the show, there was an outcry over his participation given the situation with Smiles, another Vine star whose real name is Jessi Vazquez. Vazquez claims Lepore raped her as she slept after they broke up. Last February, Lepore took a plea deal, pleading guilty to felony assault. He then continued to slam Vazquez in a series of tweets, upsetting fans and followers.
On Friday, a few days after his controversial hire of Lepore, Wilson announced on Facebook that Lepore was exiting “Hollywood and Vine.” He posted: “After much consideration, the decision was made with Curtis Lepore to mutually part ways on SoulPancake’s television project featuring Vine stars. We felt this was the best decision for everyone involved. We wish Curtis all the best in all his future endeavors.”