Jerry Harris, a cheerleader featured on Netflix's Cheer, a docu-series that followed Corsicana's Navarro College's cheer team, was arrested on child pornography charges, according to BuzzFeed News. On Monday, FBI agents searched his home in Naperville, Illinois.
Harris was known for his "mat talk," where he would regularly cheer on his teammates from the side of the mat. After Cheer aired on Netflix, the popularity of the stars exploded. Oprah Winfrey had him on her tour stop in Dallas; Ellen Degeneres hired him to work the Academy Awards red carpet, where he interviewed celebrities including Brad Pitt; and Harris and two teammates were bartenders on Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live.
On Monday, 14-year-old twin brothers sued Harris, claiming Harris "solicited sex, sent them sexually explicit messages via text and social media, and asked them to send nude photos of themselves," according to The New York Times. The lawsuit states Harris asked one of the boys for oral sex and threatened “imminent physical bodily injury," according to The New York Times.
BuzzFeed News published alleged screenshots between Harris and one of the boys, showing that Harris allegedly asked the boy how old he was. After he said he was 13, Harris asked for photos of his face and "booty."
Another alleged screenshot shows Harris texting one of the boys that he had found a place for them to "do stuff." The boy told Harris he couldn't.
A spokesperson for Harris told People on Tuesday, "We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager. We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed."
Even though Harris denied the allegations, BuzzFeed News reports that Harris allegedly "admitted to investigators that he had asked the underage boy for sexually explicit photos through Snapchat. Harris, according to the complaint, knew the boy was 13 at the time."
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