Whether you’re familiar with his movies or his music, you’ve most likely heard of Jared Leto. Regardless of your opinion on the man, it cannot be denied that he has acted suspect in recent times. Those who have worked with him and met him alike have remarked on this.
Dylan Sprouse is one of few celebrities to call Leto’s behavior into question. Sprouse took to Twitter in 2018 to call out Leto’s outreach to young women.
He starts at 18 on the Internet?
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 16, 2018
However, he’s not the only one to mention this. The girls are often said to be even younger. James Gunn added to his claims in a now-deleted Periscope video, saying he hits on underage girls. While he deleted the video, he never retracted his statement. Leto did not respond to any of these claims.
With many of these alleged girls being underage, there’s a strong chance they don’t know how to report or don’t feel safe doing so. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center states that sexual assault/abuse on a child is only reported 12 percent of the time.
Many forums have stories of his preference for teenage girls, sometimes as young as 14.
The absolute suspect activity
My first exposure to these allegations started with his method acting on the Suicide Squad set. For those unfamiliar, he gifted his co-stars used condoms and anal beads to further become the Joker.
Upon the film’s wrap, he would again, gift everyone with used condoms, a dildo, switchblade, and box of porn magazines. The actors had varying feelings about this.
While that can be written off as “method acting,” other stories cannot.
There is a litany of accounts from underage fans of his forcefulness during sex. One that stands out from 2010 comes from an at the time 17-year-old girl who says she dated Leto. The post was anonymous on a since-deleted message board, though it was recovered.
The post reads:
“I think he got pleasure out of hurting me, in retrospect, but I was too young and didn’t know that then…. I would tell him to slow down or to change position to ease the pain a little. After that, I’d get attitude.”
Yet another came in 2013, again from a girl who said she was 17 at the time:
“I met [Leto] when I was 17 (a naive innocent girl) on one of his movie sets in Brooklyn when he was turning 34,” the user claimed. Later in her post, she details she would often meet Leto at hotels near Gramercy Park in New York.
Though 17 is the official age of consent in New York, the user claims that Leto told her to verbally tell him that she was 14 or 15. The commenter adds, “[Leto] was very pushy into coercing me to do sexual acts with him and he was quite rough and forceful.”
The same year, the band had issued a contest to the fans, where the prize was to sleep a night in Jared Leto’s bed. Whether or not he was there, is unconfirmed.
Tying things together
While these claims are difficult to definitively verify, Leto has started, in his own words, a cult.
This is in reference to Leto’s band (30 Seconds to Mars) having a cult-like following, then using the line as a running joke. However, this appears not to be a joke. With the fanbase being called “the Echelon” and the followers calling him a prophet, it sounds real.
The prices will only further convince you…
The pictures above are from their yearly island retreat, where typical cult activity happens: steep costs to show devotion, white robes, and separation from the outside world. With the basic weekend pass to Camp Mars being $1,649 and VIP being $7,149, many are turned off by the idea.
VIP isn’t even the highest costing festival package. The Phoenix Package, which lists “contact for pricing,” includes dinner with the band, a private yoga session, a special gift from Jared and Shannon Leto, and “VIP activity” with Jared. None of this is criminal but does suggest a certain level of ego at play. It is unclear what the VIP activity refers to.
Cults are started to make a profit quickly, have access to sexually abuse followers, and be seen as a prophet. Cult leaders take a special level of belief to be successful, as they must convince themselves first. Leto seems to have convinced a whole camp.
We’ve seen this before…
Back in 2005, an anonymous source told the New York Post that Leto allegedly has an affinity for younger women and would often text underage girls. “He’s a serial texter. He is constantly texting these 16- and 17-year-old girls. It’s really kind of creepy,” the source said.
Leto is hiding in plain sight. With his persona of being out there and his antics in his career, people write it off. The fanbase as well is made of young, impressionable girls who may not know better.
We’ve seen this behavior with R. Kelly, who lived with a cult of underage women. He himself hid in plain sight, often making music about his exploits with underage girls and being public about his marriage to Aaliyah. It was not until it had gone on long enough that people decided to cancel his shows.
Just the same, Bill Cosby had joked in interviews before about drugging and raping women.
It was only when Hannibal Buress addressed this in a 2014 comedy set that people started to take it seriously. From there, Cosby was the first in the Me Too era to get the ball rolling.
What are the possible next moves?
Because famous people have more power and influence than do the people who oppose them, they have the ability to bury proof. However, as recent times have shown, these people can still get caught.
Perhaps starting a federal investigations unit focused on nailing down high-profile predators, could be the answer. We all know that the abuse of power can happen anywhere.
Still, legislation is necessary for making any sort of lasting change. These things all take time, though with enough concentrated effort, could happen. Justice for the survivors of these cases is not common, as a payout is not the goal.
Finally, you can call out this kind of behavior when you see it. Even if you like someone’s movies or music, they are not above criticism. These people will continue to work and get paid if we as people decide they should.
Your voice and dollar go farther than you may think.