Jake Joseph Paul (born January 17, 1997) is an American YouTuber. He initially rose to fame on the now-defunct video application Vine, before playing the role of Dirk Mann on the Disney Channel series Bizaardvark for two seasons.
Throughout his career, Paul has become the subject of many controversies due to his behavior including engaging in risky and inappropriate stunts for YouTube content, getting fired from his Disney television show Bizaardvark, and being charged with criminal trespass and unlawful assembly.
Paul was born on January 17, 1997, in Cleveland, and grew up in Westlake, Ohio. He is the son of Pamela Ann Stepnick (née Meredith) and realtor Gregory Allan Paul. Paul began his career in September 2013 posting videos on Vine. By the time Vine was discontinued, Paul had amassed 5.3 million followers and 2 billion views on the app.
YouTube and acting career
2015–2017: Bizaardvark role and exit
In 2015, it was announced that Paul would be starring as Dirk in Disney Channel's new comedy series, Bizaardvark. On July 22, 2017, during the middle of filming the second season of Bizaardvark, the Disney Channel announced that Paul would be leaving the series, saying in a statement "We've mutually agreed that Jake Paul will leave his role on the Disney Channel series 'Bizaardvark'. On behalf of the production company, the cast and crew, we thank Jake for his good work on the TV series for the past 18 months and extend our best wishes to him."
The announcement followed a news report from KTLA about public complaints from Paul's neighbors regarding the noise generated by Paul's pranks, parties, fire hazards and the large crowds of Paul's fans congregating in their neighborhood. Paul later confirmed the news on his Twitter page, saying he would now focus more on his personal brand, his YouTube channel, his business ventures, and more adult acting roles. Paul later revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he was actually fired from Bizaardvark by Disney who wanted to expedite the process of weaning him off the show due to the KTLA segment.
On January 17, 2017, on Paul's 20th birthday, it was reported he had launched an entertainment collaborative, titled Team 10, with $1 million in financing to create influencer marketing management and creative agency around teen entertainment. Investors include Danhua Capital, Horizons Alpha, Vayner Capital, Sound Ventures & A-Grade Investments, and Adam Zeplain. On May 30, 2017, Paul released a song and music video alongside Team 10, titled "It's Everyday Bro", which accumulated over 70 million views in one month, and became the third most disliked video on the website. The song peaked at number 91 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the chart dated June 24, 2017.
On July 18, 2017, it was reported that Paul's neighbors in the Beverly Grove neighborhood of Los Angeles were meeting with city council members and police officials about filing a class-action public nuisance lawsuit against Paul. This came after Paul made his home address public, leading crowds of fans to gather outside Paul's residence, and noise complaints by neighbors. On April 24, 2018, it was reported that Paul was being sued by Cobra Acquisitions, the company that owns the house, for $2.5 million.
On January 3, 2018, Paul uploaded a video to his YouTube channel titled "I lost my virginity" which used a thumbnail of himself and his then-girlfriend Erika Costell posing semi-nude on top of each other. The video was age-restricted by YouTube as a result, and critics such as Keemstar criticized the thumbnail as being inappropriate for his younger audience. The thumbnail was later changed with both Paul and Costell fully clothed and not touching each other.
On January 5, 2018, TMZ featured a video in which Paul used the racial epithet "nigga" multiple times while rapping.
2018–present: further controversies
Mystery box website promotion
In January 2019, Jake Paul, along with fellow YouTuber RiceGum, came under fire for promoting MysteryBrand, a website which offers the chance to open a digital "mystery box" of pre-selected items with a promise to win one in real life at random. Many users have said they have not received prizes they won through the site.
"The Financial Freedom Movement" venture
In February 2020, Paul announced that he would partner with Los Angeles-based brand development group GenZ Holdings Inc. to create a $19.99 per month platform aimed at teaching children how to build an online presence. "The Financial Freedom Movement" promises to give subscribers access to “Jake Paul’s personal experience, rituals and secret formula” and “cutting edge mentorship, coaching, and training”. The program has been criticized by some, with one interviewer questioning whether it would send a dangerous message to his young fanbase. YouTuber h3h3productions went further, calling the platform a "scam", and BuzzFeed News reporter Lauren Strapagiel described the service as "deeply underwhelming".
On May 30, 2020, Paul and few of his friends came to have dinner at P. F. Chang's outside of Scottsdale Fashion Square in Scottsdale, Arizona, as part of the George Floyd protests, where it escalated quickly and people began looting the mall. Multiple instances of footage show Paul and his friends outside of a P. F. Chang's witnessing the riot and they made their way inside the mall where they documented the incident. People on social media criticized Paul for entering the mall and standing in the middle of the mall witnessing people looting stores. Paul later apologized on social media condemning the violence, and also denied the accusations of looting, instead saying he was filming as a public service for a future video. Paul said, "We filmed everything we saw in an effort to share our experience and bring more attention to the anger felt in every neighborhood we traveled through; we were strictly documenting, not engaging." On June 4, 2020, Paul was charged with criminal trespass and unlawful assembly, both misdemeanor charges, for being in the mall during the riot. On August 5, 2020, the charges were dismissed without prejudice, the Scottsdale Police Department said it was "in the best interest of the community" and would allow a federal criminal investigation to be completed.
Party during COVID-19
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, on July 11, 2020, Paul threw a large party at his home in Calabasas, California with dozens of people attending without wearing masks or maintaining social distancing. After complaints from neighbors and videos surfacing on social media, Calabasas mayor Alicia Weintraub expressed outrage and said "They’re having this large party, no social distancing, no masks, it’s just a big huge disregard for everything that everybody is trying to do to get things back to functioning." She later added that the city was looking into "all of our options" regarding penalties for Paul.
On August 5, 2020, Jake Paul's Calabasas mansion was raided by the FBI. In a statement to the Los Angeles Times the FBI stated, "The FBI is executing a federal search warrant at a residence in Calabasas in connection with an ongoing investigation. The affidavit in support of the search warrant has been sealed by a judge and I am, therefore, prohibited from commenting as to the nature of the investigation."
On February 24, 2018, it was announced that Paul and his brother would be fighting KSI and his younger brother, Deji, in two white-collar boxing matches. Paul's fight against Deji was the chief undercard bout before their older brothers, KSI and Logan Paul, did battle in the main event. Paul won the fight via fifth-round technical knockout (TKO) after Deji's corner threw in the towel following a flurry of unanswered punches.
Paul vs. AnEsonGib
On December 21, 2019, it was announced that Paul would be making his professional boxing debut against fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib (known as Gib) on January 30, 2020 in Miami. The match between Paul and Gib was the co-feature to the match between professional boxers Demetrius Andrade and Luke Keeler. Paul won the fight via TKO at 2:18 in the first round.
In July 2020, it was announced he would be venturing into the ring for a second professional bout, facing professional basketball player Nate Robinson as part of the undercard for the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition match. The event was initially scheduled for September 12 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, however, in August, Tyson revealed the event had been pushed back to November 28 in order to maximize revenue.
In 2018, Paul dated model Erika Costell. The two broke up in November of that year. Paul started dating model Tana Mongeau in April 2019. The two declared they were engaged and married, although not legally, in July 2019. Paul and Mongeau broke up in January 2020.
^ abcJake Paul (December 31, 2016). Draw My Life – Jake Paul. YouTube. Event occurs at 0:46. Archived from the original on December 10, 2018. Retrieved August 13, 2017. My parents made it roughly in 1996. Nine months later I was born on January 17, 1997, in Cleveland, Ohio. My parents named me Jake Joseph Paul, and I was a savage from day one.