By Lily Morris
Internet personality Zoe Laverne Pemberton is trending on Twitter as users slam her over grooming accusations following the news of her first pregnancy.
Internet users have taken to Twitter to express both concern and disdain after 19-year-old TikTok star Zoe Laverne declared on her Instagram that she is expecting her first child with 20-year-old boyfriend Dawson Day.
Criticisms originally rose in November 2020, when a video surfaced showing Laverne kissing 13-year-old fan Connor Joyce, causing Twitter to attack the 19-year-old for grooming him. Laverne’s ex-boyfriend Cody Orlove made accusations of “very intense” interactions between her and Joyce, despite Laverne’s initial denial.
Now, tensions have resurfaced online amidst her announcement, with Twitter users expressing equal parts disgust and anxiety. One summed up their feelings: “Zoe Laverne is pregnant? Can you call child services for an unborn child?”
Along with her announcement, Laverne clarified that Day is the father of their child and that fans should “stop saying otherwise”. She went on to say: “Connor is 13. Nothing else happened besides a kiss. Stay in your own business.” However, online users were not satisfied, with one Twitter user saying: “The way that Zoe Laverne girl had to clarify that a thirteen-year-old wasn’t the father of her child… maybe that’s a sign you should stay away from kids.”
Laverne has a history of backing down quickly when facing criticism in the past; she left Instagram in September 2020 following a controversy involving her mouthing along to a racial slur in song lyrics, and once again temporarily after the November video with Joyce came to light. However, Laverne seems to be taking a different approach to dealing with backlash this time round, saying on social media: “The amount of people that have the guts to talk [badly] about an unborn child is so upsetting and heart-breaking. Really shows the generation we are in and how a lot of you weren’t raised very right!”
However, fans were quick to point out that the picture used to announce the pregnancy resembled one from Google images. Laverne quickly shut the rumours down by filming herself taking two more pregnancy tests, which showed positive results, but has turned off comments on her Tik-Tok account to avoid criticism.
With the online community united in their criticism of Laverne, it remains to be seen how her online reputation will develop in the coming months, and how online users will respond to her self-defence, especially with the imminent birth of her child.