Catastrophes of celebrity cheating

The harmful impact of celebrity cheating scandals


Angel Harper

The Try Guys posted a video on their YouTube channel titled “what happened.” on Oct. 3 in which they addressed Ned Fulmer cheating on his wife. While they found out about the scandal over Labor Day weekend, rumors of his infidelity have been circulating the internet since May 2022.

The internet is no stranger to cheating scandals. Gossip columns and paparazzi reach for any information they can use to pull a reader into the latest “dirt” found on celebrities. They become excessive in their attempts to get more clicks and views. It’s repetitive and at most times of little significance.

But when news of Ned Fulmer, a member of the online entertainment group and media production company The Try Guys, and his infidelity to his wife, Ariel Fulmer, spread on Sept. 27, newspapers as big as The Washington Post and The New York Times had stories covering the scandal.

“I cried when I found out,” junior Ava Tumey said. “I grew up watching The Try Guys. Ned wasn’t my favorite, but he destroyed these people’s images and he destroyed his career for a woman.”

Fulmer centered his entire personality around his wife. The two co-authored a cookbook, hosted relationship counseling and posted family vlogs on Fulmer’s YouTube channel. Some fans go as far to say Fulmer’s “only personality trait” was his family.

However, back in May, photos of Fulmer and Fulmer’s associate producer Alexandria Herring on what appeared to be a date circulated on Twitter and Reddit, indicating just how long his affair had been going on.

While it’s tempting to laugh at the irony, Fulmer’s actions not only broke his relationships with his family and coworkers but also left The Try Guys in a state of disarray as they worked to legally and emotionally recover from the situation.

In a TryPods episode hosted by Keith Habersberger and Zach Kornfeld, two of the now three members of The Try Guys after Fulmer’s removal from the company, Kornfeld expressed the complexity of handling an inappropriate work relationship which was initially discovered online.

“However this went down, we would have taken the same action,” Kornfeld said. “But the fact that it was something that was caught by fans, a transgression that was enacted publicly, added a level of complication to this where we knew there was this stick of dynamite with an uncertain fuse. We knew that any moment this could and would get out. In addition to having all the stressors of ‘How do we do this right,’ it was the stressors of ‘When is this going to break?’”

It’s disgusting how Fulmer could unapologetically destroy his relationships with his loved ones. Mrs. Fulmer was nothing but supportive of him, and yet he continuously made comments such as “Marriages tend to not get as good as they get older” in a video titled “The Try Guys Take A Lie Detector Test”. Although it’s difficult to have predicted Fulmer’s infidelity, in hindsight, the signs were obvious.

What made Ned’s infidelity the most shocking was The Try Guys’ reputation as “unproblematic kings.” While many other YouTubers find themselves caught up in news controversies, fans relied on Keith Habersberger, Zach Kornfeld, Eugene Lee Yang and Ned Fulmer for comfort. An escape from the faults of our world.

Now they’re disappointed as their favorite YouTube stars have gotten tied up in a scandal, just like other celebrities who are involved in drama.

While it’s easy to belittle fans for having an emotional reaction to Fulmer’s actions, Kornfeld validated those who felt impacted by what occurred.

“For fans, this has been deeply shocking and sad,” Kornfeld said. “It feels like a death—not in that traumatic of a sense— but of a loss of something that you loved and you thought you knew. Now it is forever tainted. I think that you are valid and okay to feel sad about this even though these are not people that you knew in real life. You’re allowed to care about the content you watch and you’re allowed to care about us if we’ve had an impact on your life in the videos we’ve made.”

Like Fulmer, Monty Lopez has also been at the center of a cheating scandal which placed his loved ones at the frontlines of the media.

Though Lopez might not be a household name, his daughter, Addison Rae, sure is. So when Renee Ash posted a series of Instagram stories on July 14, confessing to her followers that she and Lopez had an affair, audiences on TikTok were shocked at Lopez’s behavior.

However, it was the aftermath of the scandal that horrified viewers the most. Lopez’s actions shocked spectators on TikTok. One sophomore, Vannesa Grimaldo, wasn’t happy with the turn of events.

“He should have not made it public,” Grimaldo said. “I think he should’ve talked it out or kept it off of social media. It’s not only his personal life [he’s affecting], but it’s also affecting his whole family and his kids.”

Lopez and his wife Sheri Easterling, who goes by Sheri Nicole, have always had an on-and-off relationship, but this cheating scandal has not only destroyed Lopez’s reputation but has also aired out all of the family’s drama onto the internet.

But where did this start?

After Ash came forward, a string of videos showcasing Lopez flirting with women, some even as young as 19, was released. With that, rumors of Lopez’s infidelity were solidified. Easterling further confirmed the affair with an Instagram story addressing the rumors, saying her biggest concern is “her children and their fragile minds and hearts.”

After stitching a Tiktok created by Yung Gravy, Easterling and the rapper began to flirt publicly over social media. This banter led to a romantic relationship that angered Lopez.

On Aug. 8, Lopez demanded a boxing match with Yung Gravy on TikTok. He was not only attempting to fight a man 20 years younger than him but also embarrassing his family in the process.

Rae has since unfollowed both her parents and is reportedly “mortified” by the situation. Finding out your father had extramarital relations is already extremely traumatizing; the entire occurrence being all over social media has only made matters worse. Her parents and Yung Gravy continue to capitalize off their five minutes of fame, hurting Rae and her brothers.

Yung Gravy and Easterling took advantage of the spotlight on their relationship and used it as an opportunity to garner viewers.

Lopez’s absurd behavior online, such as his diss track for Yung Gravy and posts of revealing photos women have sent him, have hurt his reputation and humiliated his family. He failed to look at how this was affecting his children and immediately made content about the situation instead of handling it in a private manner.

Easterling and Lopez have hurt their families in ways that could perceivably be inexcusable all in a game to receive “clout.” Regardless of the genuinity of Easterling and Yung Gravy’s relationship or Lopez’s own views on the matter, their children’s feelings should have been taken into account by handling the situation offline.

Cheating on a spouse is choosing to destroy people’s lives, but for men like Fulmer and Lopez to do so publicly shows a unique disregard for the emotions of others. No amount of apologies or attempted justifications can amend the emotional trauma of experiencing betrayal in front of millions of people. All emotions are amplified, but affected individuals have to remain placid and professional while in the public eye. This pain is monetized as the news is retold with various celebrities giving their input and spreading rumors to gain a profit.

Real people are hurting. Consumers of these news are able to move past the scandals and return to their regular lives, but real people are having to navigate a life that can no longer be considered their regular. They have to live with constant attention and deal with reminders of the pain their family has put them through both online and offline.