First of all I want to let everyone know that Jessi Smiles has given permission for people to use her name when discussing all of this because she wants people to know all about it. There is no way on earth I would ever reveal the name of a rape victim in any other circumstance.
This is an interesting time in society. Back in the day you made movies or starred in a television show and you became famous. The only other way to become famous was to do something heroic or something criminal. There was no such thing as reality television. You were an actor and if you were good enough or gorgeous enough you had a shot of becoming famous.
Times changed. A show called Real World came along and people who were filmed in a controlled situation were showing up on television. If they are on television they must be a celebrity right? That first show spawned every other reality show today and allowed for thousands of other people to become famous just by appearing on television. If you were aggressive enough in your time on television and made yourself stand out and wanted it badly enough you could make a living from your reality show appearance(s).
At some point Paris Hilton came along. With her the reality show came later. She made herself famous by using the second half of the reality star equation of exposure and appearances but missed the part about first being on television. The advent of blogs and online tabloids and non-stop celebrity coverage on the internet allowed Paris to find a gap. There was so much space to fill that she jumped in and filled it. Once she got a foothold in that space she didn't let go. She begat people like Tila Tequila and Kim Kardashian.
In this evolution there is now Vine and Instagram and Twitter. In this situation I see a return back one step to actually doing something. People are becoming popular based on what they do with their social media. Are you good looking? Are you creative with magic? Can you make people laugh? Can you do something that will attract people and make you famous? To me, it is actually a good thing. The problem is that everyone has the same shot at fame and you have to make yourself stand out. There is a lot of competition for not much space.
A few months ago I stumbled on Jessi Smiles when I saw an 8 second Vine video she filmed. 8 seconds is not a lot of time to make a statement or do something funny and creative but she managed to. Over the past year she found herself moving away from her job as a damn good makeup artist to internet celebrity because of her humor and good looks. Millions of people watch her Vines and when that happens you start to become famous. To give you an idea, most CW shows are not watched by a million people yet most of the actors on those shows are stars. If you get three or four times the number of people to watch something you do every single week, you will become famous.
After I saw Jessi's video I was hooked and started following her on Twitter and watched her videos. She is always funny and creative and she also lets you know what is going on in her life in a very unfiltered I don't have a publicist kind of way. Last October Jessi came to LA and met with a fellow Vine celebrity named Curtis Lepore. What clicked online didn't click in person. It happens and that should have been the end of it. But it wasn't. Jessi hurt herself while shooting a Vine video and didn't know anyone out here.
Curtis volunteered to help her recover. During that recovery while Jessi was asleep, Curtis is accused of raping Jessi. Yesterday he plead not guilty to the charges.