A British YouTube star has appeared before a US court accused of lying to police over claims he was assaulted in West Hollywood.
Calum McSwiggan, from London, pleaded not guilty to filing a false police report after he claimed he was attacked by three men near The Abbey gay club on June 27.
The 26-year-old, who has more than 64,000 subscribers on YouTube, posted a photo on Instagram as he lay in a hospital bed after the alleged attack, telling his followers he suffered three broken teeth and required six stitches to his head.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said officers investigated but were “unable to substantiate the assault”.
McSwiggan had been arrested for vandalising a car and was taken to hospital after he began injuring himself with a police station payphone, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department said.
McSwiggan, who is known to his followers on YouTube for discussing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, appeared at the Los Angeles Airport Courthouse on Monday, where he entered not guilty pleas to charges of filing a false police report and vandalism.
Last night was the worst night of my life and I'm really struggling to find the words to talk about it. After one of the most wonderful weekends at VidCon we went out to a gay club to celebrate, and towards the end of the evening I was separated from my friends and beaten up by three guys. The authorities should have been there to help and protect me but instead they treated me like a second class citizen. With three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead, I've never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye. All I can do is thank my wonderful YouTube friends for being with me the whole way. I'd be lost without them. Right now I don't feel that I'm in the right place to talk about this but I will be addressing this fully in the future. UPDATE: I've posted a full statement of the night's events on my Facebook page.
A photo posted by Calum McSwiggan (@calummcswiggan) on
He was ordered to return to the court for a pre-trial hearing on November 7 and refused to comment as he left the building.
After he was charged in June, McSwiggan wrote on Facebook that he had caused the injury that required the stitches to his head but insisted he was attacked by three men.
“Just because there were no visible marks on my face does not mean I was not attacked,” he wrote. “Being accused of being a liar and being called a disgrace to the LGBT+ community, a community I’ve dedicated my life to, is more painful than any hate crime could ever be.”
McSwiggan had travelled to California in June for the online video conference VidCon.