Zoe LaVerne’s Problematic Path to Fame

Amy Yip and Madison Burnett

With the rise of Instagram and TikTok influencers, we are bound to have some problematic figures as well. Zoe LaVerne is extremely problematic, and some might say a criminal. She is a 20 year old influencer with over 21 million TikTok followers, and 2.7 million Instagram followers. In contrast to all her support, LaVerne has a surplus of haters. 

Zoe rose to fame after she started posting videos on the social media platform Musical.ly (now called TikTok). Her classmates would start bullying her for these videos, and her parents ultimately pulled her out of school. 

During December of 2017, Zoe started dating fellow influencer Cody Orlove. While the relationship lasted well into 2020, it was unstable and ended on bad terms. In March 2019,  Zoe ended up confessing to cheating on Cody with influencer, Drayke Austin. While she first said Drayke was the one to initiate the cheating, she later backtracked her story and said she started it. They later made amends, although this wasn’t the end of their controversy. In May 2019, Cody accused Zoe of sexually harassing him on multiple occasions, which was never confirmed. In June 2020, Zoe went live on a stream announcing the couple’s final breakup explaining there were no hard feelings, but that they just fell out of love. She then directly messaged a fan saying that Cody was an abuser and had “hit” and “slapped” her. She later admitted to lying, but days after the breakup audio was leaked of Cody restraining Zoe as she screamed, “let me go.”

Zoe has a history of outbursts and in July 2020, footage of her reacting to fellow TikTok star Charli D’Amelio passing her in followers was leaked. The footage showed her crying and calling D’Amelio a series of explicit names. While she got plenty of hate for the video, it did help boost her views on TikTok. She posted a video of herself parodying the infamous video and got over four million views.

In October 2020, Cody’s instagram was hacked and his private messages were leaked. One of these messages contained a direct message from influencer Amber Van Pelt, one of Zoe’s friends.  According to Insider, “I left because of her interactions with connor. They got very intense and it’s something I do not stand by what so ever. It’s pedophilia.” Connor, thirteen at the time, was close with Zoe, and was frequently in her TikTok videos. A few days after the message leaked, footage of Connor and Zoe kissing each other surfaced on the internet. Zoe denied being in a relationship with him and said she never “raped” or “groomed” the teen. She did confirm the kiss did happen, and that the pair caught feelings for another. In her apology video, she confirmed that she cut off ties with Connor, and informed his parents about the kiss. 

She tried coming back to TikTok after the ordeal, and made jokes about the situation. This quickly turned messy, and she was forced to take a break from the platform. She also shut off the comments from her videos to stop any negativity.  Zoe’s mom later downplayed the accusations saying, “Anybody can reach over and kiss somebody. They’re best friends. This needs to stop you guys — why are you doing this?”

In February 2021, just months after the Connor situation, Zoe revealed that she was pregnant. Fans and haters alike first thought the child’s father was young Connor. Zoe quickly dismissed those accusations and revealed Dawson Day to be the father. Dawson expressed his situation on Instagram, stating, “ I am the father. Zoe and Connor didn’t do anything to have a baby. That’s impossible. And if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. That’s disgusting and a real low blow to talk s— ab an unborn child. It’s sickening.” Throughout her pregnancy, users debated over whether this was real or just for clout. And on October 3rd 2021, Emerson Day was born. 

While many celebrities hide their children from the world, Zoe started selling photos of her newborn baby, as soon as she arrived. You could get exclusive pictures of the infant for fifteen dollars. Many people were aggravated over the fact that she was exploiting her child for views and money. Zoe has yet to talk about what happened.