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TikTok stars charged over Los Angeles house parties during pandemic
1 September 2020, 16:14
Bryce Hall and Blake Gray are accused of hosting ‘mega-parties’ in the Hollywood Hills.
Two TikTok stars have been charged with violating public health orders after allegedly hosting parties at a Hollywood mansion despite large gatherings being outlawed amid the coronavirus pandemic, prosecutors in Los Angeles said.
Bryce Hall and Blake Gray face up to a year in jail and fines of 2,000 dollars (about £1,500) after being accused of hosting “mega-parties” despite restrictions on public gatherings in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19.
It is alleged the social media celebrities, who have a combined 19 million TikTok followers, hosted two parties at a home in the Hollywood Hills less than a week apart, despite police warning them after the first on August 8.
After a second party on August 14 allegedly attracted “several hundred” attendees, authorities cut power to the house.
Mike Feuer, Los Angeles City Attorney, has now announced Hall, 21, and Gray, 19, are facing misdemeanour charges for violating public health orders.
He said: “With hundreds of people attending, loud music all night long and cars blocking access for emergency vehicles, party houses are really out of control nightclubs, and they’ve hijacked the quality of life of neighbours nearby.
“As if that weren’t enough, the hosts are incredibly irresponsible, with Covid-19 spreading and parties banned because of it. We’ve got to put a stop to it.
“If you have a combined 19 million followers on TikTok during this health crisis, you should be modelling good behaviour – not brazenly violating the law and posting videos about it, as we allege.”
The rise of TikTok has spawned a wave of young stars with huge followings.
Many have flocked to Los Angeles after finding fame on the video sharing app and some of the biggest stars live together in Hollywood mansions, broadcasting their daily lives to fans.
The Chinese-owned app has been criticised by the Trump administration for its alleged links to the Chinese government and it could be sold to an American buyer, with corporate giants Walmart and Microsoft linked with a deal.
Los Angeles County has recorded nearly 237,000 cases of Covid-19 and more than 5,700 deaths, making it the hardest-hit county in the US.