In a TikTok posted on Thursday, TikTok user @lovelyleobrie says she was groomed by Broadway actress Alice Ripley, who is known for the Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal.
“You were having constant inappropriate interactions with me all while talking shit about me behind my back,” writes Brie Lynn (@lovelyleobrie) in the video. The TikTok features photos of Brie Lynn and Ripley. Brie Lynn states that she was 12 and 13 years old in the photos.
Brie Lynn also says that Ripley told her that when the “first time” they “locked eyes the world stopped.” Brie Lynn says she was 13 at the time.
Brie Lynn further alleges that Ripley “separated” her from all her friends and didn’t protect her when an “insane fan” of Ripley’s “tried to kill” Brie Lynn. (In a follow-up video, Brie Lynn explains that another fan of Ripley’s got violent with her.)
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, grooming is definited as “manipulative behaviors that” abusers use “to gain access to a potential victim, coerce them to agree to the abuse, and reduce the risk of being caught.” Grooming also involves building trust with a younger victim and potentially isolating them from their family and friends.
In a follow-up video, Brie Lynn says that she and Ripley initially connected on Facebook and had “sexual conversations” over Facebook and text message. Brie Lynn says that their relationship escalated to a point where Brie Lynn would spend time alone with Ripley in the actress’ dressing room. Brie Lynn also says that other teenage girls were present at times.
“She’s a little bit too kind with kids. She lets situations go to places that are inappropriate. She puts children in situations that are inappropriate,” Brie Lynn says in a second follow-up video. Brie Lynn also says that because Ripley continuously reminded Brie Lynn that Ripley was a public figure, Brie Lynn felt unable to speak out about their relationship.
After Brie Lynn posted her initial video, similar accusations against Ripley rolled in on Twitter and in the comments section of Brie Lynn’s TikTok videos.
Other women shared that they had interactions with Ripley online when they were teenagers.
A former fan of Ripley’s, who prefers to remain anonymous, told the Daily Dot that she met Ripley at the Next to Normal stage door in 2009 and tweeted at Ripley. The fan says Ripley liked many of her tweets and eventually followed her back on Twitter. The former fan said she was “16 or 17” at the time.
Another former fan named CJ also told the Daily Dot that Ripley blocked her personal Twitter account nine years ago.
“I found it weird at the time since I don’t believe I was even following her on social media,” said CJ. She said she was 15 or 16 when Ripley blocked her.
Brie Lynn and Ripley did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.
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*First Published: Aug 16, 2021, 1:44 pm CDT
Tricia Crimmins is a journalist and comedian based in New York City. She is studying at Columbia Journalism School and writes for Moment magazine and Columbia News Service. Previously, she has written for Mashable, Complex Networks, and the Lewiston Sun Journal.