Cheer star Jerry Harris is currently under FBI investigation following accusations that he solicited sex and nude photos from minors. The TV personality refutes the claims.
As USA Today reported, the FBI executed a search warrant at Harris’ home in Naperville, Illinois on Monday. The agency was tipped off by Harris’ former employer Varsity Brands, a large company heavily involved in various facets of the cheerleading industry.
In a letter sent to police officials last month, Varsity said it was made aware of “inappropriate sexual conduct” allegations and felt obligated to report them. It has since terminated Harris’ employment.
“As a result of the recent allegation, we have barred this person from having any affiliation with Varsity Brands or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, now and in the future,” the company wrote.
The allegations in question were made by 14-year-old twin brothers. “In interviews with USA TODAY, the boys described a pattern of harassment, both online and at cheer competitions, that started when they were 13 and Harris was 19. They said it continued for more than a year.” Harris celebrated his 21st birthday this past August.
The Cheer star has maintained his innocence. “We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” his rep told Variety on Tuesday. “We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”
Harris was known for his positive and effervescent attitude on Cheer, the popular Netflix docuseries that followed a Dallas-area cheerleading squad. He was later celebrated as a young Black gay icon and even covered the Oscars for the Ellen DeGeneres Show. In the lead-up to Election Day, Harris also recently appeared in an Instagram video with Joe Biden.