A Career Dee-stroyed?

The ex-radio deejay and now-quiet YouTube/TikTok star Dee Kosh pleaded guilty to the charges of sexual offenses involving teenaged boys. If he still enjoys Watching Cringey TikTok Videos, it is possible he would be doing so from behind bars

Warning: This post discusses a subject matter that may not be suitable to young readers

In his second last post on Instagram in August 2020, Dee Kosh blurbed the next instalment of his Watching Cringey TikTok Videos YouTube broadcast. The theme was “Gross Guys Galore!?” Three days later, he had to share a lengthy post on IG to deny the charges of sexual relations with minors levelled against him through social media, negating the possibility that he, too, might have been a fellow of rank behaviour. “Men have a tendency to be over-confident,” he said in the introduction to that video post, in full makeup. The YouTuber knew what he was talking about. In that firm rejection—a second, in fact—of the by-then very public accusations, he wrote, “Today I stand before you to account for my actions.” And then came the certitude: “Some of the allegations baffled me because they were baseless and untrue”, before, just as bafflingly, accepting “that there is truth to some of the things which are being said now, and I am sorry to the people I have hurt in the process.”

Today, in court, there was no reversal to that admission. But we already knew that it would be so since January, when his lawyer notified the court that the accused would be pleading guilty. Many on social media had already said that it is unlikely that he could be totally innocent. Appearing before the district judge as Darryl Ian Koshy, he did not challenge the seven sex-related offences that were raised before him: He marked three guys between the ages of 15 and 23 (at that time of the misdeeds) for sexual gratification, offered to pay them between S$400 and S$2,000, and made an obscene film by recording himself and a man in “a sexual act”, reported to be onanistic and oral. According to the news, the other four charges “will be taken into consideration for sentencing on July 28”.

In one photograph published online by CNA, Mr Koshy wore a printed, blue and white camp shirt to the State Courts. He appeared to have put on weight, and looked, even with mask on, surprisingly older than his 33 years of age. The shirt, one stylist told us, “is uncle”. It did look like it might have been bought at CK Department Store. Mr Koshy has, through the years, cultivated an image of unmistakable street cool. His attire today was, therefore, unexpected. So youth-centric and pop-relevant he was that, in July 2020, he even wore a hoodie with the phrase emblazoned in the back: “TEAM WANG”. It could be now seen as prescient. American designer Alexander Wang was accused in December 2019 of sexual misconduct by a British model who claimed that he was groped by Mr Wang during a concert at a New York nightclub in January 2017 (other accusations soon followed). While both cases are different (the latter not concerning the below sixteen), they involved behaviors that could be understood to be predatory, since the advances were unsolicited. Was the possibly like-minded Mr Koshy showing sympathy and support for the designer?

According to CNA, “if convicted under the Children and Young Persons Act for attempted sexual exploitation of a young person, he could be jailed for up to five years, fined up to S$10,000 or both.” And if “found guilty of communications for the purpose of obtaining sexual services of a minor, he could be jailed for up to two years and fined. The penalty for making an obscene film is a jail term of up to two years and a fine of between S$20,000 and S$40,000.” With the possibility of jail term, could this be the end of Mr Koshy’s career and the gila antics of Ria Warna? Or, Xiaotina? The online star had, no doubt, normalised brash queerish humour and fans appreciate and adore him for that. One of them wrote on IG last year: “I’m still hoping you will upload videos on youtube soon. It’s been boring without your videos. I hope that things get better on your side an you can come back to yt asap”. If the comeback of Alexander Wang is any indication of how easily and quickly people forget past transgressions of the famous, this fan’s hope may not be dashed.

Illustration (top): Just So. Photo: deekosh/Instagram

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