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Gossip & Rumors: Jonathan Van Ness Reacts To Abuse Allegations

GOSSIP & RUMORS: Jonathan Van Ness reacts to abuse allegations on ‘Queer Eye’ set

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Jonathan Van Ness is speaking out about the accusations that they were “abusive” on the set of “Queer Eye.”

In March, a Rolling Stone exposé claimed that Van Ness, 37, is “very difficult” to work with on the hit Netflix series.

Sources close to the show used the words “monster,” “nightmare” and “demeaning” to describe the grooming expert.

Jonathan Van Ness at the “Bridgerton” Season 3 premiere on May 13, 2024. Getty Images for Netflix
Jonathan Van Ness meets Kamala Harris. X / @VP

Van Ness (who uses they/them pronouns) finally addressed the accusations on Thursday’s episode of the “Table Manners” podcast.

“There was this article that was written about ‘Queer Eye’ and myself in March, but our whole ‘Queer Eye’ family had first learned about this article in December,” they recalled.

Van Ness noted they were dealing with business troubles with their hair care brand, JVN Hair, at the time.

“I went from this bankruptcy to like, ‘Oh, there’s someone who’s gonna write an investigative takedown, expose piece about you that isn’t really based in reality but can certainly have a lot of things taken out of context to make you look as bad as possible. So that could drop any day now,” the reality star said.

“So from January to March, I was walking on eggshells being like, ‘When is this going to happen?’ And then it finally did happen.”

The Fab Five of “Queer Eye.” Getty Images for IMDb

The article, which was supported by three sources close to the show, claimed that fame had gotten to Van Ness’ head.

“[There’s] a real emotion of fear around them when they get angry,” the insiders told Rolling Stone. “It’s almost like a cartoon where it oozes out of them. It’s intense and scary.” 

They claimed there “was absolutely tension” between Van Ness and the other members of the Fab Five: Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown and Tan France.

Sources also alleged that Berk’s decision to leave the show after Season 8 partly had to do with Van Ness’ alleged behavior.

Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness and Tan France at the 2020 Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party. Getty Images for EJAF

On the podcast, Van Ness said they tried to avoid the social media hate they received at the time.

“I think a lot of people were looking for a reason to hate me or looking for a reason to be like, ‘See, I always knew that they were a fake c – – t,’ ” they said. “My family was so supportive, and my husband and my team. But I didn’t even get on social media to look at my phone for like three weeks and anytime I tried to dip my toe in, I would immediately see something that was so intensely hurtful.”

Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, and Karamo Brown on “Queer Eye.” ILANA PANICH-LINSMAN/NETFLIX

Van Ness claimed the exposé “was overwhelmingly untrue and done in bad faith.”

They added, “There have obviously been times throughout my career where you’re stressed out or I may have been elbow deep in highlights and was like, no, I can’t talk about that right now. I know that there were times where I could have been better.”

The Emmy winner said the accusations “forced me to really learn how to slow down, disengage and then really love myself.”

“But sometimes loving yourself just looks like feeling your feelings. And I just had to be sad for a minute. And I just had to kind of withdraw and go into myself and feel it,” they said. “And then once I got done feeling it, I was able to get the language to be able to say what I just said. It just kind of paralyzed me.”

The Fab Five on “Queer Eye.” ILANA PANICH-LINSMAN/NETFLIX

Van Ness never addressed the exposé when Rolling Stone published it.

The other cast members on the show stayed silent, as well.

In the article, sources claimed the Fab Five’s on-screen friendship is fake  — aside from France, 41, and Porowski, 40, as France was the only one invited to Porowski’s bachelor party. 

Another production source alleged that Berk, 42, butted heads with Van Ness and France.

“None of them are friends,” one of the insiders alleged. “They play nice.” 

Karamo Brown and Jonathan Van Ness on “Queer Eye.” ILANA PANICH-LINSMAN/NETFLIX

Berk announced his exit from the series in November 2023. He’s been replaced by interior designer and HGTV star Jeremiah Brent for Season 9.

Van Ness confirmed that filming wrapped on the upcoming season on June 1.

“I have been so held & healed by this family and could not be more grateful and revitalized,” they wrote on Instagram. “The energy of lots of queer folks is where my heart is happiest. Bye bye for now Vegas, you have a big piece of my gay heart.”





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