Twitch Partner Vio has accused Twitch Account Director of Strategic Partnerships Hassan Bokhari of sexual assault, sharing her nudes without consent and abusing his power at Twitch.
Vio published her allegations here. We’ll give you the summary below but we recommend you read the whole statement.
Vio writes that Bokhari and her used to “date” (quotation marks added by Vio) for most of 2015. They met in a Destiny community Discord group and they swapped links to their channels on Twitch.
She said that Bokhari would share confidential information with her in private and in group Discord calls.
“In group calls he’d mostly rant about partners, especially if they DM’d him complaining about something, but also share company ‘secrets,’ Vio said. “We would often know what was coming next on Twitch before anyone else.
Vio said Bokhari abused his position a lot. Before she was a partner, he sent Vio a form meant for Twitch partners to get Christmas gifts including the purple Twitch hoodie. She was shocked since she wasn’t a partner, but Bokhari told her that he had “a feeling you’ll be [a partner] soon.” He said the team will look into her account. He found her number from the form she filled out. Bokhari asked her out to dinner, and even offered to fly her from the East Coast where she lived to the West Coast. She declined saying that she wasn’t comfortable taking the offer of someone she’s known for just a day, but he offered her the pass anyway. They started talking more after that and he started putting more pressure on her to date.
Vio told Bokhari how she was struggling with streaming, and he offered her partnership but said that they wouldn’t be able to talk the way they do now anymore. She didn’t want to lose the friendship so she declined.
“I was devastated that I had to make that decision,” Vio said. “Partnership was my dream at the time and everything I’ve been working towards.”
Bokhari then noticed that she was devastated and sent her the form to officially become a partner, and called her to sign it and told her that it was okay and that she deserved it.
“So I did,” Vio said. “I regret that now.”
Vio said that Bokhari would try to get her alone with him and get physical. She would immediately say no but he would persist.
“Every 5-10 minutes I would have to tell him no, again, however he kept trying – as if it were a challenge,” Vio said. “This pattern of pressure and persistency is basically how all of our in-person interactions went.”
Bokhari invited her to visit him before PAX East 2015, and would get more and more uncomfortably close to her over time despite her constantly telling him no. One night, Bokhari messaged her to meet up and she suggested going to the hotel rooftop. She remembers being intoxicated and agreeing because she was having a fun night and didn’t want it to be over. Again began the pattern of pressure and persistency until he managed to pressure her into oral sex. By PAX West 2015, he pressured her into intercourse.
“I said no more times than I can count, but each time Hassan took no as ‘convince me,’” Vio said. “The only time he actually stopped trying to ‘seduce’ me was when he was pressuring me again and I ended up having a full blown panic attack once because of it.”
Vio said that Bokhari shared her nude photos with her best friends without her permission. She remembers how she was scared of her nudes being released, but Bokhari reassured her that he wouldn’t save or share them. He was able to secretly screenshot the nudes on Snapchat and the first thing he did was message her best friends to announced that he “finally saw [her] titties.”
“I felt humiliated, still do,” Vio said. “I feel stupid for thinking that he wasn’t capable of doing something so horrible.”
When Vio confronted Bokhari about sharing her nudes, he denied it and asked for proof. Vio was told that Bokhari said that if it was true, then he would apologize and make things right. She’s said she’s still waiting.
Part of me still feels like I deserved it – I’ve made mistakes of my own that I haven’t forgiven myself for yet. The most fucked up part is that I convinced myself that I actually did want it in the end. Since I gave in eventually, to me that meant that I must have wanted it. I’d even text him about how much I’d enjoy it, that I looked forward to kissing him or being held by him etc, however in person I always naturally kept my distance and could never figure out why. I felt no physical attraction towards him. For some reason that didn’t feel like a problem to me. Now I realize it’s because I never wanted it to begin with. I was preyed on, manipulated, gaslighted, violated, and sexually assaulted.
Vio said that they were on the call with Bokhari when they learned that Twitch streamer Luminosity was soliciting women for nudes, and Bokhari “ended up slapping him on the wrist for it, and that’s about it.”
Strict Liability, an attorney and moderator for over a hundred channels on Twitch, suggested that Vio isn’t the only victim of Bokhari.
“All Twitch needs to do to identify lists of potential women that [Hassan Bokhari] used his power at Twitch to pressure, harass, or pursue is to review logs to see how many unpartnered young women he gave permanent ‘quality options’ to so they wouldn’t lose potential viewers,” Strict Liability said. “People have openly warned about [Hassan Bokhari] for years and nothing has been done.”
All @twitch needs to do to identify lists of potential women that @HassanBokhari used his power at Twitch to pressure, harass, or pursue is to review logs to see how many unpartnered young women he gave permanent "quality options" to so they wouldn't lose potential viewers.
— Strict Liability (@Strict_Twitch) June 25, 2020
Bokhari has not publicly responded to the allegations yet.
The news comes after Twitch announced Monday that it would look into dozens of accounts affiliated with Twitch that were accused of sexual misconduct, as Heavy reported. Some have accused Twitch of brushing or even laughing away reports of abuse in the past. In response, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear shared an internal email he sent to Twitch employees reassuring that the company is looking into the allegations while acknowledging that people using Twitch, particularly women, people in the LGBTQIA community, Black people and other under-represented groups, have not felt safe on the platform.