Multiple Women Accuse Popular Van Life Influencer of Unwanted Sexual Behavior

Lifestyle

Popular nomadic van life influencer Salah Brooks has been accused by four women of unwanted sexual contact, coercion, and inappropriate behavior. 

While Brooks is not a household name, the 24-year-old is a well-known influencer in the van life and nomadic communities, amassing 6.4 million followers on TikTok alone for sharing almost daily videos about her travels, adventures, and relationships. Prior to Sept. 12, she and her ex-fiance Theo Goff lived in a van on a bus commune in Austin, Texas, where they rented out renovated school buses as Airbnb properties and made content encouraging followers to join them on the commune. (An application link to join the commune is still available on Brooks’ Instagram account.) Beginning on Saturday, Dec. 9, at least four women have made public TikTok videos accusing Brooks of having unwanted sexual contact with them. Brooks responded in a two-minute video Tuesday, confirming that she had had sexual relationships with some of the accusers but calling the breadth of allegations lies.

“I am not sure why these girls are making these videos though I can say only they know. But it has been good for their follower count, it has been good for their views and it has been good for their revenue,” Brooks said. “Guys, I will accept responsibility for situations that got emotionally messy but as a survivor of sexual assault, I know what it’s like to be the target of a predator and I would never put anyone else through that kind of shame or trauma. To suggest that I’m capable of hurting someone in that way is not only wrong but it is a lie. And I will not let people sit back and lie about me.”

Brooks’ statement hasn’t prevented the influencer from losing over 100,000 followers in the last three days, according to tracking site Social Blade. (Neither Brooks nor Goff responded to Rolling Stone’s multiple requests to comment.)

The allegations began with a four-minute video from TikTok creator @Meeposaurus, also known on the app as Meep. While Meep did not directly say Brook’s name in the video, she did confirm she was referring to Brooks in the comments, alleging the van-life creator sexually assaulted her while Meep was visiting her Austin commune.

“She asks for my consent to do something to me to which I say ‘No,’ and she proceeds to do what she wanted to to me,” Meep said in the video. “To which afterwards I say, ‘I didn’t consent to that,’ and she laughs.”

Meep declined to comment to Rolling Stone. But in the video (while she prepares dinner), she said she felt so uncomfortable she urged a friend to pick her up, only to have Brooks attempt to have her sign an NDA after she left the property. The video has now been viewed over 22 million times, and was echoed by TikTok user @ravipattymobile, who confirmed she picked up a distressed Meep from the Austin commune after she called for help. (@Ravipattymobile did not respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.)

Following Meep’s video, at least three other women made public TikToks alleging nonconsensual interactions with Brooks. TikTok users @Jade and @issamegz both stitched Meep’s video and claimed they had unwanted advances from Brooks. 

“I also had a similar experience with that same influencer,” Meg said in her own stitched video. She declined to comment to Rolling Stone and did not explicitly detail her interactions with Brooks but thanked Meep for coming forward. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that she would’ve continued to take advantage of her fans and other people, just in general. If you don’t get someone’s consent you should leave them the fuck alone.”

According to Jade, she and Brooks first met as middle school friends in Texas and reconnected when Jade moved back to the state from Colorado. Jade details that when she went to visit Brooks while the creator was attending Texas A&M University in College Station Texas, she was “drugged and sexually assaulted” while on a night out. 

“[She] got me to the point where I didn’t even know where I was or what I was doing,” Jade said in her 9 minute video. ”All I remember is I was laying down in the bed and she was doing what she wanted to do.” 

Not all of the women who have spoken out are content creators. On Tuesday afternoon, a fourth woman, Laura Lee Gunn, came forward, alleging she had a nonconsensual interaction with Brooks in 2020 while Gunn was attending Texas A&M and Brooks was renting a room in her apartment. According to Gunn, Brooks and an unidentified person were in her room when she came out of a shower. Gunn claims that Brooks removed her towel, and even after Gunn said no, pushed her back onto the bed. 

“[She] basically implied that by the end of it I will enjoy it. And yeah, basically,” Gunn said, shrugging to the camera. “I’m not gonna say it, you can put the pieces together.”

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In a TikTok video Tuesday, Brooks adamantly denied the allegations against her, claiming the stories were hurtful lies and that her sexual encounters were all consensual. She also referenced Meep’s video, denying any sexual relationship with the TikTok creator took place but confirmed Meep had visited the commune. Brooks also called their interaction a “joke” that in retrospect was not funny, but not intended to be “sinister.”

“People have been sharing vague stories about me that insinuate terrible things about me and I feel the need to address that and set the record straight. I’m a sexually active person and I’ve never heard that from any of my partners. In my last relationship, we were open and polyamorous which means we were both willing to let other people be a part of our sexual activities. However, it was always consensual and it was always safe.”

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