Well, this story just took an even darker turn — and that’s quite a feat considering…
Last week we brought you the story of Ava Majury, a teen influencer who has amassed over a million fans on TikTok and about a quarter of that on Instagram. She’s 15 years old now, but just a few months ago, when she was just 14, she faced the kind of scare that would have driven most people away from the pursuit of internet fame — or at least served as a chilling alarm to her parents.
An 18-year-old boy named Eric Rohan Justin became obsessed with what he was seeing on social media and approached her to buy photos directly. After she sold him a few, he creeped her out and she stopped — but he didn’t. Justin got her information from friends and eventually took the stalking to the ultimate level — he traveled all the way from Maryland to her house in Naples, Florida. Once there he blasted his way into her home with a shotgun. Ava’s father, Rob Majury, was forced to defend the family and shot the armed teenager dead before police could arrive.
Related: Kanye Brags About How He & His Fans ‘Ran Off’ Pete Davidson From Instagram
You’d expect after a horrifying incident like that for a person to retreat, right? Take a social media break? Not Ava. She flew to Los Angeles the next week to do red carpets and meet with talent agents about expanding her brand.
Unsurprisingly after the Majurys told their story last week, many commenters were struck by the parents’ apparent permissiveness, even after such a tragedy. Some went so far as to say they were endangering their daughter by allowing her to present herself in such a manner on the internet. Some of the harshest comments included:
“Really all ur fault u sexualize yourself too much. Even sold him pictures instead of just blocking him in the first place u really killed a person lol.”
“and her selling him pics didn’t make anything better. their [sic] all to blame. The things people do for money.”
“You are exactly what’s wrong in our society. Yes, he was a sick f**k. But you purposely continued to have contact with this guy. Admitting to even going so far as to selling him photos. And your parents are absolutely 100% to blame for this. You were nothing but a child and should grow up some. I hope the prosecutor’s office is looking at you and your family in this young man’s death.”
Yeah, those comments went way too far — and now the family is blasting the criticism. Taylor Pearson, Ava’s spokesperson, told The Sun the family is “disappointed by the negativity and victim blaming.” Pearson stressed the Majurys have taken other steps to protect their daughter:
“She doesn’t feel comfortable living life as a normal teen. The family has moved address and now Ava is doing virtual learning at home.”
OK, but going to school isn’t how she got a stalker… right? But they’re firm on allowing her to continue her social media career — where she says she’s making about $1700 for a single sponsored post.
For what it’s worth, Ava says her parents did try to get her off social media, but she convinced them otherwise:
“After the incident, my family insisted that I get rid of my social media. I pleaded with them to not force me to give up all that I ha built and let the assailant stop me from doing what I love.”
Pearson reiterates that argument, saying:
“We also want to put out the message that Ava’s behavior shouldn’t have to change because of one or two bad actors.”
But they’ll move house and home school her over one or two bad actors? Hmm.
Ava obviously didn’t choose to get attacked, but it’s also undeniable the stalker was a direct result of being on social media. No one thinks it’s a parent’s fault when their child gets kidnapped — but that doesn’t mean you should leave your child alone in a public place. And if you were lucky enough to get a kidnapped child back, to leave them in the same place again? That’s kind of what this feels like. You shouldn’t have to keep an eye on your children at all times because of “one or two bad actors” …but you do. And we all accept that as fact at this point. Creeps are out there, and you have to do what you can to keep your kids safe. Right?
Oh, that “one or two” isn’t a hypothetical number, btw.
According to Fox News, Ava is due in court on Monday to testify against ANOTHER stalker. After the first incident, the outlet reports, a boy in her own town. The teen (whose name is being withheld from the press as he’s still a minor) has allegedly been following and harassing her at least since December. And a classmate of Ava’s shared a video of the boy shooting at a gun range. Scary stuff, even if your dad hadn’t just shot a young man dead who was coming after you.
Related: Man With Loaded Handgun Arrested Outside Alexandra Daddario’s Home
The Majury family has filed a petition in the Collier County Circuit Court seeking an injunction for protection. Lanny Davis, one of Ava’s attorneys, told the outlet:
“She is genuinely afraid for her safety. It is a shame that it too often seems it takes a tragedy for everyone to ask: Why didn’t we act sooner?”
What do YOU think? If you were the parent here, wouldn’t getting your child off social media be the ultimate priority? Or would that just be giving into the victim blaming? At the end of the day, what matters most?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments (below)!
[Image via Ava Majury/Instagram.]