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LAPD investigates assault allegation against YouTuber filed by trans influencer

Denzel Dion denied that he attacked Demi Martinez after a party last week in Hollywood Hills.
La Demi Martinez
La Demi Martinez arrives at the 8th Annual Winter Wonderland Toys for Tots Charity Event in Hollywood, Calif. on Dec. 8, 2021.Xavier Collin / Image Press Agency/Sipa USA via AP file

The Los Angeles Police Department said Wednesday that it is investigating an allegation that YouTube personality Denzel Dion attacked the social media personality Demi Martinez last week.

Martinez filed a police report accusing Dion of attacking her last Thursday after a party in the Hollywood Hills, according to Rosie Cervantes, a spokesperson for the LAPD.

Martinez, who goes by La Demi online and has over 300,000 Instagram followers, is a transgender woman known for posting about beauty, makeup and her transition. Early last Thursday, Martinez posted on Instagram that she had been the victim of a hate crime and an assault, naming Dion as the attacker. 

Dion, a prominent LGBTQ YouTube creator who has more than 1 million subscribers and is known for his celebrity fashion critiques, has denied the allegations. On Sunday, Dion was one of 12 influencers whom Meta, Facebook’s parent company, invited to attend and create content at the Academy Awards. 

Martinez first posted pictures to Instagram on Thursday appearing to show injuries she attributed to the assault, including bruising around her eyes and face, and cuts on her legs.

Hours later, Martinez posted screenshots of Dion’s Instagram account and identified him as her attacker, saying the two had gotten into an argument. 

Dion denied the allegations in posts published on his social media accounts later Thursday, writing that he was “heartbroken and deeply saddened” by Martinez’s allegations. “I would never do the things I am being accused of,” Dion wrote. “I know La Demi and we have always been cordial.”

Dion went on to write that he assumes Martinez’s allegations are “the result of mistaken identity” and that he doesn’t understand why Martinez “constantly mentioned my height, build, and race.” Martinez didn’t back down, responding on Instagram that Dion — who is Black and well over 6-feet tall — has a “distinct look.” Previously, she referred to him as a tall African American man.

“It baffles me that people would call me racist or say I’m making this story up,” Martinez told NBC News. “I’m not dumb, I know who I had my altercation with.”

Martinez said she reported the incident to the LAPD’s Hollywood investigative division last Thursday, which was confirmed by the copy of the police report NBC News viewed. Dion didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Martinez said that she had encountered Dion at parties and social events before, but that she did not know his name or that he was an influencer with a large following. 

Martinez said Dion referred to her using an anti-trans slur and threatened to beat her up. NBC News was not able to independently confirm the events that led up to the alleged assault.

“I said ‘Go ahead, do it,’” Martinez said. “Sure enough, he swung and knocked me out and I fell onto the steps and I remember grabbing the railing, trying to catch my balance, and it was just blow after blow to my head.”

Martinez said that she was the last member of her friend group at the party and was waiting for an Uber when the altercation began. According to the LAPD report that she provided to NBC News, Martinez said the incident happened around 3 a.m.

Some high-profile transgender creators, including Martinez’s friend and roommate Nikita Dragun, have posted in support of Martinez. They are both urging bystanders and witnesses to come forward. So far, none of the other party guests have posted publicly about Martinez’s allegations.