If you’ve ever had your TikTok FYP graced by the strange baritone of an old man singing songs that he really shouldn’t know, then you can bet that that was Rodger Cleye, a 58-year-old field engineer from Florida, who took up singing in his spare time, much to the delight of enthralled TikTok users, who couldn’t get over his easily memed, ‘so bad it’s good’ style of videos. His recently deleted account had well over 1.2 million followers.
Despite his once positive and silly status, on Monday 14 August 2023, serious allegations began to surface against Cleye, predominantly coming from 19-year-old Olivia McCraw who goes by the handle @oliviakaeylin on TikTok. The young creator has claimed that Cleye made unwanted advances to her while on a trip supposedly organised to collaborate on some videos together. Here’s everything you need to know about the grooming controversy.
The allegations first appeared online in a video posted by McCraw that has now amassed over 2.3 million views. In the TikTok, the creator revealed everything that had happened between her and Cleye. Brace yourselves.
The budding singer revealed that after chatting to Cleye during a TikTok livestream where he was offering to take someone to a Taylor Swift concert, he reached out to McCraw privately. Although unable to take her to see Taylor Swift, the 58-year-old revealed that he was a frequent flyer because of his work and offered to fly out to collaborate with McCraw if she wanted. While McCraw first saw this as a fun opportunity and chance to reach a wider audience with her singing, the visit quickly became one plagued by red flags.
What followed was an incredibly painful dinner where it is alleged that Cleye loudly announced that he had had a vasectomy to McCraw.
Their dinner led to an even more cringe-inducing live performance between the two, where McCraw stated that Cleye began to rub her back inappropriately. Unfortunately, no footage exists of the live performance, but we can only imagine how difficult it was for her to sit through. Prioritising her safety, the aspiring singer suffered through the advances of Cleye, ultimately ending up kissing him at the end of the night, and rejecting him properly once she felt safe enough to do so.
This is textbook grooming from a man in a position of power, who appears to have actively exploited the friendly naivety of a 19-year-old, excited to sing some songs with a famous TikToker. To make matters worse, McCraw has revealed the obsessive and borderline manic texts she received after telling Cleye he’d made her feel uncomfortable following their brief and unpleasant encounter.
Some of the most disturbing messages include details of a dating plan that will involve her suffering the title of “sugar baby” for the next 15 years, as well as over the top compliments and stalking before Cleye decided to berate her with accusations that she was the one acting with malicious and manipulative intent.
Netizens in the comments section of McCraw’s videos were quick to show their support, with one user saying: “I’m so sorry this happened to you. We believe you. Girls, please don’t meet up with people you ‘meet’ online, no matter how trustworthy they seem!” Amen to that.
It’s a shame to witness yet another man who we all once considered a wholesome and fun content creator be exposed for who he truly is, and we sincerely hope that McCraw recovers from these traumatic encounters.
Both parties were reached out to for a comment and are yet to respond.