The family of Desmond Napoles, the famous 11-year-old drag performer, has been accused of child abuse. This comes after many on social media complained that the child was performing at gay bars.
On 9 March, Desmond’s mother took to Instagram to show the numerous letters she received from Child Protective Services (CPS) and the NYC Administration for Child Services (ACS). The letters noted, repeatedly, that no evidence of child abuse was found.
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In their own words
‘This is what it has come to,’ the caption to the photo set reads. ‘We have been accused of child abuse, exploitation & maltreatment to the point that we have been backed into a corner trying to defend ourselves.’
‘Recently a YouTube video was made stating that we should allow ACS (CPS) to investigate if we have nothing to hide. Which we have & we do not have anything to hide. We have been under a microscope since early December. I never thought I would have to breach my own privacy & confidentiality to provide proof that has been demanded of us out of malice.’
She goes on to describe the numerous visits by CPS and ACS that their family was subjected to. This included announced and unannounced visits to their home and to Desmond’s school.
‘ACS has investigated us thoroughly. Because of the number of reports they received, our case went all the way to the Governor’s office. We had announced visits & unannounced visits to our home nearly daily & at all hours & Desmond’s school. Our family was probed more intensely than any other case before. All allegations were “unfounded.”’
‘Currently, we send screenshots of anyone encouraging others or admitting to contacting ACS to ACS to keep in our file. ACS is not a weapon. So many ACS resources could have gone to families that needed help. On the plus side, ACS has been offering us many support services.’
‘In addition, we were investigated by the NYPD, the Child Advocacy Center, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Department of Labor, and the District Attorney’s office. No abuse or maltreatment was found, no regulations for child performers were broken, no illegal activity has occurred.’
‘We endured countless posts & videos slandering our family by people who have never contacted us for the truth or watched Desmond’s videos where he has spoken for himself. We put up with lies & rumors. We daily clear social media of hateful comments & messages. Someone has been messaging Desmond’s followers to convince them of alleged abuse. We deal with hate crimes & death threats perpetuated by “concerned citizens” & have been stalked. The NYPD is assisting us. Desmond has extra security measures in place at his school. All of this because we allow Desmond to be himself & do what he loves. We are a loving and supporting family. Anyone who knows us or met us can attest to that.’