Shirley HalperinFri, 5 March 2021, 2:20 am
An unidentified male exposed himself during an impromptu Instagram live session hosted by Bebe Rexha on the afternoon of March 4 around 2 p.m. PT, forcing the artist to shut down the livestream.
Rexha, who releases a new song, “Sacrifice,” on streaming services tonight, often appears on the IG Live platform to talk about her life, mental health and beauty routines, often with her dog Bear co-starring, and invited fans to join her in the run-up to the single dropping. Some 8,000 were tuned in when comments purportedly got “out of hand and Bebe called them out,” according to a viewer. “Then some guy flashed her. She hopped off IG pissed off and mortified.”
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Rexha took to Twitter to share her frustration, writing, “I’m honestly disgusted. And shook. … I am so sorry that happened.” She then resolved to track down the flasher.
When Rexha later returned to the platform, 35,000 were tuned in.
Variety got a hold of Rexha in the early evening and she further explained of her decision to call on fans tuned in: “On Instagram, it’s like Russian Roulette. You hope you get a good fan. But you don’t know.”
Rexha recalled a series of inappropriate comments, during which she decided to call out the “haters” by inviting them on to the Live. “I thought he was trying to be smart … by hating on the haters. And I know it’s not the best way to go. So then I called him and I was so confused. Like: is this a joke? Is somebody filming a picture of their screen?” She described the image being dark but clearly recognizable as “a penis — like, a dick on my screen.”
Rexha was particularly bothered because, while she’s 31, her followers skew young. “I’m very protective of my fans — what if a 14-year-old boy or girl just saw that? I’m traumatized that it happened in front of all my fans. I felt guilty about it”
Also, she added, “I kind of felt disrespected.”
Although clearly agitated and admittedly “in more of an emotional state right now” (due to an illness Bear is battling), Rexha did laugh when her mom called to ask, “Why didn’t you get him out of the screen faster?” Rexha answered: “When you call somebody in the Live chat, they have to X themselves out now. Before, you could X them out, so Instagram should bring back that feature.”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-8&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1367598248618196995&lang=en-gb&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fuk.yahoo.com%2Fnews%2Ftrumps-trying-sell-florida-home-165752058.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=e1ffbdb%3A1614796141937&width=550pxhttps://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-9&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1367597430699483136&lang=en-gb&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fuk.yahoo.com%2Fnews%2Ftrumps-trying-sell-florida-home-165752058.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=e1ffbdb%3A1614796141937&width=550px
Rexha is scheduled to appear in an episode of YouTube Originals series “RELEASED” tonight at 8:45 p.m. PT. where she will talk about her forthcoming album, play a game of “Sacrifice” and sing her hit songs “In the Name of Love” and “Meant to Be” opera-style. The special leads to the world premiere of the video for “Sacrifice.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/6fOk9AklzFk?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent
Speaking to Variety in October, Rexha described her forthcoming album as “coming from my insecurities.” Said the Staten Island native: “Whether it’s the song ‘Sabotage’ or ‘Break My Heart Myself,’ which talks about my mental illness, or songs about my jealousy and trust issues with relationships, or me thinking that I’m going to f–k up everything in my life — most of the album follows this theme. It starts fun and gets a little bit darker. I have a song with Lil Uzi Vert called ‘Die For A Man,’ which I wrote after a breakup and it was more of an empowering song for me.”
Variety has reached out to Instagram for comment.