As Told To Veronica R. Wells-Puoane
"Them Today, Me Tomorrow" Why Diamond D. Used Her Platform To Expose Chris Stylezz
Ismael Trevino for Unsplash/Ackee and Okra
Christopher “Chris Stylezz” Samuels, 30, a New York party promoter and host, was fired from his role with D’usse Palooza, after dozens of women came forward with allegations of sexual assault. It began with one tweet from a woman speaking vaguely about a man with many supporters who assaults women.
When people finally realized she was speaking about Stylezz, Diamond D., who goes by the name of Ms. Octoburrr on Twitter noticed that there were several likes, retweets and other women sharing that they too had been assaulted by Chris. Diamond thought there had to be more.
“I’ve been around this guy and no one said anything? Alright, so this is what we’re going to do. I’m going to block out everybody’s name, I’m going to block out everybody’s avi (avatar), if Chris Stylezz ever victimized you, share your story with me. Let’s say I asked that at 1:00. By 1:20, I had seven stories. And then 7 turned into 15 and 15 turned into 30.”
Ultimately, Diamond D. shared 40 different stories from women who had been raped or sexually assaulted by Chris Stylezz. There are even more in her inbox; but right now, she’s interested in next steps.
“I can’t read any more stories. Let’s not make this story time unless you’re pressing charges. What are we going to do moving forward? I saw stories about someone saying, ‘So he was a counselor at my school and when I was 18, he used to be inappropriate and try to force himself on me.’
Diamond shared that with social media, she didn’t want people to get all riled up over the stories and then forget about them days later. She said she’s not sharing any more stories of assault or rape at the hands of Chris unless women begin to speak about going to law enforcement.
“I’m not one of his victims so I can’t press charges on him. What I can do is use my somewhat platform to make people aware that they’re not alone. That the disgust that he’s been doing is widespread and what I notice is it’s been a pattern for over ten years.”
Diamond shared that the earliest stories of Chris’ alleged assault begin when he was a twenty-year-old college student.
“They’re telling me that he was in a fraternity and he used that status to sweep a lot of his sexual assault under the rug because he was, in a sense, protected by that fraternity.”
Of the stories she collected, there were two that disturbed her than the rest: the fact that Chris had access to teenage girls and a woman who went to college with Chris ten years agpo, but was raped by him more recently.
“The story that I was told was a straight up rape story. This woman knew him from college. He knew that she was going to be in town. She was staying at a hotel that has a restaurant. So she said, ‘Yeah, you can come see me. We can go have dinner. He comes to her hotel. She meets him at the restaurant. When he meets her, he says, ‘This is cool but I really came to fuck.” She was like, ‘What?’ This is while she’s looking at the menu. He pulls the menu out her hand. She’s thinking he’s joking and he’s like, ‘Nah, can we go upstairs?’ She’s like, ‘Wait, wait wait. You got this wrong.’ She said before she could even order any food, it escalated to the point where she got up and left. He started following her. As she’s passing the front desk, she had to tell the front desk agent, ‘He’s not staying with me. He’s not my guest. He’s not welcome.’ She said, ‘Thank God it was a bigger guy.’ He tells him, ‘Sir, you can’t go upstairs.’ She said in his anger, he went back to the restaurant and ordered $100 worth of food and sent it to her room. He started texting her, ‘You stupid bitch, you gap-toothed bitch.’ After three bitches she blocked him.”
Sadly, the story didn’t end there.
“A month later, he goes the social media route and DMs her. He’s like, ‘I apologize. I didn’t take that rejection too well. Can I see you again and make it up to you?’ She said, ‘I know people are going to judge me for accepting his request after such a brash interaction. But being that I knew him prior, I said yes.’ She said on the second interaction she wasn’t so lucky. I don’t know where they met but it was some intimate setting. I guess she let him in. She said his demeanor changed instantly. ‘I apologize for the last time.’ Then she said he just held her down, raped her and recorded it. The recording is so you can’t say anything because I’ll humiliate you.”
Diamond shared that every single woman who contacted her was a Black woman and all of them wished to remain anonymous.
“I take that as fear. Sometimes it’s an embarrassment as well. You don’t want to be a part of something or you don’t want the turmoil of having to deal with people’s disbelief.”
When Diamond started releasing these messages, there was not only disbelief, there were disparaging remarks made toward these women, accusatory questions along with complete denial.
“People were like, ‘How do you know they’re not lying?’ After three stories of women that don’t know each other, they don’t who’s sending it because it’s a direct message, it’s private. I start to see a pattern. His patterns are, ‘We met at a bar and he kept on giving me shots.’ Or ‘I’ve been drunk many occasions but this wasn’t drunk. I think he put a pill in my drink.’ Every one, all 40, he pulled out his penis unwarranted. The bulk of their stories have a lot of similarities. He can’t handle the no. If they’re in a car, he’ll kick them out and have them stranded in the street somewhere. There was a lot of ‘He recorded me and I didn’t know.’ One woman even said that she did have sex with him willingly and the next day, he said, ‘I can’t wait to make a movie with you again.’ And she said, ‘What movie?’ He sent her a video of them in their interaction that she wasn’t aware of. And he just laughed. When you start seeing the patterns, you don’t question the stories anymore.”
Diamond shared that there was other victim-blaming behavior as well.
“The second thing people were doing was questioning why the victims were in that situation instead of asking why Chris was a rapist. And it made me come to the conclusion that only men that are capable of the same things that Chris did, defend Chris. Only rapey men defend rapey men. If your mind processes to question the victim instead of ‘Why would he do that?’ That makes me question you! It started to out a lot of men on the timeline and their mind frame. I had to say, ‘Women be cognizant of the men that are questioning—it’s in such a passive aggressive way. But the psychology behind it is that’s the same way you think or the same way you move. If you’re so removed from it, you can see it with a clear perception. Why was this man allowed to do this to so many women and he’s still outside?”
Diamond said that while she knows Chris through a second degree of separation and has been in his presence, she never had any predatory interactions with him. Still, her experiences with Chris never caused her to doubt other women’s stories.
“Even though Chris never had the opportunity to try anything like that with me during our interactions, I felt compelled [to share their stories] because I’ve been around men who’ve treated me a certain way. But I have such an aggressive personality that I was able to deal with them accordingly and put them in their place. I’m a bigger woman in stature, I have a certain following and upbringing and people know about me and my aggression. I’m 5’7, 190 and I grew up real rough and I was a corrections officer at Rikers and I used to fight inmates and body slam men my whole life. Thank God for my size, my mind frame and my upbringing but these men, they stop at nothing. It’s normal to them. Nothing will change until people start getting called out, losing their jobs, losing their friends, doing jail time—that’s a question I was getting on the timeline. ‘So, if what he was doing was so bad, if it’s really true, why isn’t he in jail?’ Because no one is talking about it and you guys are normalizing predatory behavior.”
Throughout the conversation on Twitter, people were using the words rapey and rape almost interchangeably. And while there is rape culture that influences men to behave in coercive, predatory ways, Diamond wanted to make sure there was a clear distinction in inappropriate behavior and rape.
“People are tap dancing around the two and the blurred lines are the reason why things have gone as far as they’ve been able to go. Rapey is behavior that is really aggressive and comes with assault. So you can hold someone down and not actually rape them. You can make people uncomfortable, threaten them or get physical. And that is something we call rapey. ‘Your behavior scared me. It was a little physical. And it lets me know you’re capable of rape.’ Rape is the actual sexual assault. And it’s not just penetrative. A lot of women said he pulled his penis out and forced oral sex, that’s rape as well. The terms need to be set. We can’t call everyone a rapist. But Chris Stylezz raped someone, more than one person.”
After Diamond started sharing the stories from the women on Twitter and Chris issued an apology for his behavior, which has since been deleted.
Later, he decided to host an Instagram Live.
During the stream, he admitted that the apology was crafted by the PR team and that he didn’t even understand some of the words that were used in it. In addition to the allegations, Diamond was particularly disgusted by Chris’ behavior on the stream.
“It was a narcissistic shit show. Leading up to the live, every hour on the hour, we get updates on how many people were viewing his Instagram posts. Oh it’s disgusting. He started off with, ‘Wow, 1,000 people saw this post. I see what you guys are here for: negativity.’ He’s masking his numbers in the delivery of oh I’m so disgusted. ‘9.000 views. This would have never happened if this was something positive.’ His thinking is so elementary that you kind of know that he’s sick. He’s really proud. Any attention at this point, is feeding his ego.
Soon as he starts the Live—you know how the viewers are at the top right? You could see his eyes directed at that point. He’s like, ‘The numbers keep on going up. I’m just going to wait until the numbers cap…I don’t care about the numbers, I just don’t want to have to say it again.’ He wore all his jewelry. So, you did a rape allegation press conference from your home with a Rolex on and four chains? The psychology behind it was disgusting. His PR team didn’t suggest he do that because he’s not intelligent enough or well versed to defend himself in rape allegations that outnumber his one voice.”
Diamond shared that throughout the whole live, Chris offered half apologies with the word “but” often thrown in there. She said he never took full accountability and said time and again that he wouldn’t stand on the allegation of rape, though he admitted that he had behaved inappropriately.
“With his sentences, he’s just entrapping himself. He’s preparing us for another blow. ‘Well, I was on tour for six years so there’s going to be more women…’ Are you kidding me? He said because I’m Chris Stylezz women use my name for clout. You’re who? Because if I wasn’t from Brooklyn and didn’t know you from a second degree of separation, I’m sorry, I don’t know why you think a party named behind a liquor brand and a podcast that no one listens to, is grounds for you to be like people know who I am. Narcissists are really bad with rejection. They can’t handle nos. They get a high from overpowering people. They think they’re grander than what they really are. Everything comes down to narcissism. There’s no remorse in there. ‘But,’ he said, ‘The rape I’m not going to stand on.’ Which is funny because if you told me that I was accused of murder, I would never verbalize the accusation as, ‘I’m not going to stand on it.’ That is like yeah I did it but you’re going to have to prove it. Catch me if you can. These are signs of people who are not remorseful. You’re just playing dumb. I said, ‘Oh, he’s playing in the face of the victims.’”
During the Instagram Live, confusingly, Chris shared court documents that stated that he did have to appear in court on one occasion. But he said, he was the only one who showed up. After presenting the document, he told his Instagram Live viewers, “If I raped any of you, please bring me to justice. Go to the police.” Diamond encouraged his victims to do just that.
“Acting skills 0/10. Give the man what he wants.”
Diamond said that while she doesn’t wish to take away from anyone’s story or experience, going forward she wants to share the stories of women who have moved forward with pressing charges.
“What I want to start posting is ‘I’m seeking counsel. Can you help me seek counsel.’ Because what we’re giving him is more notoriety. Even if the attention is negative, as long as people are still saying,‘Chris Stylezz’ he’s still getting a high. I’ve never seen someone have a rape allegation and go live to talk about it. I said he’s counting the numbers [of viewers] instead of the victims.”
Diamond shared that she was in the position to share the stories of these women because many of them weren’t ready to share their identities, they feared retaliation from Chris and they didn’t want to be questioned or second guessed by the public.
“I was like sure, I’ll do it. Because one, Chris Stylezz can’t beat me. Even if he got mad and sent threats, it was nothing to me. So I had the pleasure of being the portal for these women’s voices. And I gave them the blueprint. You’re not alone. This has happened to many people over the last ten years. You ladies need to take this thread, come together and go to the next step, which is putting him away. It doesn’t end with the release of sharing the stories. It ends when he’s in jail.”
In the past week, only one of the 40 women shared that she was planning on seeking counsel.
Since the allegations against Chris went viral, D’usse Palooza shared that they were launching an investigation into his behavior. In the interim, they were placing him on an indefinite leave. Ultimately, they made the decision to disassociate from Stylezz and shared this message.
“Someone asked if the people around Chris Stylezz are distancing themselves and severing ties out of disgust and concern for his sickness or protection for a brand? And it would be both.”
There were old tweets between another D'usse Palooza general manager Rory Farrell and Chris Stylezz making insensitive comments about women who claim rape or sexual assault when they regret having sex with a man. And in the days since Chris’ allegations became public, women have come out to accuse other members of the Palooza brand, including its founder Kameron McCollough.
After Diamond shared these accounts on her Twitter feed, people said, ‘Please protect Ms.
Octoburr at all costs. Diamond said she’s more than capable of protecting herself.
“I laughed. I said I understand your concern but I pity anyone who would even try anything. I don’t play with anybody but I fight and I’m a trained shooter. I’m licensed to carry and I carry. I want someone to even question me about Chris Stylezz because that’s the interaction I live for. I know you as a predator but I’ll make you my prey. I don’t play with men. Never have. Never will. So it was my duty as a stronger female to be the voice of the women who for some reason felt like a fear for him. We all we got. And what I can do with my aggression and my voice and my outlet is protect us. Cuz them today, me tomorrow.”