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Here’s Why Fans Are Concerned About YouTube Star Marina Joyce

3 minute read

Marina Rose Joyce is a 19-year-old British YouTube fashion and beauty vlogger with more than 800,000 subscribers. But her fans say they have become worried about her safety and state of mind in recent months, and overnight the hashtag #SaveMarinaJoyce began trending worldwide as concerns peaked.

Joyce has since insisted that she’s fine on Twitter and via a livestream YouNow video — and police have confirmed she’s “safe and well” — but her followers continue to suggest that she either is dealing with health issues, an abusive and controlling person in her life, or both. Her videos and social media accounts are inundated with concerned comments.

The prolific vlogger, who started posting three years ago, is known for her bleached-blonde hair, bubbly attitude and colorful makeup and clothing. Recently, fans said they started to notice odd things in her videos: bruises on the backs of her arms, a shotgun propped up against a dresser in her bedroom (which she later said is a BB gun) and a distinct change in the energy and tone of her output.

After fans fretted about unnerving tweets in early July, Joyce posted a video on YouTube to say that she hasn’t changed at all. In a subsequent video — an advertisement for a clothing brand — that shows Joyce spinning and modeling, sharp-eared fans said they heard her whisper “help me” at one point, and later said they saw bruises on the backs of her arms.

On Tuesday night, Joyce began tweeting to invite followers to a 6:30 a.m. meetup at Bethnal Green, a park in London.

Friends recommended that fans stay away from the early morning meeting. But in a follow-up video, Joyce suggested the timing was related to the dawn Morning Gloryville dance party she was planning to attend. She also addressed the bruises, saying they come from an “accident” but that it’s “a private story.”

“It’s quite a sad story… I wasn’t OK, like, recently. It’s really sad about the bruises, but I can’t say what happened, but I’m OK, and I really do love you guys,” she says. During the livestream, Joyce cycles between tears and laughter, peppering her delivery with insistences that she truly loves her fans, and that she’s just fine.

“To the 22.2k people watching, I want to say that I’m the kind of YouTuber who actually replies to my viewers, so, everyone dance!” she says. “I literally am fine.”

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com