On the morning of January 29th, a Twitter user who we will refer to as @User1234 received an email from an account under the name of William Hochberg. The letter, which was sent from and signed by another man named Douglas E. Mirell, was a cease and desist letter from the law firm Greenberg & Glusker based in Beverly Hills, California.
The letter read like this:
This law firm is litigation counsel for Mr. Morgan Parriott, professionally known as Call Me Karizma (hereinafter “Karizma”). If you are represented by legal counsel, please advise and all further correspondence will be directed accordingly.
It has come to our attention that you have been spreading maliciously false and defamatory rumors about alleged sexual misconduct by Karizma. These wholly inaccurate rumors are highly injurious, both personally and professionally, to Karizma and expose you to substantial liability for you unlawful acts.
Should we elect to pursue litigation, your conduct in passing along such rumors may result in an award of substantial money damages against you personally and/or your parents (if you are a minor) – by way of compensating for the repetitional injuries you are causing, as well as punishment – in addition to other lawful forms of relief.”
It went on to say the recipient shall agree in writing to the cease and desist request within twenty-four (24) hours in order to “assess whether and to what extent you may be liable for disseminating such false rumors.”
Unbeknownst to @User1234 at the time, there were about twenty others who also received this email, and they were all wondering this same thing; is this real?
After consulting with a number of lawyer friends and family members, @User1234 and the other members of a chat group titled “CallMeSnaKe” concluded it was another hollow threat in a long list of attempts to silence allegations against Call Me Karizma.
Furthermore, if this was legitimate, they believed there was a limited amount of legal action that could be taken due to many recipients being underage and living across multiple states.
The allegations referred to in the notice, which were serious enough to cause one Twin Cities venue to cancel an upcoming performance, have been swirling for months, essentially boiling down to this:
Morgan Parriott, hereinafter known as Call Me Karizma, has allegedly been using his status as a popular musician to prey on underage girls both online and in-person. Multiple female fans have also claimed he made unwelcome sexual advances and committed sexual assault.
Originally from New Prague, Minnesota, Call Me Karizma describes himself as a singer/songwriter/rapper who creates visceral post-pop rooted in both hip-hop and punk.
A quote from his Facebook biography reads as such:
“With his razor-sharp wordplay, the 23-year-old artist offers an unfiltered look into his inner life, delivering each song with an uncompromising honesty that’s earned him an exceptionally devoted fanbase. In that outpouring of feeling, Call Me Karizma transforms pain into music with intense cathartic power, and now receives at least a dozen DMs a day from fans declaring that his music has saved their lives.”
It’s those dozens of DM’s a day that seems to have gotten Call Me Karizma into a little bit of trouble. Depending on who you ask, you could get a multitude of stories about what exactly goes on in those messages.
Many young females, including some of his accusers, say that inside these messages, Call Me Karizma became an outlet for them to express themselves as they dealt with mental illnesses. He was there for them in a time of need and helped them not only through his music but through words of encouragement at all times of the day.
Others allege these DM’s were a breeding ground of manipulation, including inappropriate image and text exchanges where Call Me Karizma would solicit nude pictures and sexual favors from fans, often promising guest list spots & all-access passes to his concerts.
While we can only go by what currently exists as physical evidence (in this case it’s screenshots of conversations), and in any resulting legal battle claims of such inappropriate messages without proof would simply be hearsay, evidence can be found on any number of Twitter profiles, many of which were the recipients of this cease and desist notice.
One of the most common accusations states that Call Me Karizma would allegedly share sexually explicit photos that he received from young girls, often without confirmation that they were of legal age, with a select group of his fans inside of a group message titled “Riz’s Exclusives.”
We can all agree that Call me Karizma shouldn’t be punished for the messages or photos he receives in his DM’s, since one has no control over the content of messages they receive. However, if he was, in fact, requesting these images, as well as sharing (or leaking) these photos out into the public, that is understandably an issue.
Accusations only get more serious from here. We spoke to several women, all asking to remain anonymous, who told us a range of stories from Call Me Karizma requesting nudes, to making uninvited sexual advances during his “post-show Meet and Greets,” as well as stories of physical assaults from him and members of his team.
Although accusations have been swirling since 2016, Call Me Karizma has been fairly quiet on the subject publicly, but has reached out to Twitter accounts that have shared their stories asking them to remove them, then blocking hundreds of users who have either shared their own stories or supported those who have.
Despite many attempts, we have been unable to confirm by anyone working at Greenberg & Glusker over the few days whether or not this cease and desist notice did, in fact, come from their office.
We will provide more information on these allegations as it becomes available to us.
*Update: February 8th, 2019*
Music In Minnesota received confirmation today that Call Me Karizma’s scheduled performance in Cambridge, MA on March 26th, 2019 has been canceled. The show was to take place at The Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub near Boston. This is the second confirmed venue to cancel upcoming performances by this artist.
*Update: February 11th, 2019*
In a recent post made on his Instagram account, Call Me Karizma announced that his upcoming sixteen-date tour across North America has been canceled. Instead, he’s decided to come to “select cities & playing free house shows with donations and any proceeds going to charities with causes important to you and me.”
The statement continues, “to the thousands of ppl who bought tickets, imma refund y’all. i want to meet every supporter of mine new and old, and unfortunately i can’t hear ur stories and see u face to face at most traditional venues.”
This announcement comes after multiple venues, including one in Minnesota and one in Massachusetts, decided to cancel his performances due to the allegations surrounding him.
The full announcement can be found below.
View this post on Instagram
IMPORTANT! — to the gloomy cult: ive decided that instead of playing a ticketed tour, i want to give you free shows around the country. i’ll be coming to select cities & playing free house shows with donations and any proceeds going to charities with causes important to you and me. in the coming weeks imma post when/where these shows will be taking place. to the thousands of ppl who bought tickets, imma refund y’all. i want to meet every supporter of mine new and old, and unfortunately i can’t hear ur stories and see u face to face at most traditional venues. to everyone with tattoos of my lyrics on their skin & to the countless ppl who couldn’t afford tickets, i want to meet u. this is more than music to me. as much as i hear “u saved my life” – i want to make it clear that YOU HAVE SAVED MINE AS WELL. mentally i am in a place where i need to create as many songs as possible and let my music speak for itself. i want to continue to grow as a person, and part of my growth is being able to meet the people who have supported me thru the highs and lows. i can’t wait to see everyone out there soon. know that you are loved and that u matter. it’s ok to be sad but it isn’t ok to give up. love your friend, riz 🌧 PS: i’ll be posting a sign up form to host a show later tonight or this week. OH and another PS: i’m so proud of us. we have grown so much as a family over the years and i’m so grateful to become a better person alongside my fans and friends. ur the best 🌧🧡👏🏻🧡👏🏻💪🏻🧡💪🏻🧡🧡👏🏻🌧🌧