Christian YouTube star Sam Rader admits that things got physical with another Christian vlogger before he was thrown out of a convention in Seattle this weekend – but he denies he threatened anyone.
Rader says he was ridiculed by two vloggers on Twitter for the way his family was mourning their recent miscarriage and took the opportunity at Vlogger Fair to address them. He says he was surprised by the turn of events.
Rader tells PEOPLE his first confrontation went well – he simply told the vlogger, “Hey man, obviously I saw the Tweet that you made was targeted towards our family. I just need to let you know that really hurt us, you brought tears to my wife’s eyes and you made me very angry but I forgive you.’ ” But the next day, when he approached the second vlogger, things “backfired.”
“My plan was to do the exact same thing to the other vlogger. Just letting him know he hurt us and to let him know we’d forgiven him, but I approached and I requested an explanation,” and that’s when things got heated.
” ‘I can Tweet whatever I want,’ was his response,” Rader says, adding he was upset but didn’t escalate things. “Of course I was upset but in no way was I trying to cause any physical altercation. But he got in my face and put his chest against mine and said, ‘Are you trying to start something?’ over and over and over.” The puffing led to name-calling, which led to Rader being escorted out.
Rader would not reveal the name of the other vloggers to PEOPLE. He did say he private messaged the second one via Twitter, apologizing for his role.
“I just told the person that I was sorry I lost my temper and that I had forgiven him for the Tweet that was made and I hope he can forgive me,” he says.
Gawker, who first broke the news of Rader being kicked out of the convention, cites other vloggers at the conference who say Rader did actually threaten at least one person.
Vlogger and singer/songwriter Meghan Tonjes accused Rader of the threats in a series of Tweets, starting with: “At the next con you’re not invited to, definitely don’t threaten violence against other vloggers?” She also thanked the organizers for reacting swiftly. “A conferences first goal should be to keep people safe and sometimes that means safe from creators. Congrats @VloggerFair for doing that,” she wrote.
A Tumblr post by Stark Raving Sane features an anonymous question about what happened with Sam and Nia at the fair with a one-sentence response: “To make a very long story short, Sam kept confronting people who were calling them out on Twitter and saying he wanted to punch them.”
Rader says he can’t recall his exact words. “I don’t remember the exact verbiage. We were both angry, and I said something along the lines of ‘Don’t mess with my family’; I don’t remember exactly what was said,” he claims, reiterating that “The threat of violence against anybody is completely false. There was no threat of violence against anyone.”
Sam and Nia first made headlines when Rader surprised his wife by announcing her pregnancy (to her and to viewers) using a urine sample from their toilet bowl (a second, more traditional, test appeared to confirm the results at the end of the video). Three days later the couple took to their YouTube series again to announce a miscarriage – further fanning flames on social media that the pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage were nothing more than a publicity stunt to garner viewers for their show. Last week the couple claimed the spotlight again following the Ashley Madison data dump. Rader admitted he had created an account on the infidelity website and that he and his wife had previously addressed the matter privately.
Vlogger Fair has confirmed that Sam and Nia left the conference early for personal reasons. A spokesperson for the conference says it prides itself on being an event where guests feel welcome and safe, according to news reports.
Sam and Nia are high school sweethearts, according to their Facebook page. They have two children and a reality TV-style daily YouTube show about their adventures at 5 p.m. CT. They are expected to post a video about Vlogger Fair soon.