Tuesday, YouTube star Colleen Ballinger, a.k.a. Miranda Sings, announced she was getting a divorce from fellow YouTuber Joshua Evans.
Ballinger, 29, (whose wildly popular character Miranda Sings is slated to become the star of a new Netflix series) and Evans made separate announcements on their respective channels, with Evans making it clear that the divorce was Ballinger’s decision.
It’s difficult to imagine what a life spent in the spotlight quite the way as Ballinger and Evans’ is like. And while they’ve maintained admirable control over their respective images, at least one incident spun out of hand and caused Ballinger to question her decision to put her relationship at the fore of her online presence.
That incident was MTV’s True Life.
The sensationalized series (other episodes from the season Ballinger appeared in were “I’m Too Beautiful” and “My Dad is a Bro”) profiled Ballinger as her online celebrity started to take off.
The episode, which aired in late 2013, focused on Ballinger’s relationship with Evans, and the pressures placed on it by her nascent celebrity. She’s shown answering massive volumes of mail, constantly being approached by fans and taking a seemingly never-ending stream of meetings with her manager. She describes being Miranda Sings as a “24/7 job.”
At least according to the episode, by its end, the pair found some semblance of closure: Ballinger helped Evans set up his own channel and she said that she was able to find a balance between love and a career.
However, as is often the case with real life and reality television, Ballinger and Evans’ arc on True Life turned out to be somewhat less than true.
The day after the episode aired, Ballinger uploaded a video to her personal channel that struck back at MTV’s portrayal of her in the episode.
Calling her decision to be featured on the show “one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made,” Ballinger said, “I feel like an idiot for agreeing to it and thinking they would portray my life how it actually is.” She described how MTV filmed her and Evans for six months, but edited the footage to create dramatic scenes and ended up focusing on the negative aspect of the pair’s relationship.
“The truth is, we’re YouTubers and we show you guys what we want to show on the Internet, so we’re gonna show happiness and positivity. But we’re people, and we have fights, and we have bad moments, because we’re humans,” Ballinger said in the clip.
The full episode of True Life is no longer available for unrestricted viewing on MTV’s site and the “clips” portion of True Life‘s page from the season the episode aired contains no footage from Ballinger’s episode.