Kat Von D posted a video on her YouTube channel, denying that she is anti-Semitic or an anti-vaxxer

By Helen Murphy
March 16, 2019 04:08 PM
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Kat Von D is speaking out.

In an 11-minute video posted to her YouTube channel on Thursday, the celebrity tattoo artist addressed speculation that she is anti-Semitic or against vaccinations.

“As a lot of you know, I have been getting a ton of hate over two different controversial topics, both of which are pretty hard for me to talk about but I just really want to try my best to clear the air,” Von D, 37, began.

“Just to set the record straight from the beginning, I just want to say that I am not anti-Semitic and I am not an anti-vaxxer,” she continued.

Von D began by discussing the rumors that she’s anti-Semitic.

“Out of every comment I’ve gotten, the ones that are calling me and family Nazis — those are the ones that really just don’t sit well for me,” she said. “If anything, they’re extremely offensive and super hurtful.”

According to the tattoo artist, the speculation about her alleged anti-Semitism began on Miami Ink, the reality TV show that launched her career.

Von D claimed that a male cast member felt threatened by her on the TLC show. When he found out that she was getting her own spinoff, LA Ink, he showed the network and the media “a forged anti-Semitic message” on her headshot, Von D said.

“Overnight, I was just falsely branded as an anti-Semite and I had no idea how to handle it or what to do,” she shared.

A rep for TLC did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.

The “forged message” is not the only time Von D has been accused of alleged anti-Semitism: her ex Jesse James was linked to Nazism. In 2010, a photo surfaced of James in a Nazi hat, giving a salute and holding two fingers under his nose. Then, in 2011, more photos were discovered, including one of James smiling next to a friend who is giving a Nazi salute.

James did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment about the photos, but his lawyer told CNN in 2010 that James is not a neo-Nazi, claiming that the hat was a gag gift from his Jewish godfather and that James once spent nearly a month in an Israeli kibbutz.

In 2015, Von D had planned to release a shade of lipstick called Selektion, which ABC News reported refers to the Nazi “death camp practice of ‘selecting’ those to be executed.”

In the video, Von D also addressed the criticism she received after she wrote on Instagram that she was going to raise her son Leafar Von D Reyes, now 3 months, without vaccines.

“I am not an anti-vaxxer,” she said. “What I am is a first-time mother. I’m one of those moms that reads everything. I mean I read everything from ingredients in foods to cleaning supplies to medicines — basically anything that is going in my baby or on my baby, I research like a complete and total nerd.”

“So back when I was pregnant, somebody asked me on Instagram if we were vaccinating our baby, and after doing a bunch of research and reading the ingredients, naturally I experienced some hesitancy,” Von D continued. “If I would have known that I would have let so many people down with that, I would have never, ever shared where we were at with it at that time.”

“Since then, we have decided as parents to consult with our pediatrician and just let him educate us and guide us,” she revealed. “But, unlike before, I have learned my lesson and I am choosing not to make our decision public.”

In June 2018, Von D posted a since-deleted Instagram of her baby bump where she said in a lengthy caption that she was going to raise her son “without vaccines.”

In a follow-up post in June, she said, “My husband [Leafar Seyer] and I are NOT anti-vaxxers. We are not against vaccines. Just because we have hesitancies and valid concerns about injecting our baby with specific chemicals and toxins does not mean we are anti anything.”

“As a soon-to-be parent [and especially as a first-time mom] I do feel it my responsibility to have questions, and to listen to my motherly instinct to question things, and do my research,” she continued.

RELATED: Lady in Black! Pregnant Kat Von D Braves the L.A. Heat in a Dark Ensemble While Running ErrandsAt the end of Thursday’s video, Von D read a message that she had written to those who “sent so much hate my way.”

“I’m not mad at you — I actually totally understand where you were coming from,” she said. “I just don’t think that sending hate to anyone is the right way to go about anything… you’re more likely to open someone’s mind with kindness instead of attacking them.”