“My heart is shattered into a million pieces,” the Navarro College cheerleading coach, 50, penned in an Instagram statement on Friday, September 18, one day after her student, 21, was taken into custody. “I am devastated by this shocking, unexpected news. Our children must be protected from abuse and exploitation, and I’m praying hard for the victims and everyone affected. Please respect our privacy as our family mourns during this heartbreaking time.”
Harris made headlines earlier this week after USA Today published a lengthy exposé alleging that the reality star solicited sex from minors. In the report, 14-year-old twin brothers claimed that Harris had harassed them both on social media and at cheer competitions the year before. Varsity Brands, a leading company in the cheer industry, also reported Harris to police in Florida and Texas after he allegedly asked one of the brothers to have sex with him at two separate Varsity competitions in 2019.
On Monday, September 14, the FBI conducted a three-hour search of Harris’ home in Naperville, Illinois. Three days later, Us Weekly confirmed that the Netflix personality was booked on child pornography charges. He was expected to appear in federal court in Chicago that afternoon.
Before his arrest, a rep for the college athlete denied the allegations brought forward by the twin brothers, who shared screenshots of text messages and Snapchat conversations with USA Today.
“We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” the spokesperson said in a statement to Us. “We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”
Days before breaking her silence on the scandal, Aldama made her debut in the Dancing With the Stars ballroom with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. When she was confirmed as a member of the season 29 cast earlier this month, Harris surprised her with a supportive message on Good Morning America.
“Congratulations, Monica!” Harris gushed. “You deserve this. I’m so, so happy for you. I can’t to vote for you every week, cheer for you and just scream at the TV!”
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