Almost six months after prosecutors dropped domestic charges filed against controversial Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland due to lack of evidence, 11 women and nonbinary people have come forward to share text messages, emails, pictures, videos, social media posts, plane tickets and Uber receipts that show a pattern of predatory behavior on the part of the disgraced creator toward young fans that, one woman claims, even escalated into sexual assault.
NBC News released its report on the new wave of stories and allegations against Roiland after corroborating the details of all 11 people featured and combing through thousands of messages between Roiland and the young women and nonbinary people, three of whom were just 16 years old when Roiland initiated a relationship. Seven of the those who spoke to NBC News reporter Kat Tenbarge had already posted snippets and screenshots of their conversations with Roiland on social media when news that Roiland faced felony domestic violence charges broke back in January, but four shared their stories and experiences for the first time.
After pouring through all the evidence provided by the individuals speaking out against Roiland, Tenbarge identified a clear pattern of inappropriate behavior that is eerily consistent across the accounts — Roiland begins an online conversation with a young Rick and Morty fan, usually a teenage girl and, in multiple instances, a legal minor. Roiland develops a rapport with the fan and offers encouragement in their own artistic pursuits, then he steers the conversation toward sexual topics, often asking the young fans if they’re “into girls” and sometimes requesting provocative pictures or videos. He asks the fans to meet him in person, sometimes offering to pay for flights to his home.
Then, during the in-person meetups, Roiland will repeatedly offer these young people alcohol, even if they turn it down, and often despite the fact that they are under the legal drinking age. Once the young fan is inebriated, Roiland initiates sex acts, sometimes bringing one or more adult female companions to engage in group sex with the young fan.
One woman, who met Roiland on Tinder when she was 19 and he was almost 40, said that, when she agreed to meet Roiland at a restaurant, Roiland served her multiple mixed drinks, before taking her shopping for new clothes. Later in the evening, she went to Roiland’s hotel room where he physically forced her to perform oral sex on him, despite her repeatedly telling him “no.”
In a text message conversation evaluated by NBC News, the woman later confronted Roiland over the incident, telling him, “the sexual stuff that happened with us was not handled by you in the best way and i just want you to take that into account in future dates, i know it was not black or white but verbal consent is v important.”
Roiland responded apologetically, writing, “That is not me whatsoever… I literally didn’t get consent??”
The woman texted back, “i mean you said after that you thought it turned me on to be forced, i dont think that was your exact word, into it and i told you that i wouldve preferred it didnt happen.” After Roiland repeated his apology, the woman wrote, “no i was like not consenting i was like saying no and other things but not very forcefully.”
The woman told NBC News of the exchange, “I just didn’t want him to get angry. I was scared to accuse him of what he did,” adding that she chose phrases like “black and white” to avoid a possible confrontation. Roiland and his attorneys have maintained that every accusation of improper conduct made by the 11 individuals interviewed by NBC News are categorically defamatory. None of the 11 people who shared their accounts have filed criminal charges against him.