This tragic Craig T. Dillon situation is getting stranger and stranger by the minute.
If you haven’t been paying attention, British YouTuber Craig T. Dillon has been accused of sexually harassing/raping six people between the ages of 15-19. Thomas Corbett, who is reported to be Dillon’s lawyer, has been actively contacting news websites such as The Daily Dot and New Media Rockstars to threaten legal action.
Corbett also contacted Videoter. However, clearly we’re too boring to receive any legal threats as Corbett simply claimed he was “disappointed” in our coverage. His statement shattered my soul and sent me into a deep existential crisis… That is, until I found out that Thomas Corbett may not actually exist.
According to TenEighty Magazine: “The ‘lawyer’ representing YouTuber Craig T. Dillon does not, in fact, exist.” They go on to claim that Dillon regularly uses Corbett as an alter ego to make his profile seem larger than it actually is. They say he even went as far as impersonating a YouTube employee to get backstage passes and interviews for Dillon’s YouTube channel.
As far-fetched as this may seem, TenEighty’s conclusion seems very likely. In our first interaction with “Corbett” on November 12 he claimed Dillon was his “client.” We investigate the legitimacy of every source that contacts us, per our own editorial guidelines, and in “Corbett’s” case we found that the domain he used to send the email was actually registered to Craig T. Dillon.
Upon further investigation, we discovered that the email address “Corbett” was using was in fact an alias of Dillon’s personal email address:
This image shows part of the headers of the email Corbett sent to us. It’s pretty technical, but it proves unequivocally that the email sent to us by “Thomas Corbett” was actually sent from Dillon’s personal gmail address.
Note: I am intentionally excluding the domain Thomas Corbett sent from. Dillon’s parents are associated with the domain, and it would be irresponsible to publish or enable convenient access to personal information given the sensitivity of this case. Although it does further indicate that Dillon and Corbett may be one in the same.
As our correspondence with “Corbett” continued, we noticed that shortly after the TenEighty article was published he started using a different email address: ********@craigtdillon.com. We investigated again and found that one of our user intelligence tools linked the email address to both Dillon’s personal LinkedIn account and his personal Facebook account. We also used Facebook’s ‘search by email’ function, which confirmed Dillon’s Facebook account was the only one associated with that email address.
It’s highly unusual for a representative to use a “client’s” personal email address to send legal threats (and in our case, express disappointment…) to news organizations, so we asked “Corbett” for more information about his relationship to Dillon. His response: “Craig and I are related and we work alongside each other on a day to day basis helping to handle business enquiries, emails etc.” Perhaps they’re related far more closely than “Corbett” ever realized…