This has been YesJulz's year. With the exception of DJ Khaled, YesJulz (real name Julieanna Goddard, 26), is the biggest social-media star in America right now not named "Kardashian." After getting her start promoting events for South Beach clubs such as LIV and Story, she now spends her time Snapchatting from parties while jet-setting around the world, leading the New York Times to call her "Snapchat Royalty" in June.
Now that she's reached the top, it seems her competitors are already trying to tear her down: Miami Beach Police say they arrested two Broward County residents after they allegedly stole and/or hacked YesJulz's all-powerful cell phone, found nude photos and videos on it, and then tried to extort $18,000 from her, lest they release those photos to the public.
A key wrinkle here: One of the two people arrested, 28-year-old Hencha Voigt of Hollywood, is a fellow Snapchat model.
According to police reports obtained by New Times, Voigt and an accomplice, 33-year-old Plantation resident Wesley Victor, contacted YesJulz and told her they had "sexually explicit" images and clips from her phone. They sent the model a few sample photos to prove it. Police say Voigt then demanded that YesJulz send her $18,000 to prevent the photos from getting leaked, and warned her that Victor would contact her from a "trap phone" (pay-as-you-go "burner" phone) to negotiate the deal.
"18k cash there [sic] on usb you can have them back as I said you dope chick," Victor then texted, according to police. "I like your movement look if I feel any fun business game over your choice." The pair then gave YesJulz 24 hours to pay up. (The arrest report says Victor is unemployed.)
Instead, Miami Beach Police apprehended the pair July 21. At 11:10 p.m., cops say, they found the duo sitting in a car outside 40 Island Ave. in Miami Beach. As police approached, they say, Voigt was "seen attempting to conceal a cell phone by sitting on it."
After Victor allegedly gave them consent to search the car, the cops identified said phone as the one used to extort Miami's Snapchat queen. After reading the pair their rights, Victor then admitted to the crime, according to police.
They've both been charged with extortion.
Reached by phone, YesJulz declined to comment. "I just got off a plane," she said, sounding weary. "I need to talk to my manager."
God please give me the strength to be the positive person I was raised to be today. Please— Julz (@YesJulz) July 26, 2016
It's unclear why or how Voigt and Victor came into contact with YesJulz's phone — but given the fact that basically everyone under the age of 35 has likely taken a nude photo of him or herself, this appears to be about as petty a crime as possible.
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Social-media modeling is a cutthroat business: If someone has more followers than you, he or she simply matters more to advertisers and brand executives. Voigt has 85,000 Instagram followers, to YesJulz's 387,000.
But in classic YesJulz fashion, the social-media star (who recently won New Times' Best Instagram award) doesn't seem to be taking time off to deal with the leak. As one would expect for a woman who claims to be "never not working," she'll host a party this Saturday in Chicago.