EMMA BLANTON, ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT
Emma Blanton, internet personality, was arrested this morning on assault charges, filed by her former manager Vidal Franklin. According to the court documents provided to Page Six, the 24-year-old former hotel attendant has been charged with one count of assault and battery.
Franklin, a manager who specializes in internet personalities and social media influencers, began working with Emma Blanton fourteen months ago and credits himself for the dramatic rise in her popularity. Emma, who was once a hotel clerk with less than a thousand followers, now commands appearance fees of five thousand dollars and has over ten million followers. Her video “Why You Don’t Want to Date Cash Mitchell” was a YouTube hit, amassing almost eighty-million views. Emma has built a reputation for speaking her mind and apparently, she’s not afraid to back up those words with her fists.
Emma is refusing to comment on the assertions that she punched Vidal in the face.
In a video shared two days after the incident, Vidal shows off a black eye that he says was caused by Emma’s punch. In a tearful eight-minute-long monologue, he says that he “loved her like a daughter” and would never steal from her. He called her a deeply troubled, narcissistic child, and urged her to get counseling for her insecurities and anger management issues.
Emma has moved on to a new manager—former publicist Michelle Sawn, who is already courting production studios with a reality show about the fist-swinging social sensation. Bye, bye, Vidal. It looks like this fiery blonde didn’t need you after all.
I don’t know why I didn’t tell Vidal about the volunteering at the Outlier Ranch, but I was later glad I didn’t. When we split, he turned against me and shared every personal detail, including dead James Union, my lotto ticket win, and the brutal and embarrassing truth about Emma Ripplestine. He painted me as a white trash, pimple-covered, hockey-mouthed loser, and had the yearbook photos and pathetic social media accounts to prove it.
Michelle and I lawyered up, but I hadn’t signed a confidentiality agreement with Vidal—I hadn’t known I needed one. And unfortunately, everything he said was true. Every embarrassing word and photo of it.
My parents chose that moment to come out of the woodwork. My weekly calls with them had trickled down to monthly, then stopped altogether about six months after I won the lottery. As it turned out, I was the only one making those calls. When I stopped, they never continued. I changed my number after three months of silence, then convinced myself that that was the reason for the non-contact. Not because they didn’t care, but because they couldn’t reach me. I still checked my old email though and it remained clogged full of solicitors and void of any parental concern. Until, like I said—Vidal’s outlash of revenge.
Mom called the number on my website, which went to Michelle’s secretary, who passed on the message to me. I sat on the message for a week, then threw it away.
I had no good reason not to talk to my parents, except that everything in this new life glittered and they did not. Besides, family wasn’t everything. Wesley never acknowledged or spoke about his mom and dad—and seemed perfectly happy.
I don’t know what Vidal would have done with the knowledge that I was growing close to Wesley, but he would have destroyed it for me. Thankfully, by the time we parted, I was already thirteen million followers deep. And the scandal and the embarrassment… it only built my infamy.
By the time that summer was over, every Gen Zer with a pulse knew my name.
My mother’s agent had always been a Russian battle-ax named Therma Villeck. I remember Therma dragging me by my ankle off the Beverly Hills set when I was seven, then threatening to lash me until I bled. I spent my adolescent terrified, then my teenage years in a sort of silent awe of her. It had been nine years since Mom starred in anything, yet the appearance of Therma’s name on my phone still caused me to snap to attention.
“I’ve got something for you, C-baby.”
My first thought was a movie, but Therma had always been TV, even back when TV was shit and snubbed by any star with options. Mom hadn’t had options, which was why she stuck with Beverly Hills for seventeen seasons. When you’re a raging alcoholic, you take the roles that will put up with your shit and ignore everything else.
“It’s just an eight-episode run at first, dahling—but I know you. You can convince them in that time to go big.” Her thick Russian accent was almost impossible to navigate.
I pressed the phone harder against my ear. “I’ll have to talk to Frank.”
“Screw Frank,” she barked out. “Frank doesn’t have big enough hands to hold my tits. Listen to Therma, baby. I wouldn’t have called you if this wasn’t something you need to do.”