The Sinatraa Audio Recording & Sexual Allegations Explained
Earlier this week, serious allegations were made against Jay “Sinatraa” Won including audio recordings as proof. The claims made by Cleo “cle0h” Hernandez are serious and are found in a nine-page document about the former OWL player. After the allegations were made public, Sinatraa issued a brief response where he calimed to be cooperating with the investigation against him. This includes offering any audio recordings, and while that’s interesting, the details or lacktheoreof in Sinatraa’s response have some asking question. If you’d like to read the full document, you can do so here (warning, graphic) , but it is an unfiltered account of their relationship (Cleo and Sinatraa).
Allegations of Wrongdoing
Cleo’s trepidation in sharing her story alongside the audio recording of Sinatraa is understandable. The typical response when an esports pro is called out is typically to blame the girl, which is abhorrent. The more prominent the player, the worse it seems to get. On March 9th, Cleo posted a length, nine-page document about her relationship with Jay “Sinatraa” Won, including an audio recording of Cleo resisting and Jay forcing himself on her. That in and of itself is pretty damning audio, but there are also a host of screenshots. She points out that if she included everything, it would “be 15 pages long”.
If you read the above link, be warned it will not be a comfortable read. It’s not supposed to be. According to Cleo, Sinatraa claimed she would threaten to kill herself if he left her, but her response was:
“Not once over the course of our 9 month relationship did I tell him that if he broke up with me I would kill myself. I’m an adult and I know the damage and pressure that puts on a person. I know he has told multiple people I said that but the reality is; I broke up with him because he was ignoring me and because one night when I asked him to not ignore me all day, he laughed at me.”
The document goes on to talk about their relationship, and how the first time they had intercourse, she informed him she wasn’t on birth control, so he couldn’t finish in her. Sinatraa allegedly did so anyway and didn’t care that the resulting IUD made sex painful. He didn’t seem to care if he hurt her, according to Cleo.
The screenshots of their conversations are again, very uncomfortable to read, but it’s a look into what life was like between the two of them. She points out that Sinatraa would check where she was via mobile, but would accuse her of cheating because of this. There are a lot of really uncalled for insults over a simple thing as a tweet. The most awful thing of all is the audio recording of Sinatraa allegedly forcing himself on Cleo, which also has a transcript in the actual document, linked above.
Response from Sinatraa and Results
As is tradition, following the release of the audio recording and allegations, Sinatraa posted a brief Twitlonger in response on March 10th, which reads as follows:
“It is clear from Cleo’s recent post that she recalls our relationship differently than I do. What we do agree on is that it was unhealthy for the both of us. I apologize to Cleo and regret how things ended, but I never assaulted her in any way. I am fully cooperating with the investigations and providing the full audio and video clips Cleo referenced in her post.”
Sinatraa doesn’t directly refute the allegations but is still reportedly going to work alongside the investigation. However, the phrase “she recalls our relationship differently than I do” has raised many eyebrows in the community. As a result of these allegations, the Valorant Champions Tour is in the process of investigating. Jay Won will not be able to compete this weekend, as he is suspended until the investigation has concluded.
Cle0h’s response to the “Update” from Sinatraa was made on Twitter in a quote retweet:
“You have never apologized to me ever. For anything. The least you could do is message me personally. But you can’t even do that.”
In response to this, San Francisco Shock, the former team Sinatraa played for distanced themselves from him, and refunds for Sinatraa’s “Alien” MVP skin in Overwatch are being offered for fans who want it, courtesy of the Overwatch League. The skin is also going to be removed from the collection, and the OWL Championship and MVP badges from the “Alien” skin will also be removed.
What’s The Takeaway Here?
The fan response from this is a pretty clear reason why people are scared to come forward. Nobody wants to be harassed and insulted by thousands of people for trying to tell their truth. Cleo did a brave thing to put all of this out there. She seems to be a bit leery of the investigation though, hoping they will bother to talk to her or include her in the investigation, as the victim. What can be done about things like this?
The counts of sexual assault and abuse in the esports scene are growing. Perhaps it’s less that they’re growing, and more that people are simply being brave in greater numbers than before. What could be going wrong is that we’re taking young, impressionable people, and putting them under people with a lot of money, and few scruples. That’s not in any way downplaying these assaults, far from it. There needs to be some kind of education on the part of esports teams. Someone like a life coach, who can teach these young kids the right way to be.
There has to be a solution that will reduce the numbers. It’s also important to believe the victims and to not shame them. It’s not their fault if they are assaulted, harassed, or bullied into situations they don’t want to be in. The problem is with people who have power or fame, and use it to get what they want. It must have been incredibly difficult to come forward, and all we hope for is a fair, thorough investigation into this issue.