'Cheer' Stars Gabi Butler, La'Darius Marshall Break Their Silence Over Jerry Harris' Arrest

Cheer stars Gabi Butler and La'Darius Marshall are shocked by their co-star Jerry Harris' arrest [...]

Cheer stars Gabi Butler and La'Darius Marshall are shocked by their co-star Jerry Harris' arrest on child pornography charges, they say. The two have now issued public statements following Harris' arrest on Thursday. Butler began with a lengthy post on Instagram on Friday.

"Like most of you, I am shocked, dismayed and deeply saddened by the recent news concerning my friend," Butler wrote of Harris. "Ever since I heard the news I have gone back and forth between sobbing uncontrollably and trying to wrap my head around why something like this could happen. To be clear, although I have been a close friend and teammate with Jerry, I was never aware of anything like that he has been accused of taking place. I believe the protection of children is more important than ever in today's world."

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Marshall's statement also came via Instagram, a few hours later. He wrote: "I feel as though I have had the wind knocked out of me. How could this happen? As a victim of sexual abuse as a child, I know all too well the pain of experiencing this type of abuse and the difficulties it can create for life after such trauma."

"My heart goes out to all who may be affected by this behavior from adults," Marshall added.

Harris was arrested on Thursday by the FBI, and charged with soliciting sex from minors and soliciting child pornography from them as well. The case involves two twin brothers who say that Harris sent suggestive messages to them when they were 13 years old, and he was 19 years old.

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A representative for Harris issued a denial of these allegations, but according to a report by NBC News, Harris himself admitted to other accusations made against him. Harris reportedly confirmed that he sent and received explicit messages from individuals whom he knew were minors on the app Snapchat. He also allegedly admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old boy in 2019, while he himself was either 19 or 20 years old.

Harris became a national sensation earlier this year with the premiere of Cheer — a docuseries about the world of high-stakes cheerleading competitions. He was featured as a coach and competitor. Others from the show, such as Harris' cheer coach Monica Aldama, were reportedly devastated by the news of his arrest.

Netflix also issued a statement saying that everyone at the company was caught off guard by this news as well. "Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process," it read.