Jerry Harris, a cheerleader who became a star in Netflix's Cheer, is under investigation by the FBI. He is accused of soliciting sex and nude images from minors. According to The Wrap, federal agents searched a home in Naperville, Illinois on Monday as part of the investigation.
"The FBI is conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity in the area. We have no further comment," a spokesperson told the outlet on Monday. The spokesperson declined to comment further on the investigation. According to USA Today, authorities have not charged Harris as of Monday. However, the investigation is based on allegations that were reported separately to Varsity, a private company that "dominates the cheerleading industry." The company learned of allegations against Harris on Aug. 1 and reported the information to the authorities.
"As a result of the recent allegation, we have barred this person from having any affiliation with Varsity Brands or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, now and in the future," wrote Varsity’s chief legal officer, Burton Brillhart. In his communication with law enforcement, Brillhart attached two screenshots that allegedly featured Harris.
The first screenshot — a Snapchat message — included what USA Today described as the upper part of what appears to be Harris' face. The image includes the message, "Would you ever want to ****". The second screenshot is a series of text messages that began on Friday, May 3, 2019. In the messages, an individual named "jerry harris" wrote, "Hey btw I found a place for us to do stuff it's actually pretty good haha."
The Varsity letters described Harris as a "former employee" who was not working for the company at the time of the alleged incidents. However, Harris posted on social media in May 2019 that he was working for the National Cheerleaders Association, which is a Varsity brand. He later posted photos and videos of himself coaching at NCA camps.
When Cheer became available on Netflix, viewers expressed their adoration for the entire Navarro College cheerleading squad. Harris became a breakout star on the series due to his words of encouragement and speeches to his teammates. Following his run on the show, Harris partnered with several brands, including Cheerios, Starburst and Walmart. He also interviewed celebrities at the Oscar's for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, joined Oprah Winfrey on a stage in Dallas to pump up a crowd and filmed a short video with Democratic candidate Joe Biden.