News surfaced on Monday revealing that former Cheer star Jerry Harris is under investigation by the FBI following allegations of soliciting sex and nudes from minors. The same day, the brand that dominates the cheerleading industry announced a major change. Varsity cut ties with Harris and revealed that it had originally alerted the authorities to the serious allegations.
According to USA Today, Varsity learned of the allegations and contacted the authorities in Florida and Texas with letters on Aug. 1. The company described Harris as a former employee of the brand at the time of the incidents, which allegedly took place in May 2019. However, Harris posted on social media in May 2019 that he was working for the National Cheerleaders Association, a Varsity brand. When asked for comment on Monday, Varsity spokeswoman Jackie Kennedy said Monday the organization "can’t comment on an active law enforcement investigation; we continue to cooperate with authorities in their inquiries on this matter."
"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 investigations began following accusations by two twin 14-year-old boys in Texas, Charlie and Sam. The boys discussed the alleged incidents during an interview with USA Today and described a "pattern of harassment" online and at cheer competitions. They said that the harassment started when they were 13 and Harris was 19 and that it continued for more than a year. Harris is also accused of asking one of the brothers to have sex with him at two Varsity cheerleading competitions in 2019.
The FBI conducted interviews with Charlie and Sam, as well as their mother Kristen in August at their home. The authorities also conducted a second interview with Charlie on Sept. 11. The agency pulled data from their cell phones and requested documentation from competitions where they interacted with Harris.
According to USA Today's report, both brothers said that they received requests for nude photos, but Harris was allegedly more aggressive with Charlie. The minor said that he declined at first, but Harris allegedly threatened to unfriend or block him on social media if he did not comply. Charlie said that he eventually did what Harris asked.