YouTube's Nelk Boys Sued Over Fake Meth Lab Prank

A victim of the YouTubers' prank is seeking damage for emotional distress and false imprisonment.

The YouTube group known as NELK is being sued by one of the victims of their prank videos. Delivery driver Nicholas Aliff was in one of the Nelk Boys' hidden camera prank videos published back in October of 2021, and at the time he said he would file a lawsuit over the clip. According to a report by TMZ, Aliff's suit just entered the court record.

Aliff appeared in a video where the Nelk Boys set up a fake meth lab, then ordered delivery from several services to mess with the delivery drivers. They pretended that they were expecting a discrete delivery of illegal drugs from a few food delivery drivers before Aliff entered the picture. Aliff came to deliver cannabis in California where that is legal, but quickly realized he was embroiled in something more intense. Feeling threatened, Aliff even tried to choke one of the YouTubers before security intervened. The video ended with Aliff walking off and swearing to file a lawsuit.

The prank was somewhat straightforward in the first few attempts but Aliff was in the grand finale where things were more complicated. In addition to scaring him into thinking he was at an illegal drug lab, the Nelk Boys dressed up two actors as fake police officers and acted out a drug bust, with Aliff caught in the crossfire. Since cannabis is still federally illegal, this obviously put Aliff's guard up.

The video seems to show Aliff saying: "I will f- you guys up" before trying to put one of the actors in a chokehold. Another actor then grabbed Aliff in a chokehold until he promised to back down.

Aliff claims that he suffered long-term physical injuries from this scuffle and emotional injuries from the prank itself. During the skit, Aliff says he truly feared for his life, and he believes the whole thing went much further than any reasonable prank. He is suing the Nelk Boys for assault and battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress. The members of NELK have not commented publicly on this case, although they did share the TMZ article without any additional commentary.

NELK began in 2010 with Kyle Forgeard, Lucas Gasparini and brothers Niko and Marko Martinovic. They are known primarily for their pranks and have never shied away from controversy before, often taking things too far in the eyes of their victims or law enforcement. Their first major viral hit came in 2015 and was titled "Coke Prank On Cops." They received a warning from the Los Angeles Police Department and raised public outcry about inspiring copycat pranksters.

That video remains their most-viewed video by a huge margin, though others since then have called down even more harsh condemnation from authority figures. In recent years, culture critics have often mentioned NELK while discussing the rise of prank videos in general on social media. There's no telling whether this lawsuit will have an impact or change that trend one way or the other.