Following a stream of concerning Instagram Live clips, fans are worried about YouTuber Lia Marie Johnson’s mental health and the negative impact that some of the people in her life have on her. The news of Johnson started to surface toward the middle of 2019, however, it wasn’t anything fans were actively trying to spread. At the time, many weren’t aware of the full extent of the situation. As things got worse and Johnson’s health started to visibly deteriorate the news started to resurface. Finally, on Jan. 2, the news of Johnson started making headlines outside the YouTube world and fans were actively trying to get her help.
Lia Marie Johnson grew to fame at a young age. She was a star on the web series “Kids React” created by the FineBros. From there she made numerous appearances on spinoff series such as “Teens React” and “YouTubers React.” She started branching outside of YouTube and established herself as an actress. Most notably she was in “The Thinning” with Logan Paul, the 2014 Nickelodeon movie “Terry the Tomboy” and 2016’s “American Wrestler: The Wizard.”
Along with acting, the 23-year-old influencer is a singer signed to Capitol Records. She released fan-favorites like “DNA” and is in the process of making more music. She left the “React” series in 2015 to focus on other projects. Fans speculated about her departure from the FineBros channel, however they weren’t expecting her to leave YouTube completely. In 2018 she posted her last video, which was a recording of her song “Champagne.” Since then, she hasn’t posted on her channel and her presence on social media started to die down as well.
The child star made a reappearance to the internet world on May 8, 2019 and May 9, 2019. Johnson went live on Instagram where she was clearly not okay. Johnson, who was known by her fans as a carefree and bubbly girl, was someone completely different. She didn’t have the same personality as before, and in the streams, her voice is slow and slurred, and she breaks down multiple times.
everybody cares about mental illness until lia marie johnson has a breakdown and instead of checking up on her people are making fun of her and dehumanizing her.
— silver (@hoIIyjsincIair) May 9, 2019
Her emotions switch drastically throughout the stream; one minute she’s laughing hysterically and the next she was breaking down in tears. One of the lines that fans were really concerned about was when she stated, “I’m not high on anything. My boyfriend just left me. He thinks that I’m crazy. So now I have to keep going on other drugs.”
By hearing this, it was clear that Johnson had gone through something traumatic during her time off from the internet. In a clip where she went live with a fan, the fan asked her why she wasn’t posting anymore and she responded,“It was never for me, it was for everyone else.”
Fans started circulating the clips in the hopes that she could get help. A few fans called out to her friends to get them to check up on her. One of Johnson’s friends, Alicia “urthgrl” responded to those concerned saying that she’s thankful that people are worried for her best friend, but she wants people to refrain from judgement.
She asked people to stop spreading hate and assured fans that there were things being done behind the scenes to make sure Johnson was okay. After this livestream went up, fans speculated that she was using drugs or that she was suffering from a personality disorder; however, after a few days the situation fell under the radar and left the trending pages. Loyal fans still urged friends and family of Johnson to intervene but the rest of the internet stopped talking about the situation.
After a period of absence, on Jan. 2, Johnson went on Instagram Live and was clearly intoxicated; this time fans knew that there was a lot more to the situation than they thought. Like last time, she was slurring her words and it really didn’t seem like she knew what she was doing or saying.
She was in a studio blasting music and talking about a variety of topics. After a while, Johnson started talking to someone off screen and later started making out with him. Fans speculate this mysterious man is Johnson’s producer, Steven Wetherbee, who is significantly older than her.
After several minutes of this, Johnson and Wetherbee started having a conversation; this was when he realized she was live the entire time. He started to panic and told Johnson to turn off the stream. He said, “You can’t be on Instagram.” He then moved her phone away and says, “You can’t be posting. That would be bad.” The stream ended shortly after this, but it was clear that whatever was going on between Johnson and her producer was not good. Later, she came back on Instagram Live and explained that the police showed up and detained her.
What’s going on with Lia Marie Johnson is incredibly alarming and more attention needs to be brought to this situation. Her former co-star Shauna Richards spoke out on the situation after the livestream and said: “Listen, I’ve worked with Lia Marie Johnson and I’m incredibly concerned after watching the live that was posted with her producer. When I worked with Lia on a film a few years back, she was full of life, silly, friendly, and whip smart. I don’t know exactly what it was that we saw in that live but it did not seem right and Lia appeared to be in a very vulnerable space. It would be irresponsible to not call out what we’re seeing. I hope that someone takes this seriously as Lia said many alarming things throughout the video.”
Listen, I’ve worked with Lia Marie Johnson and I’m incredibly concerned after watching the live that was posted with her producer. When I worked with Lia on a film a few years back, she was full of life, silly, friendly, and whip smart. I don’t know exactly what it was that we pic.twitter.com/tmjZIhshMN
— Shauna (@shaunarrichards) January 2, 2020
The fact that Johnson kept coming back on Live even after her producer told her not could be a sign that she wants help. The way her producer was behaving in those clips was alarming and at one point on the stream he said, “Now let’s get back to us” and Johnson responds with no before Wetherbee takes her phone and realizes she’s still live. His panicking and completely-erased internet history also hints at the idea that something much bigger is going on behind the scenes. What happened to Lia Marie Johnson and what sparked her breakdown is unknown, but one thing is clear: She needs help. Hopefully by keeping her name on social media, she’ll get the help she needs.