The legal tangle between enigmatic singer Poppy (also known as That Poppy) and another YouTube performer, Mars Argo, took a dramatic turn on Monday morning (May 7) when Poppy (born Moriah Pereira) claimed that a copyright lawsuit recently filed by Argo (born Brittany Sheets) is an attempt to gain publicity and that it has forced the one-named viral star to go public with something she never intended to share.
“It has been very painful to read the lawsuit Ms. Sheets filed, and to see the word ‘abuser’ and my own name in the same sentence,” wrote Poppy in a lengthy tweet in response to a lawsuit filed on April 17. The suit claims copyright infringement and domestic violence damages against the man credited with being a musical svengali for both women, Titanic Sinclair (born Corey Mixter).
“Something very few people know is that one of the reasons I work the way I work, and why I have made such efforts to conceal my identity, is because I have my own history as a survivor of abuse. This legally documented trauma from my past is something I have never wanted to make public, because I did not want to relive it. Ms. Sheets’ publicity campaign has made that impossible.”
Poppy’s carefully curated, cipher-like persona has helped her amass more than 200 million YouTube views thanks to emotionless clips in which she often repeats her name or sings in a flat affect over electronic beats created by Sinclair. Argo alleges in her suit that she endured “severe emotional and psychological abuse and manipulation from Mr. Mixter” and that in helping to fashion the Poppy persona with Pereira he created a “Mars Argo knockoff.”
Argo has also sought a domestic violence restraining order against Mixter and is seeking damages from Poppy for “being a knowing accomplice to Mr. Mixter’s unlawful actions.”
A copy of the suit obtained by TMZ cites alleged incidents of threats and harassment by Mixter against Argo, as well as a number of what she claims are striking similarities between the artist’s persona, videos and looks she crafted with Mixter. The aesthetics he reportedly fashioned for Poppy since her November 2014 debut with the “Poppy Eats Cotton Candy” clip, which has amassed nearly 3 million views to date for an 82-second video in which the singer silently does exactly what the title describes, are especially notable. The suit presents a series of photos of the two women in similar poses, including one in which both stare blankly into space with blood dripping from their mouths. In others, both women are seen posing in bathtubs, eating from big bags of chips and wearing similar blue eyeliner and leopard-print coats.
In her tweet, Poppy said she and Mixter were surprised to learn about the suit from TMZ, noting that they had no notice from Argo’s legal team before the filing and denying the accusations of infringement and domestic violence. “It would appear Ms. Sheets was intent on building a publicity campaign around her filing of a complaint and was not interested in our lawyers first having a serious discussion about the merits of her claims,” Poppy wrote.
Poppy, who has been meticulous about keeping her personal life private while presenting herself in an almost robot-like, emotionless manner, adds that she’s known Argo for several years and that “she [Argo] is well aware of the anguish I went through. In an attempt to manipulate me psychologically, Ms. Sheets is now collaborating and maintaining an ongoing relationship with the exact man who took advantage of me when I was young and vulnerable, while at the same time naming me in a lawsuit with allegations of domestic abuse.”
Poppy also tweeted out what appears to be a request for a domestic violence restraining order filed in Los Angeles in Sept. 2015 against a man, with Mixter also listed as a person seeking protection; it was unclear at press time if the man named in the restraining order request was the same one Poppy claimed Argo was not working with.
— Poppy (@poppy) May 7, 2018
Neither Argo nor the man listed on the 2015 request for a restraining order could be reached for comment at press time. Poppy wrote in her note that she looks forward to speaking in greater detail about her personal journey in the days to come, adding that Argo was “well aware of” her story before the filing the suit.
Check out the full note from Poppy below.
— Poppy (@poppy) May 7, 2018