Jonathan Van Ness Was ‘Walking on Eggshells’ Waiting for Expose to Drop

Jonathan Van Ness said they were “walking on eggshells” waiting for the Rolling Stone article that was published in March to drop, which accused the reality TV star of being emotionally “abusive” and having “rage issues.”

“Our whole ‘Queer Eye’ team only first learned about this article in like December. So I went from this bankruptcy to them being like, ‘Oh, there’s someone who’s going to write an investigative takedown, like expose piece, about you that isn’t really based in reality but can certainly have a lot of things taken out of context to make you look as bad as possible. That could drop any day,'” Van Ness said on the latest episode of the “Table Manners” podcast with Jessie and Lennie Ware. “From January to March, I was just walking on eggshells.”

The article in question was published on March 5 by Rolling Stone and details what led to Bobby Berk’s departure as well as the behind-the-scenes environment of the hit Netflix show “Queer Eye.” Three sources that spoke to Rolling Stone used the words “monster,” “nightmare” and “demeaning” to describe Van Ness and seven sources said the star would lash out at crew members.

“[There’s] a real emotion of fear around them when they get angry. It’s almost like a cartoon where it oozes out of them,” one source said in the article of Van Ness, who uses they/them pronouns.

Adding to Van Ness’ anxiety about the article was their professional woes. In August of 2023, Amyris, the parent company of Van Ness’ hair care line JVN, filed for bankruptcy. The company later auctioned off the JVN line for $1.25 million in December.

“That article came out at an incredibly vulnerable time for my hair care company, for like my whole career. It just was really rough,” Van Ness said.

The Netflix star later said that the article was “overwhelmingly untrue” and “done in bad faith.” However, they also said the article caused them to reflect.

“I know that there were times where I could have been better,” Van Ness said. “But I think also, being a survivor of abuse and talking about everything that I’ve talked about, I internalized [the article] so badly, where I was like, ‘Oh my God, is it true? Like am I really this bad person?’ It forced me to really learn how to slow down, disengage and then really love myself.”

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