Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness Responds to Abuse Allegations

Jonathan Van Ness, the beloved grooming expert from Netflix’s hit series Queer Eye, has addressed for the first time the allegations of abusive behavior on set.

In March, a Rolling Stone investigation placed Van Ness at the center of controversy, claiming they had “rage issues” that led to tension among the Fab Five and ultimately contributed to Bobby Berk’s departure from the show. The report cited three sources who described Van Ness as emotionally “abusive” and a “monster,” painting a picture of a “toxic” work environment with a “manufactured boy band” dynamic. Van Ness, who uses they/them pronouns, had not responded to these allegations until recently.

Jonathan Van Ness for Pop-Tarts Pretzels (screen capture)

Speaking on the “Table Manners” podcast with English singer-songwriter Jessie Ware, Van Ness disputed the claims, stating the article was not “really based in reality.”

“There was this article written about Queer Eye and myself in March, but our whole Queer Eye family learned about it back in December,” Van Ness explained. They recounted a challenging period, including their business – JVN Hair – being sold by its parent company. “From January to March, I was walking on eggshells, wondering when this article would drop. And then it finally did.”



Van Ness shared their experience of the public’s reaction: “I think a lot of people were looking for a reason to hate me or to confirm their suspicions about me.”

The intense scrutiny led Van Ness to step away from social media for weeks. “My family, husband, and team were incredibly supportive, but I couldn’t bear to look at my phone. Any time I tried, I saw something hurtful.”

Earlier in March, Queer Eye’s fashion expert Tan France addressed the situation on Instagram, denying that Berk’s departure was due to any conflict with him. France stated, “My former colleague getting fired had nothing to do with me trying to get my friend hired.” Berk has not commented on this claim but maintained that leaving the show was “my decision.”

For a deeper insight into Jonathan Van Ness’s perspective, you can listen to the full interview on the “Table Manners” podcast.

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