The mother of 11-year-old “drag kid” Desmond Napoles says after numerous visits from Child Protective Services, allegations of child abuse stemming from her son’s performance at a New York City gay club have been deemed “unfounded.”
Speaking to BrooklynPaper.com in January, Wendy Napoles revealed CPS and other agencies opened several cases investigating possible child exploitation after Desmond, AKA Desmond the Amazing, performed at the 3 Dollar Bill gay club in Brooklyn while patrons threw money at him.
Napoles told Brooklyn Paper the Administration of Children’s Services had received over 150 complaints alleging the performance was an act of exploitative “pedophilia.”
According to the mother, they were also investigated by “the NYPD, the Child Advocacy Center, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Department of Labor, and the District Attorney’s office.”
The mother said caseworkers would knock on her door investigating the reports of child abuse sometimes late, late into the night.
Addressing concerns that it’s abhorrent for her fifth grade son to be parading around on stage in front of men for money, Napoles dismissed her critics as “homophobic,” and asserted it’s “perfectly legal for a child to preform at a bar if accompanied by an adult,” according to the Paper.
“No clothes came off my child,” Napoles argued. “I don’t understand how people can believe he was stripping, there was a lot of homophobia there.”
Over the weekend, Napoles posted photos of letters from CPS to Instagram, showing they had deemed the allegations “unfounded,” while she accused her critics of “malice.”
View this post on Instagram
This is what it has come to. We have been accused of child abuse, exploitation & maltreatment to the point that we have been backed into a corner trying to defend ourselves. Recently a YouTube video was made stating that we should allow ACS (CPS) to investigate if we have nothing to hide. Which we have & we do not have anything to hide. We have been under a microscope since early December. I never thought I would have to breach my own privacy & confidentiality to provide proof that has been demanded of us out of malice . . ACS has investigated us thoroughly. Because of the number of reports they received, our case went all the way to the Governor's office. We had announced visits & unannounced visits to our home nearly daily & at all hours & Desmond's school. Our family was probed more intensely than any other case before. All allegations were "unfounded". Currently, we send screenshots of anyone encouraging others or admitting to contacting ACS to ACS to keep in our file. ACS is not a weapon. So many ACS resources could have gone to families that needed help. On the plus side, ACS has been offering us many support services . . In addition, we were investigated by the NYPD, the Child Advocacy Center, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Department of Labor, and the District Attorney's office. No abuse or maltreatment was found. No regulations for child performers were broken. No illegal activity has occurred . . We endured countless posts & videos slandering our family by people who have never contacted us for the truth or watched Desmond's videos where he has spoken for himself. We put up with lies & rumors. We daily clear social media of hateful comments & messages. Someone has been messaging Desmond's followers to convince them of alleged abuse. We deal with hate crimes & death threats perpetuated by "concerned citizens" & have been stalked. The NYPD is assisting us. Desmond has extra security measures in place at his school. All of this because we allow Desmond to be himself & do what he loves. We are a loving and supporting family. Anyone who knows us or met us can attest to that . . ** Covered address & case numbers for privacy **
Reactions to Desmond’s performance in December ranged from disgust to outrage with some asserting 3 Dollar Bill should be investigated for pedophilia, while others called on CPS to launch an investigation.
“10 year old kids shouldn’t be performing at any bar. Gay or straight. He should be at home playing with legos and riding his bike….or at a dance class for kids… not being sexually groomed. This is child abuse,” read one top voted comment on the subreddit /r/trashy.
Responding to critics on Facebook in January, Napoles explained the club had taken measures to ensure Desmond’s event “would be age appropriate and audience members that attended were respectful and in good conduct.”
She also argued members of the drag community who object to Desmond performing on stage weren’t being inclusive enough: “I know a lot of drag fans/drag queens do not want to see kids in what they consider an adult form of entertainment or venue, but drag is changing and becoming more widespread and popular with people of all ages, genders, identities, races, abilities, and disabilities. If the drag kid isn’t performing in an adult themed show, what is the issue?”
Watch: YouTube banned this video for exposing “Drag Tots” cartoon outrage.