YouTuber Mars Argo is suing musician and internet persona Poppy and her creator, Titanic Sinclair, otherwise known as Corey Mixter. In court documents obtained by The Verge, Mars Argo, real name Brittany Sheets, alleges that in addition to enduring “severe emotional and psychological abuse and manipulation from Mr. Mixter,” he also crafted a “Mars Argo knockoff” in the form of Poppy. Sheets is also seeking a domestic violence restraining order against Mixter, as well as damages against Poppy actress Moriah Pereira “for being a knowing accomplice to Mr. Mixter’s unlawful actions.”
The first Poppy video, “Poppy Eats Cotton Candy,” was released in November 2014, the same year Sheets and Mixter split. Poppy has since amassed a huge following online for her mysterious persona and strange videos. The pilot for YouTube Red’s I’m Poppy premiered at Sundance earlier this year, while Poppy herself has inspired a wide range of conspiracy theories and fawning profiles dedicated to her mystique.
Through photos, text screenshots, and more, the lawsuit alleges that Sheets endured abuse both during and after their relationship. After they broke up in January 2014, Mixter “began to repeatedly harass, stalk, threaten, and abuse Ms. Sheets, including — but not limited to — threatened to commit suicide, repeatedly showing up unannounced at Ms. Sheets’ doorstep, breaking into her apartment, stalking her every move on social media, disparaging her to mutual friends, acquaintances, or others in the industry, and even physically assaulting her.”
In addition to noting similarities between the format and appearance of Mars Argo and Poppy videos, the suit also says Mixter “copied Mars Argo’s identity, likeness, expression of ideas, sound, style,” and more; as part of her role as Poppy, Pereira “dyed her hair a specific platinum blonde and, in character as Poppy, started to alter her voice to be a pitch higher to mimic Mars Argo’s distinctive speaking voice.” Publicly, Mixter has claimed to have “invented” Mars Argo; the document also alleges that he’s called Sheets “a complete nutcase,” “evil,” and “a compulsive liar,” among other derogatory comments.
The day the lawsuit was filed, Sheets released a lengthy statement on her Twitter. “I hope that coming forward about this will make me feel better, feel safe, and feel like I’m able to be myself again,” she concluded.
I started this journey long before the #metoo movement found its footing, but I so am grateful for the brave women who shared their stories before me. I hope that by telling mine, I can be a voice for those who come after me pic.twitter.com/4uT7QHhEtz— Mars Argo (@marsargo) April 17, 2018
Neither Poppy nor Mixter have released a public statement yet.