In a blog posted earlier, Kevin Moore, August Ames’ husband at the time of her death, called out the people he feels are responsible for the death of August.
In early December, I lost the most important person in the world to me. Most people knew my wife as August Ames. To me she was simply Mercedes.
Mercedes made a choice about her body and she was viciously attacked for that choice on Twitter.
That day, she and I discussed the things happening on Twitter and the individuals involved. Mercedes decided that evening to go the gym to alleviate some of the stress. She then disappeared. Fifteen minutes north of us, the fires in Santa Paula started. The winds gusted to 50 miles per hour. When I couldn’t get in touch with her, I became very worried. I went to the gym and she wasn’t there. Then the power went out in our area.
With no power, spotty cell service, and wind that made it difficult to walk or drive, I began looking for her. I called the police. I called hospitals. But with the fires and the power outage, help wasn’t coming. I cannot describe the dread I felt standing outside, in complete darkness in a wind so powerful it could push me over. I spent the night driving around trying to find her and having no idea where she could be.
The next day, the coroners contacted me. My world and her family’s world were instantly shattered.
Mercedes was magnetic. She had a kindness in her that I had never experienced before. I once had a shingles infection in my cornea that caused an erosion. I had to sit in a dark room wearing these crazy sunglasses. I was in incredible pain and couldn’t do anything. Moreso, I was horrible to be around. For those several weeks, she took care of me like no one ever. There was no one like her. No one who transformed my life in such a positive way. She made me a better person.
The night that she disappeared has played on repeat in my mind thousands of times. What could have I done different? Guilt dominates my thoughts everyday. I hate life without her. It is a cruel existence devoid of color.
Perception shapes reality and for a younger generation that reality is social media. That day she believed everyone hated her. She could not see past that. Social media has become a cancer on our industry and on society at large. This isn’t the first death from social media and it won’t be the last.
Two weeks after she died the police returned her phone to me. I was able to access it and was not prepared for what I found.
She took screenshots of everything. All of the bullying. It is all there on her phone, including many of the tweets that have since been deleted. She left it for me to find.
Since her passing, her family and I are stunned as the bullies now engage in blaming the victim. They use past events, things she was very open about, to deflect their own involvement. Jaxton Wheeler has even posted malicious lies about her, knowing full well she cannot defend herself. As of this statement, Mr. Wheeler continues to no responsibility for his actions. What do you expect from someone who told a young women to take a cyanide pill and threatened her defenders with violence?
If you fire a gun into the air and that bullet randomly hits someone that you never intended to kill, you still killed them.
I write this to make it crystal clear: Bullying took her life. If the harassment had not occurred, she would be alive today. She ended her life the day after the bullying began. To think they are unrelated is delusional.
One isn’t planning to take their life when they just bought a new kitten that they adored.
One isn’t planning to take their life when they bought plane tickets to see their family at Christmas.
One isn’t planning to take their life when they bought a bridesmaid dress for their best friend’s wedding next summer.
Her death didn’t just affect her family. Unfortunately other performers have been deeply affected by this and have in turn attempted to take their own lives. Thankfully they were stopped. This event has caused a chain reaction with far-reaching implications.
On January 18th the XBIZ Awards show is taking place at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles. Mercedes is a nominee for awards that night. The host of this award show, Jessica Drake, was involved in the bullying that occurred on social media.
Ms. Drake claimed she did not know Mercedes and did not tweet at her directly. This is false. She did and this link proves it. She deleted those tweets and then denied that they ever existed. Mercedes herself said to me, “Jessica Drake hates me,” several hours before she disappeared. Ms. Drake has chosen to be a spokesperson for this industry. In doing so, her words carry more weight. Ms. Drake caused irreparable harm by using her followers and stature in an attempt to silence and bully a young, impressionable woman. The deleted tweets show that she knew exactly who Mercedes was.