Malik Yoba made headlines earlier this month when he announced that he was attracted to transgender women in a now-deleted Instagram post. However, initial praise for the actor was short-lived after a trans sex worker accused him of soliciting sex from her when she was a minor. Yoba was pressed about these allegations in a recent interview, which caused him to storm off and go on a profanity-laced tangent.
On Wednesday, The Root published a video interview, as well as a transcript, with Yoba, which was filmed on Friday, Sept. 20. During the interview, Yoba was asked about his decision to reveal that he was attracted to trans women along with his thoughts on issues impacting the trans community. Things then took a turn when he was confronted about allegations that he solicited sex from an underage trans sex worker.
“I have no idea who she is,” Yoba said of Mariah Lopez Ebony, the trans woman who made allegations against him.
In a now-viral Facebook post, Ebony claimed that when she was a survival sex worker, Yoba paid her for sex while she was just 13 and again at 16.
“His admission to being sexually attracted to Trans women, is bound to open a Pandora’s box for him; not because the women are Trans, But because many of the Trans women he engaged in sexual exploration and exploitation with on 14th Street, Times Square and elsewhere, were minors. Including myself,” she wrote in the early September post.
Ebony told The Root on Friday that the New York Undercover actor wanted to have sex without protection until she convinced him otherwise. Ja’nese Bussey, another trans woman who said she had sex with Yoba, also told the publication that he asked her to specifically seek out trans teen sex workers.
Yoba has denied these claims.
“I am familiar with that pain, I’m familiar with that trauma,” Yoba continued. “I’m familiar with people who are crying out for help. I’m familiar with the lack of regard for this population, which is, again, my point. So, when I heard it, for me, to hear something so heinous, right, number one, and to see someone post something with no proof of anything and to see the world embrace it, or a portion of the world embrace it, that toxicity, speaks exactly to the reason I do the work that I do.”
As the interview continued on, Yoba seemed to be set off after being asked about criticism that he fetishized trans women and does not truly care about the trans community.
“So you and I sat for four hours the other day and we decided how we were gonna approach this,” he said, visibly upset. “We’re done, bro, we’re done. It’s a set up, I don’t like this.”
After walking off camera, Yoba continued his meltdown, yelling profanities at the interviewer.
“F*** you!” Yoba yelled. “What the f*** is wrong with you?! This is my f***ing life!”
According to The Root, in addition to The Root staff being present, Yoba’s 18-year-old daughter watched on as he continued yelling profanities. He even demanded that he be given the SD video cards, which the staff refused.
Following the interview, Yoba’s publicist released a statement to The Root saying that the actor “categorically denies all allegations and will not respond, beyond this comment, to requests for comment.”
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