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Once again, the world of TikTok is embroiled in drama, and this time it includes two It couples that have been around pretty much since the beginning. Mads Lewis, Jaden Hossler, Nessa Barrett, and, by proxy, Josh Richards, are at the center of the most recent dramagedon, and it can be hard to keep up with everything that has gone down. So, if you need an explainer on what's going on and why everyone can't seem to stop talking about *that* video, read on for all the deets.
It all started when Mads posted a video on TikTok.
You may be wondering what caused all of this. Well, let's start at the beginning. TikTok fans know all about one of the original couples on the app, Mads Lewis and Jaden Hossler. The pair has been dating on and off since 2019 and, as of recently, it seemed like they were going strong. Jaden, meanwhile, just released a song with Nessa, titled "La Di Die" and the pair has been spending a lot of time together promoting it. Nessa, though, has been in an on-again-off-again relationship with Josh Richards for the past few years, though recently it seemed like they were back together.
Then, Mads unfollowed Jaden on Instagram and deleted many of the photos she had with him. Everything came to a head when she posted and subsequently deleted an Instagram to Taylor Swift's "Better Than Revenge."
Basically, the gist of the video seems to be that things between her and Jaden were going well until Nessa Barrett came around and "took him faster than you can say sabotage."
Mads later wrote that she knows the video was "immature," but she's tired of looking like the "bad guy." She continued, writing, "I was never jealous of a song nor jealous of her. I know Ness better than anyone and she knows exactly why I posted this video and that's all that matters."
She also added that she tried to keep it off social media and get in touch with Nessa privately, but Nessa didn't answer. "Maybe this will get her attention," Mads wrote.
Then, Nessa got in on the conversation.
Nessa took the conversation to Twitter, where she seemingly commented on the situation. "I have been through so much recently," she wrote. "I’ve broken down completely 2 weeks ago and have nearly done something that is irreversible. I got up and decided to release all of the negatives in my life. I’m not in a place to entertain those full of hatred and lies."
She continued, saying that she was just going to focus on her music and exciting things to come. "The future is so bright," she wrote. "And I have to keep reminding myself that instead of letting false judgment destroy me."
Just when it seemed like all the drama was pretty much settled, Mads and Nessa headed back to Twitter where things got going again. First, Mads took the blame for starting the drama with her video, saying, "It’s my fault for bringing all this drama to social media." She then asked fans to "drop it like we did."
Nessa then tweeted, "I'm so sorry but love to see your true colors finally show." Many assumed this was about Mads, but Nessa later deleted the tweet.
Then, Mads responded, posting a photo of Cyndi Lauper's song, "True Colors," an obvious reference to Nessa's tweet. Mads has since deleted her tweet as well.
Josh finally responded to everything going on.
As Nessa's on-again-off-again boyfriend and Jaden's best friend, Josh Richards also got swept up into the drama. So, in order to speak on it, Josh went on his podcast, BFFs with Dave Portnoy and Josh Richards and broke down everything from his perspective.
He said Mads and Jaden broke up and he seemed to believe the tipping point was Jaden making the song with Nessa. "It was obviously already not a trustworthy relationship or it was toxic if your boyfriend can't do a song with their best friend's girl," Josh said about the relationship.
He then said that the morning before the video was posted, Mads kept trying to get in touch with him, but he wouldn't call her. Eventually, though, the video came out, and it left Josh pretty upset.
"I'm looking at this video and I see two people I love," he said about Jaden and Nessa. "They're like my family. I would die for them tomorrow. I would die for them now. The possibility, even if it's 0.5% in the back of brain, of like, 'f*ck I could lose both these people.' That's what made me sad. That's what f*cking killed me."
He continued, saying that he and Nessa are currently on a break as she needed time for herself and they haven't spoken very much in the past few weeks. So, when this came out, he didn't know what was going on. "I don't know how she's doing so I'm trying to check in but also give her space because that's what she asks for multiple times," he said. "That's where it was f*cking difficult."
Eventually, though, Josh talked to both Jaden and Nessa. "What I've come to the conclusion of believing is Mads is tripping her f*cking d*ck off dude," Josh said on the podcast. "Absolutely, this is like 'I got my life affected so I'm going to affect other people's lives.'" He said it still doesn't make sense to him, but "at the end of the day the truth is going to come out."
In general, Josh did admit he is very upset about the situation, considering the parties involved. "I'm just an innocent bystander in this all. I'm just sitting here. I'm trying to let a girl that I f*cking love so much figure her life out so I can have her back because that's just what I feel like I need. Nessa's something I need in my life and then, at the same time, my one brother that has been beside me since the start of LA...it's been Jaden...it's left me speechless."
That's when things took a turn. In the following episode of BFFs, Josh confirmed that he and Nessa broke up. Despite the end of their relationship, though, Josh stuck by the fact that there was a "zero percent" chance Nessa and Jaden were hooking up.
"It wasn't the situation Mads was putting it out there to be," Josh said. "It was just jealousy. That's just like a girl getting broken up with, then being jealous for no reason and then throwing sh*t online."
Now, Jaden and Nessa have been more public about their relationship.
Despite Josh's claim that nothing was going on between Jaden and Nessa, they were recently seen out on a date together. When asked by paparazzi how long they've been official, Jaden said, "I don't know anything about that, but we're just trying to enjoy ourselves." He continued, saying that he and Nessa feel like they handled the situation "respectfully and privately" and he's "the happiest [he's] ever been," to which Nessa agreed.
Unsurprisingly, Josh is upset about the whole situation and has blocked Jaden on all social media, forcing Jaden to go on Instagram Live say, "Josh, if you're listening bro, please just call me."
Josh and Jaden's friend, Griffin Johnson, meanwhile, has taken Josh's side, posting an Instagram Story, saying, "Nobody is loyal," he wrote. "F*ck everyone. I'm going to war for you until the day I die @joshrichards."
Josh has remained fairly quiet on the situation recently, though he did tweet out once."Personally, I am going to handle this offline," he wrote. "The last 3 weeks has been hard on me and I just need time to think. I appreciate all of my friends and supporters that have reached out to check in on me. It means more than you know. I’m doing ok and have no ill will towards anyone."
Nessa also took to Twitter to say, "I don’t need to pity myself. i know the decision i made. y’all don’t know the whole story and probably never will because the truth hurts and it shouldn’t be online. night."
Not long after that, Jaden and Nessa were spotted together again. Hollywood Fix caught them in Santa Monica, waiting in line with Nessa's arms around Jaden.
The pair also got matching tattoos. Artist Isaac Pelayo showed off the pair's new ink on his Instagram story. Both TikTok stars got the number "3" tatted on them, Nessa on her left thumb and Jaden on the right side of his neck.
Mads finally told her side of the story.
Mads went on the Barstool podcast Call Her Daddy to give a bit more color to the situation. She explained to the show's host, Alex Cooper, that she initially had a gut feeling that something was going down between Jaden and Nessa. So, she looked at Jaden's iPad and found messages between him and his manager that seemingly confirmed that Nessa and Jaden had feelings for each other. At that point, she called up Jaden.
"I said, 'You have one chance to tell me the f*cking truth,'" Mads said on the podcast. According to her, Jaden then told her he didn't like her anymore. "I believe him because we just weren't happy, we weren't healthy, and we weren't making each other happy." She explained that was why they broke up, insisting it wasn't because of Nessa. "He did not cheat on me," she said. "He did not get with Nessa. That's what he said, that's what I'm going to believe...he said he would never do that to Josh."
Despite everything that has happened, Mads said she still has love for everyone involved, though she has blocked them all on social media. "I love Jaden," she said. "I wish him the absolute f*cking best. I want him happy. So if him being happy is being with Nessa. Be with f*cking Nessa."
Josh had his last word.
Josh returned to his podcast to speak once more about the situation before finally putting it to bed. He spoke very maturely about the everything, saying that he doesn't think Jaden and Nessa acted maliciously.
"We're all like 19-year-olds too," he said. "We're all young as f*ck just trying to figure sh*t out."
Still, he does wish everything could have been handled offline, and Mads was "immature" for posting the video that sparked everything.
As for his relationship with Jaden, it's unclear if that will ever be mended. When asked if he will be friends with Jaden again, Josh hesitated before saying, "That's a hard question to answer."
Following the release of the video, Josh also tweeted that he is going to move on and continue to handle this offline, seemingly telling fans to do the same.
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