A controversial American influencer was arrested after a confronting incident with a sex worker in his Australian apartment was caught on video by his own livestream.
US video producer Paul Denino, best known by the name Ice Poseidon online, was doing a 24-hour livestream in Brisbane last Friday when he and two other mates hired the escort.
But she fled their hotel after being tipped off that Denino and his English sidekick Sam Pepper were hiding in the bedroom while she kissed and fondled a third man.
Text messages alerting her to what was happening appeared on her phone just as the older bald man, identified only as ‘Andy’, tried to lead her in to them.
The precise intention of the livestream remains unclear but Denino revels in controversy and legalised sex work in Australia is a novelty in the US where it is usually outlawed.
Paul Denino, known as Ice Poseidon online, live streamed his own arrest after a video stunt with a sex worker in Brisbane backfired and he was accused of sexual assault
The sex worker had agreed to be filmed having sex and a camera was pointed out to her when she arrived and was told it was being live streamed
Denino, 29 on Friday, is renowned online for his outrageous stunts which has seen his home raided by the FBI and had him banned from livestream platform Twitch
Denino and Pepper left the hotel shortly after the failed stunt and were continuing to livestream their night when police suddenly swooped to arrest them in the street.
The pair were later released after officers spoke to the sex worker and established ‘a consensual encounter had occurred’, a police spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.
Denino, 29 on Friday, is renowned online for his outrageous stunts which has seen his home raided by the FBI and had him banned from livestream platform Twitch.
He and his large following of fans – dubbed The Purple Army – have been branded toxic for their alleged misogyny, racial vilification and sexual harassment.
In June, he was arrested in Thailand and faced five years in jail for ‘distributing obscene content’ after wearing a sheer basque and fishnet stockings while rubbing food into the face of a woman he was lap-dancing for in the bar of a Bangkok hotel.
The charges were later dropped in August after he published an apology on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The latest incident began when Denino and his entourage launched a 24 hour livestream while in Australia and hired the sex worker as part of the stunt.
In June, he was arrested in Thailand and faced five years in jail for ‘distributing obscene content’ after wearing a sheer basque and fishnet stockings in a hotel bar
He was arrested after he rubbed food into the face of a woman while was lap-dancing for in the bar of the Bangkok hotel
Denino was filmed arranging by phone to pay the woman an extra $100 to film their sex in the city centre hotel room at Brisbane’s Festival Towers on Albert Street.
When the blonde woman arrived wearing white pants and t-shirt, ‘Andy’ pointed out a camera in the room’s lounge which he told her was livestreaming.
But Andy, wearing purple boxer shorts and a t-shirt, did not mention the two men lurking behind the closed bedroom door or any other cameras as he paid her $550.
The pair began to kiss and fondle each other on camera before he starts to take her to the bedroom, but she was stopped in her tracks by a text message on her phone.
She can be seen reading the message aloud in shock, saying: ‘Get out, it’s a set-up.’
The man goes over to look at the screen with her and she reads out more: ‘Guys are hiding in the bedroom watching on the livestream.
‘There are two guys in the bedroom. They are setting you up.’
Andy points to the bedroom and says something unclear but by then the woman has turned around and is putting her shoes on to leave, telling him: ‘It’s really creepy.’
The sex worker was stopped from leaving after she was alerted by text about the two other men hiding in the bedroom while Andy argued with her about the return of $500 he gave her
Denino (right) discussed with Sam Pepper (left) and Andy what had gone wrong after the escort fled the hotel room
As she tries to go out the door, he demands the return of $500 but she insists: ‘This is creepy.’
Andy replied: “Why is it creepy? It’s just you and me in there and no-one else.’
She could be seen trying to leave once more without saying anything more but Andy blocks the door from opening with his foot as he demands the money back.
Footage of the livestream then cuts to Denino at the door dressed in chino shorts and a t-shirt as Andy comes in from the hotel hallway to explain she had been alerted to the stunt by the text messages.
Pepper – who has distinctive green dreadlocks – also appears in the room as Andy adds: ‘Someone texted her to say youse two were in there planning something.’
The three then have a post mortem on the failed stunt and Denino stressing to Andy: ‘Definitely cannot hold the door. You have to let her go.
‘You cannot hold the door shut. I was about to fly out. If you would have stood there for a second more, I was going to fly out the room and try to resolve everything.
‘But I don’t know how that was going to go…’
Further footage from 20 minutes later shows Pepper and Denino leaving the building as they walk past three police officers waiting to enter their hotel.
Just seconds later, Denino winces in pain as he’s grabbed by the officers in the city streets just after midnight.
A woman police officer tells them to sit on the pavement and tells them: ‘You are both currently under arrest for sexual assault.’
‘Excuse me?’ says Denino as Pepper looks incredulously at him. ‘Yes, seriously,’ replies the officer. ‘Wait, hold on, who sexually assaulted…’ says Denino in shock.
‘Yeah, sure, no problem,’ he then says as he follows the police directions to sit. ‘I mean, there’s no…that’s totally not like…we…’
A male officer asks him: ‘What’s happening upstairs in your room?’
Denino replies: ‘I mean, nothing…sexual assault, definitely not.’
The incident sparked outrage online with one TikTok influencer demanding a total ban while others said it was a stunt to promote Denino’s new streaming platform.
‘This guy, Ice Poseidon, was banned off Twitch because of what he does to people,’ TikTokker and esports gamer Avori Strib told her 835,000 followers.
‘He is a pretty terrible person…and his community is extremely toxic.’
The CEO of the live-streaming platform was allegedly among the viewers watching the incident who made laughing comments on the stream when the stunt backfired.
TikTokker and esports gamer Avori Strib slammed Denino over the incident to her 835,000 followers and branded him and his followers as toxic
Paul Denino later claimed that he had done nothing illegal
The company – which Daily Mail Australia is choosing not to name – said in a statement in the wake of the row that they were ‘learning’ where to draw the line.
‘There’s incredible untapped potential in what live streaming has to offer,’ the statement said.
‘We’re firm believers that the greatest days of live streaming are yet to come.
‘With that said, community and public safety cannot be compromised in the process of making “content”.
‘We’re continuously learning where this balance sits and are making changes daily. We appreciate our community for the continuous feedback, both the good and the bad.
‘We’ll keep you updated on upcoming changes to community guidelines and subsequent enforcement measures.’
Denino later claimed that he had done nothing illegal.
‘Wasn’t a “hidden camera” and I got swatted after not arrested,’ he posted on X.
Swatting is when internet trolls make false claims to police to trigger an armed tactical response raid or arrest.
‘It’s LEGAL content that even the police wrote off as LEGAL and safe.’
But one critic replied: ‘Legal is not always morally correct.’
Queensland Police confirmed they were taking no further action after investigating the allegations.
‘Police responded to reports of an alleged sexual assault at a location along Albert Street in Brisbane City shortly after midnight on September 22,’ a spokesman told Daily Mail Australia
‘Upon arrival, police spoke to a number of persons, including the alleged victim. It was established that a consensual encounter had occurred.
‘No further action was taken by police.’