Warning: This article discusses animal cruelty and may be distressing for some readers.
An Australian influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers has revealed she killed two cats as a child, an admission that has sparked widespread outrage across social media and resulted in her being dropped by multiple sponsors.
Emma Claiir, a mum-of-one with over 200,000 followers on TikTok, giggled as she admitted she killed her family cat on a recording of her Simply Chaotic podcast earlier this week.
The shocking revelation prompted cruelty-free beauty brand MCoBeauty to publicly sever ties with the influencer, having worked with her in the past.
During the recording of the podcast on April 17, Claiir told her co-host, fellow influencer Kristy Jean, she killed her family cat by accidentally letting go of the animal while swinging it around by its tail.
“I didn’t mean to, I was a child. I was, like, swinging my cat around. Like, I was just thinking it was, like, a stuffed toy, and I accidentally let go of it… and yeah, I killed it.”
The cat “died from the fright”, she said matter-of-factly, adding that her sister “did not speak” to her for months after the incident and her mother was “f**king fuming”.
While the anecdote appears to have been removed from existing recordings of the podcast on platforms such as YouTube and Spotify, news.com.au obtained the original audio and published the clip on TikTok.
Claiir went on to add that she also killed another cat – the pet belonging to her childhood best friend. She did not elaborate on how the cat was killed or when the second incident occurred.
Despite the anecdote being cut from the existing recordings, the audio has since been widely circulated on social media, prompting an intense wave of backlash against the influencer.
“You’re either a complete half-wit or just cruel,” one person commented on YouTube, while another tweeted: “People are WAY too comfortable admitting the worst of themselves on podcasts.”
Others expressed concern for Claiir’s newborn baby and her ability to parent, with Twitter user @dreampai1 writing: “So Emma Claiir was nine when she swung [a cat] around and ‘accidentally’ let go… but her excuse was that accidents happen and she was a ‘small’ child and she shared it lightheartedly on her podcast? Legitimately worried for her baby.”
Following the outcry, Claiir took to her Instagram on April 19 and attempted to smooth things over by arguing that the tale was intended as “a bit of light humour”.
“If you can’t handle that then Simply Chaotic ain’t for you,” she continued. “It happened 21 years ago. I was a small child. Accidents happen and you all need to chill. I hope that you are not the same person you were at nine years old.”
She claimed that since the incidents, she has been “the best mother” to “multiple” other felines.
“Again, sorry not sorry for an accident that happened over 20 years ago,” Claiir wrote on her Instagram Story on Wednesday. “Sorry not sorry for having a giggle about it because I think still 20 years on I’m in shock by it [sic].”
After being alerted to Claiir’s admission, MCoBeauty – an Australian vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand – announced on Instagram it would “no longer be working with Emma in the future”.
“Here at MCoBeauty, we take instances like this extremely seriously and do not condone animal cruelty of any kind,” the statement said. “We were dismayed by this story.”
Hours after being publicly dropped as a brand ambassador for MCoBeauty, Claiir once again took to her Instagram Story – this time, with a different tune.
“I am well aware that the story was not light humour and in fact very serious,” she wrote. “I do have empathy about the situation and it’s not something I am proud of as it really hurt myself and my family 21 years ago.
“I am now also a loving mum to a little boy and have definitely grown up from that little nine-year-old kid,” she added.
“I deeply apologise for those [affected] by an accident that happened in the past and I hope we can leave it there.”
On Thursday, local media reported that more brands had cut ties with Claiir, including the vegan makeup line Lust Minerals and fashion retailers Glassons and Princess Polly.
Claiir gave birth to her first child on April 12.