Four accusers have now come forward alleging that Alice Ripley, the Broadway actress most famous for her starring roles in Next to Normal and The Rocky Horror Show revival, was grooming young fans and having inappropriate, sexual conversations with them on social media.
Next to Normal, a breakout musical for its discussion of suburban family drama and mental disorder, connected with a lot of young fans at the time, and Alice Ripley, 57, was at that connection’s apex. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, and would go on to play the character of Diana Goodman on Broadway for over a year after the musical’s debut.
New reports suggest, however, that Alice Ripley stepped over the line between a star and their adoring fans, as multiple sources have come out to The Daily Beast claiming that their relationship with the actress has left them traumatized.
All four accusers claim that the Broadway star would seek out messages from fans that were often young, queer teenage girls, and shower them with compliments in return. They claim that Alice’s relationship with them was a complete “abuse of power,” and that she would form awkward situations where they felt as if they were competing for her love and attention.
“I felt like I was in a cult, the cult of Alice Ripley,” a New York City actress told The Daily Beast. “She finds people who are desperate for love, and she figures out how to fill that hole and then manipulates them with it.”
One of the accusers alleged that Alice would tell them which fans they should be associating with, and manipulated them by telling them that she needed them until they would be suddenly left in the cold and hurt.
“I’ve spent the last 10 years thinking I’m the only one who’s been in therapy because of Alice Ripley,” said another one of Alice Ripley’s accusers. “In the last 48 hours, I realized there are also other individuals who are my demographic who have also felt literally traumatized by this relationship.”
The Broadway star has denied the allegations, writing in a statement on Monday: “Recently, a claim has been made online against me. There’s absolutely no validity to any of it. I appreciate everyone’s continued support.”
Following the statement, Alice deleted a majority of her Facebook pages, where she allegedly connected with the young girls, and then her Instagram account went private.
TikToker Brie Lynn, one of Alice Ripley’s named accusers, kicked off the allegations when she released a video accusing of the Broadway star of grooming her, and that the pair had a relationship together even outside of social media.
According to Lynn’s story, the two connected online over a love of her Next to Normal performance, which led to her to being invited to Alice’s dressing room after seeing the show. Lynn, 25, was 13 years old at the time.
“I was going through a lot at the time,” Lynn recalled. “I had recently come out as gay, I grew up in a conservative town, I was bullied a lot, I was dealing with depression and other things.”
“A lot of the times, it was me confiding in her about stuff that was going on in my personal life,” Lynn continued. “Other than that, there were some conversations that kind of crossed the line of what was appropriate.”
Eventually as the two talked, Alice Ripley allegedly engaged in sexual conversations with Lynn. “There were instances where I would bring up a sexual situation that might have involved a specific sexual act,” she said, “and she was not shutting down those conversations, she was participating in them.”
Alice Ripley has not responded any further to the allegations against her, but The Daily Beast confirms that her upcoming shows have been canceled.