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YACHT's "Leaked" Sex Tape Scandal Was a Promotional Stunt

The hoax video appeared on PornHub today, and Jezebel reports it was planned for over a month.

So remember yesterday, when former Portland band YACHT claimed a sex tape involving members Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans had been stolen and uploaded to the internet? And then they decided to make the video available for a paid download through their website? And then a bunch of media outlets high-fived them for their bravery in taking control of this horrifying exploitation, despite the fact that no one, save a few of YACHT's celebrity fans, reported to have successfully downloaded the thing?

Yeah, it was all a hoax.

Earlier today, the "video" appeared on PornHub. (NSFW, obviously, even though the video itself isn't particularly scandalous.) It features a couple minutes of innocuous night-vision canoodling between Bechtolt and Evans before a sudden twist ending.

According to Jezebel, the band sent an email to Gawker Media over a month ago, trying to get the site to go in on the deception with them. "For the upcoming music video for our song, 'I Wanna Fuck You Til I'm Dead,' we're faking a sex tape leak," reads the email, allegedly written by Evans. "In the days leading up to the video's release, we're going to pretend we were hacked, share and delete confessional social media posts on the subject of our privacy, then try to 'get out in front of it' and sell the sex tape, fake a server crash, etc."

We were skeptical, too, as YACHT has already used techno-pranksterism to promote their current record, I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler. But we tempered our suspicions slightly, because, you know, revenge porn is a real thing that can destroy lives, and you don't want to come out and flat-out claim someone is lying about something so heinous. But as this Vice piece points out, many elements of this story didn't add up.

And now, people are pissed.

YACHT did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE, May 10, 12:51 pm: YACHT has released a statement on the hoax.