Culture

Junk Explained: Was Instagram Star Belle Delphine Really Arrested Over A Stolen Hamster?

This is a very 2019 story.

Belle Delphine claims to have been arrested for vandalizing a car

Belle Delphine has spent the last six months attracting the world’s strangest controversies.

For the uninitiated, Delphine (real name Mary-Belle Kirschner) is an Instagram model and Patreon star. Her early fame came from the photos she snapped of herself making the Ahegao face — an expression common to characters in Manga and Anime; one of rhapsodic (and very sexual) delight.

But after establishing her fanbase, Delphine began taking things a step further. She promised that if one of her Instagram photos got a million likes that she’d make videos for Pornhub. When the requirement was met, she uploaded punny, extremely SFW videos of herself doing things like opening and closing a pair of scissors, and swallowing a photo of the YouTuber PewDiePie.

So: she has a sense of humour. A sense of humour that keenly came to light when she started selling her own used bathwater to her fans, prompting another round of obsessive media scrutiny.

But, for the last few months, Delphine has gone silent. As Mashable notes, for weeks, she kept off both Patreon and Twitter, only turning to the latter platform to tell her fans that she was recovering from a bout of food poisoning.

And, in the process, she kicked off a whole new conspiracy theory — one that claimed Delphine had been arrested.

Why do people think Belle Delphine was arrested?

The story that Delphine’s radio silence was due to an arrest was prompted by YouTuber Ethan Klein of the immensely popular H3H3. While discussing Delphine on his podcast, he suggested that shipping bathwater was illegal and that Delphine had been arrested.

It’s not entirely clear that shipping bathwater is illegal, for the record. It’s certainly illegal to privately ship “biological substances”, such as urine. But it’s kind of debatable how much biological substance is contained within a vial of bathwater. After all, you can ship a tiny bit of biological substance in the form of your saliva used to lick closed the seal of an envelope. Would there really be that much more human fluid in a shipment of bathwater?

Anyway, mere days after Klein kicked off this new wave of theories, Delphine herself returned to Twitter to announce that yes, she had been arrested, but no it wasn’t for shipping bathwater.

Where does the hamster fit into all this?

According to Delphine, the arrest came due to a fight that the Instagram star had with someone who had nicked her hamster. Apparently, “this girl” came to Delphine’s house for a party and stole her hamster “for a joke”. In response, when the girl wouldn’t return the hamster, Delphine vandalised her car with paint, scrawling, “Bitch Give Me My Hamster Back” in dripping red letters.

This, Delphine alleges, was what led to her arrest, and she backed up the claim with what she claimed was a mugshot of herself.

But Is Any Of This True?

Delphine’s fans responded to her claims with messages of support. The media, however, have been less quick to assume that Delphine is telling the truth.

As Mashable notes, there is no mugshot of Delphine listed on any of the UK’s publicly-accessible databases. Nor is there any news of the arrest online.

A raft of outlets have already asked the UK police to confirm or deny the mugshot (imagine being the desk clerk having to work out what everyone’s talking about.) So far, they haven’t responded.

To complicate matters, some are claiming to have proof that the mugshot is definitely fake, citing the watermark, which they allege the police don’t slap on their mugshots, and the poor quality of the photograph.

Only, police do slap watermarks onto their mugshots. The poor quality of the photograph is a different story altogether — it certainly does look blurrier than most mugshots. Not to mention softer-lit; usually mugshots are taken under harsh fluorescent light.

But the more significant point is, at this stage, nobody knows either way.

How to proceed? Well, as one should proceed with any story concerning Delphine: with a significant pinch of salt.