Kat Von D has been in the middle of an image storm for the majority of her career as a former reality television personality and a current beauty mogul. Now she hopes to set the record straight once and for all. On Thursday, she uploaded a YouTube video addressing two common rumors that are threatening to tank her entire empire. 

The new mom wants people to know that she is not anti-Semitic and that she isn't 100% against vaccinations, but she also had a lot more to get off her chest. Von D wants people to understand where these rumors came from and why she hasn't spoken out about them until now. 

She started off directly addressing the issues so many people have with her.

"I’ve been getting a ton of hate over two different controversial topics, both of which are pretty hard for me to talk about, but I really want to try my best to clear the air so all I ask that you bear with me," she began. "Just to set the record straight from the beginning, I want to say I am not anti-Semitic, and I am not an anti-vaxxer." 

What bothers her the most is the anti-Semitic label.

“I think out of every comment that I’ve gotten, the ones that are calling me and my family Nazis, those are the ones that really just don’t sit well with me. If anything, they’re extremely offensive and super hurtful — not just to me but to my family.”

To be fair, the internet has been pretty brutal with its responses to any Kat Von D news these days. 

Every post on her Instagram account and every news post about new Kat Von D Beauty products is filled with comments about her being anti-Semitic, an anti-vaxxer, or both. Every. Single. One. 

Von D felt it was important to remind people of her own heritage.

"I know a lot of you guys do know, but I know a lot of you guys don’t know that I am, myself, a proud Latina. I was born in Mexico in Montemorelos, Nuevo León, Mexico," she explained. 

"I know a lot of people assume that I’m white because I was not lucky enough to inherit my mom’s really beautiful dark skin, but I do have her dark eyes. I think it’s really important to know that us Latinas come in all different shades of brown.”  

She then carefully broke down how the rumors about her being an anti-semite began. Buckle up those seat belts because this thing goes WAY deeper than any of us could have imagined.

“To help give you guys a better understanding of how this Nazi rumor started, I’m gonna have to go back to a time that I honestly really hate to talk about," Von D began. "I hate thinking about it. I ended up going to years of therapy and healing in order to deal with a lot of the traumatizing things that happened back then.”

Kat Von D ultimately says everything began during her days as a reality star on TLC's Miami Ink series.

photo: TLC

“A lot of you guys remember Miami Ink. When that show first started, the viewers, the ratings went up super, super quick, and the network started getting feedback from the audience saying that the show was lacking female energy, so they wanted to cast a female tattoo artist.

"So…I was about 22 years old when I first joined Miami Ink and started filming with the show. I remember that right after I started filming, the ratings went up, and it started to make one of the other castmembers feel threatened." 

Von D reasons that the castmember in question was threatened ultimately due to his own fragile masculinity.

photo: NBC

"I don’t think he was threatened only just by me, but I think he was threatened by any type of woman that has an opinion or has a stand on anything. And that’s when the hazing started.” 

By hazing, she means blatant harassment, per the stories she goes on to recount.

Von D alleged that she was mistreated in different ways, one of them being petty tampering with her tattoo equipment.

“Sometimes I would show up to work and the contact screws — which are the little parts on the tattoo machine that conducts the electricity to where your tattoo machine works — those were taken out just so I wouldn’t be able to tattoo that day.” 

She also alleged that this jealous castmember sexually harassed her.

photo: VH1

“The mistreatment on set was pretty unbearable over the time that I was there filming. There were so many times where he said things to me that were so repulsive, I could never repeat those things out loud. He sent me a photo of his penis."

Unfortunately, the unwelcomed genitals photo isn't where the harassment ended, according to Von D.

"To me, I feel like the worst part of all of it was one time we came out to LA," she explained. 

"A couple of us went out on the town. It was him plus two others and I remember they got too drunk to drive as I said, ‘Hey, I’ll drive. No problem.’ I wasn’t drinking that night. I remember he sat behind me — behind my car seat — and at one point, he reached around and grabbed my breasts. I remember pulling his hands off of me."

Although Von D notes that the sexual harassment was terrible, she also shared that she felt even worse due to the reactions of other castmembers who witnessed it.

photo: TLC

"The worst part of all of it was that when... turned to the other guys for support, they literally did nothing and they just acted like nothing happened," Von D alleged. "Needless to say, none of this type of behavior ever made the air. Eventually I'd just had enough, and I ended up having to quit off camera."

According to Von D, the day when she left the set of Miami Ink for the last time lit the match on this anti-Semitic firestorm she's still trying to put out today.

“Before I left the set for the last time, some of the production crew guys asked me for some 8x10s — some for them and some for their families or the kids. I was more than happy to bring some down, so I left a stack for anyone there. Anybody who wanted one could have one.” 

Ultimately, leaving those 8x10s was a move she didn’t dream would come back to bite her for the duration of her career.

Kat Von D went on to film her own spinoff show called LA Ink, which she says angered the castmember who harassed her.

photo: TLC

"I remember I started filming the intro to the show and that’s when this other castmember found out that LA Ink was happening," Von D recounts. "He was so paranoid that LA Ink would replace Miami Ink — which eventually it did — that he thought he could cancel my show by going to the network and showing them this 8x10 with a forged anti-Semitic message on it."

The message in question read, "Burn in Hell, Jew Bag. XOXO, Kat Von D." 

“I have no idea who actually forged the message,” Von D shared.

“But what I do know is that the man who treated me so terribly on set took this 8x10 and threatened the network, saying that if they don’t cancel LA Ink, then he would go to different media outlets and release the 8x10 with the forged message on it."

Although TMZ stated in an article that someone informed them the handwriting on the photo did belong to Kat Von D, the beauty mogul has long refuted that conclusion. 

"The network, of course, could tell that it wasn’t my handwriting," she explained in her latest video. "They decided to continue filming [LA Ink], which obviously made this man more angry and more vindictive. He ended up following through with his threat and went to the media with this forged 8x10.”

Although Kat Von D never mentioned the specific name of the cast-member who allegedly harassed her and later tried to sabotage her show, all roads lead to Miami Ink alum, Ami James.

He is the castmember who went to TLC with the anti-Semitic message, according to the original TMZ report from more than a decade ago.

James also provided TMZ with a quote. "What is more devastating to me, and much more shameful, is when people ignore something like this for the sake of the money or self-interest. That is the real punch in the gut," he told the site.

Kat Von D revealed exactly why she did not address the anti-Semitism claims early on.

"I was in my early 20s, and it was [redacted] crazy. Overnight, I was just falsely branded as an anti-Semite. I had no idea how to handle it or what to do," she explained. 

"I remember the network’s publicist just told me just to stay quiet and let it go away. And it's really hard to have people out there in the world believe that — something that wasn’t true. Eventually, I just broke and I went on to MySpace, and I ended up writing a blog truthfully denying it. Other than that, nobody really knew the truth, and I never really talked about it or told my side of the story. My voice was never really heard."

Von D also pointed out that another reason she did not completely address the anti-Semitic drama was that she had unhealthier ways of dealing with issues back then. 

“Yes, I probably should have talked about this back when it was happening, but in all honesty I did not have the support that I have now," she shared. "I definitely wasn’t the same person that I am now. I used to resort so much to escapism and self-medicating through drinking and drugs. As a lot of my fans and followers know, I am very happily sober."

Von D was also moved to address the rumors because of her infant son, Leafar Reyes.

“I have a son now, and seeing all these awful comments and the things that people are saying, I can’t just sit around and pretend like it’s gonna go away," she stated. 

"It sucks that over this last decade, every time this 8x10 comes up, I have to be reminded of this really awful, traumatizing time. After all this recent hate, enough is enough, and it’s time for me to finally speak up and set the record straight." 

After finally addressing the anti-semitic rumors, she briefly addressed the vaccination scandal that has plagued her since her pregnancy.

"I am not an anti-vaxxer. What I am is a first-time mother. I am one of those moms that reads everything. I read everything from ingredients in foods to cleaning supplies to medicines — basically anything that is going in my baby or on my baby. I research like a complete and total nerd," she explained. 

"Back when I was pregnant, somebody asked me on Twitter if we were vaccinating our baby. After doing a bunch of research and reading the ingredients, naturally, I experienced some hesitancy. You guys know me. I tend to share everything with you guys. I’m an open book in that sense. I wear my heart on my sleeve and probably too much sometimes. More than I should. If I would have known that I would have let so many people down with that, I would have never, ever shared where we were at with it at that time.” 

And if you're wondering how she and her husband, Rafael Reyes, feel about vaccinations now ... 

"Since then, we have decided as parents to consult with our pediatrician and just let him educate us and guide us," Kat Von D confirmed. "But unlike before, I’ve learned my lesson and I am choosing not to make our decision or any of our baby’s health records public, and I just want to thank you guys for respecting that."

Kat Von D ended her video with a note to everyone who bombarded her with opinions about these major dents in her image. 

The letter reads:

“I’m not mad at you. I actually totally understand where you were coming from. I just don’t think that sending hate to anyone is the right way about going about anything. Whether or not you are right doesn’t mean you should call me names or wish death upon my child. Some of the comments I got were so cruel and hurtful, I hope none of you ever have to go through that. 

"We all experience so much negativity on a daily basis as is. Whether it’s from someone else or even our own selves. There really is no reason to add more hate to anyone’s plates. We are all human, capable of making mistakes. But we also deserve a little bit of a gentler approach to criticism. If I have learned anything from all my years of animal rights activism, it is that you are more likely to open someone’s mind with kindness instead of attacking them. And lastly, to all those who were gentle in your approach to me on this subject, thank you. The world needs more of you."