Being a racecar driver in the NASCAR National Series ranks is a dream come true. But with the fame and adoration of fans comes a scary thing that we hardly ever talk about — stalkers.
While stalkers are nothing new for big-time race car drivers, the internet, and social media as a whole, has made things incredibly more difficult for celebrities as scammers create phony accounts impersonating them all of the time.
In a new 15-minute YouTube video, Hailie Deegan, 20, and her boyfriend Chase Cabre, 25, explain that they have recently been harassed by a stalker, who was apparently catfished recently by someone on Instagram claiming to be Deegan.
“Figured out he was being catfished by a fake Hailie Deegan account,” Deegan explained.
Cabre, who is visibly shaken in the video, added, “Pretty much what happens, people go on Instagram and they’re creating fake profiles of Hailie and then trying to scheme people out of money, saying whatever they physically have to say, to get whatever they want. They use Instagram, they use WhatsApp, they use all kinds of platforms to connect with these people. It’s a terrible thing that happens.”
The now-stalker believed that until recently, they were actually dating Deegan virtually. The person even sent a lengthy hand-written love letter to David Gilliland Racing — the team that Deegan drives for in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series — for Deegan to read.
This prompted Deegan to seek out the person and explain the situation and things have spiraled out of control since.
While Deegan has attempted to the best of her ability to explain the situation, the stalker is still convinced that it is really Deegan behind the fake accounts and that Cabre is forcing her to say these things to him from her official account.
Compounding the situation is the fact that the fake account has erroneously stated to the enraged stalker that Deegan has been abused by Cabre, even having her jaw broken. These things aren’t true, of course, but for the stalker, who feels he is connected to the real Deegan, he is ready to protect her at all costs.
“The day that it pretty much changed was a few days ago when he posted stuff saying he was going to practically come kill Chase,” Deegan said. “His exact words were not going to kill Chase, but he’s going to come and he is going to be the last thing Chase was going to see.”
Deegan says the person who is infatuated with her, and has a past arrest record, lives in very close proximity to her home and race shop. And the person has been tagging Cabre in virtual photos of his guns and knives.
The constant threats, including an audio message sent claiming that Cabre would be killed if he didn’t leave North Carolina by sundown, caused Deegan and Cabre to call the police and have them watch over their property over night.
Deegan and Cabre say that their video surveillance system has been up on the television in their living room for around two weeks as they are stirred by the potential seriousness of the stalker.
“This guy is very persistent on social media, he messages over and over, you don’t even have to respond,” Deegan said. “Probably a minimum of over 100 messages a day.”
Deegan and Cabre say they have enlisted aid from local police, the FBI and even NASCAR security about the stalker.
In the video, the couple issue a plea to the person, who has harassed them, to please just leave them alone.
“If you are watching this video right now, please stop,” Cabre begged. “Please. Like, seriously. Just stop.”
Both Cabre and Deegan are afraid to even run races at Millbridge, a local dirt track, and the situation even caused Deegan to cancel running a recent race at the Freedom Factory.
“That’s why I couldn’t go to the Freedom Factory,” Deegan admitted. “I had to kind of deal with this stuff here. I’ve been on phone calls for days. I think my screen time has went up, doubled, and I just got a report on it this morning from the last week. It literally has doubled. Which is not okay.
“You lose sleep over something, not only because it makes you nervous to know that somebody is coming after you in your household, but also the fact of you have so much other stuff that has been put on hold. Our life is already as busy as it can possibly be and we try to fit in the most stuff.”
Deegan and Cabre stress that if you receive a DM from any account pretending to be them, don’t buy it unless you see the blue verified checkmark.
Here is the full video from Deegan and Cabre: