Update March 22, 2021:
Pete Davidson, his sister, and mother were granted a restraining order against Michelle Mootreddy, who falsely claimed that they and Davidson were married, and broke into his Staten Island home on March 18. Mootreddy was charged with burglary in the second and third degree (both felonies), as well as two misdemeanour counts of stalking, two misdemeanour counts of criminal trespass, and harassment, before being freed on supervised release.
If convicted of the most serious charges, Mootreddy will faces up to 15 years in prison.
Update March 18 9:30 PM EST: The person responsible for publishing false press release and claiming to be married to Pete Davidson has allegedly been arrested after breaking into his home.
TMZ and Page Six report that law enforcement apprehended Michelle Mootreddy at Davidson's home after they were found to be trespassing after entering through a back door. This reported development comes after speculation over the individual's claims that they are not only married to the comedian, but that they also started a company, Bodega Cats, with him.
TMZ says that Davidson's team would not comment on the alleged incident at this time. Refinery29 has reached out for comment.
Except it doesn't seem like a comedy bit — in fact, it seems very real — which has left me, as well as many others, even more confused, and left with many unanswered questions. Here's what we know.
Bodega Cats Presents, LLC, an “experiential and digital entertainment group” that aims to "increase diversity & belonging in the entertainment industry" sent out a press release on the morning of March 16, claiming that it was founded by someone named Michelle Mootreddy and Davidson, and that they were married.
"Pete and Michelle were childhood friends prior to starting Bodega Cats Presents and are married," the release for the company said. A staff bio for Davidson appears on the Bodega Cats Presents website, stating that he's Co-CEO and Co-Founder along with Mootreddy, that they go by they/them pronouns, and that "cleverness, comedy, and creativity are just three of their many superpowers."
The idea that Davidson would get secretly married doesn't seem completely out of left field: the man is prone to short, serious relationships. The comedian famously had a whirlwind five-month engagement to Ariana Grande in 2018 after about a month of casually dating, shortly after splitting from Cazzie David. Since then, Pete has dated actress Kate Beckinsale and model Kaia Gerber. Mootreddy's Instagram shows that they changed their last name to "Davidson" and have "peter💍🧿" written in their bio. As if confirming the news, a slide on Mootreddy's Instagram stories reads "Michelle is good, baby is good, life is good. Sorry if I don't get to ur DMs. Don't tell Michelle" and is signed by "Pete."
So now they have a baby?! Well, here's where things get really interesting.
Following the press release, fans on Twitter claimed that the news was fake because Dave Sirus, a friend of Davidson's had debunked it the week before. "Everything on [Davidson's Bodega Cats Presents bio] page is completely fabricated," Sirus wrote.
Then, later on March 16, Davidson's attorney issued a statement which unequivocally denied the news. “The press release being circulated this morning about Pete Davidson is completely false. Not a word of it is true. Mr. Davidson has no idea who this person is. We are investigating and considering all legal and equitable remedies.” PRNewswire, who originally sent out the blast, sent a follow-up note telling news outlets to disregard the press release because it could not be "verified."
Perhaps this is all an elaborate scheme to drum up buzz for this new company? While that may have seemed like a funny idea in theory, now that Davidson's people have caught on, it probably wouldn't be worth getting in serious legal trouble. Thankfully, it seemed like we'd finally be able to get some answers. Later that afternoon, Mootreddy posted a 10-minute video on the Bodega Cats Presents Instagram, aiming to "clear the air."
Let's just say that Mootreddy and I have very different definitions of clearing the air.
"There are a lot of questions circulating because we released our first press release today. And yes! Great, awesome right? But unfortunately, we stepped on some toes," they began. "I want to say that I take full responsibility for that, I didn't do my due diligence. My partner is involved in other projects, and other organizations where this could be a conflict, so it was my fault for not making sure I double-checked with all the appropriate parties before moving forward with the press release."
"However, we don't want to be shady about it because the cat's out the bag, so we posted the original release on our website," they continued. [...] "At the end of the day, the reason we released the release is because we wanted to set precedent for our social media campaign tomorrow about St. Patrick's Day. And that's why I'm here to bring it back to that."
Mootreddy then goes on to talk about their business mission and the "persecution of the Irish community" and the "cultural appropriation the community faces at this time." They also claim that people wouldn't be paying attention to the news if they were white, and "if the organization wasn't diversity focused." While they don't explain anything about the whole Davidson marriage (and baby?) thing, the caption for the clip adds that they're "prepared to take legal action & settle this dispute in court if necessary."
Many fans of Davidson posted in the comments under the video, alleging that this has all been an attention-seeking ploy. "The hubub wasn’t about the St Patrick’s Day content though and you know it," wrote one commenter. "I understand you have put a lot of work into your company, but this seems like a very dramatic way to get views," another commenter wrote. "But you know what, here I am so it worked. Unless you genuinely think you are married to him and then idk 🤷🏻♀️ "
Bodega Cats Presents (like Mootreddy themselves) replied: "Look, at the end of day, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we have a reoccurring theme of discrediting and oddly, a lot of prosecution alluding to our co-founder being 'mentally-ill' We know our truth - you may feel otherwise & that’s okay - and if we need to go to court to prove this, then we will. Thanks !"
Honestly, forget SNL sketch — we're getting into HBO documentary territory.
This story is developing, and has been updated with additional information.
Refinery29 reached out to Davidson and Mootreddy for comment.