UPDATE: Zoe Quin has offered a public statement regarding several of the articles and claims made against her, as well as Alec Holowka’s death. In a tweet she stated the following, as well as posting the following images:
“Reactivated, but not really back. This is the one and only thing I have to say publicly about the last few weeks. Love and healing to those affected – piss and pus for opportunistic creeps. cw: suicide/abuse suicidepreventionlifeline.org”
New information has come to light regarding Zoe Quinn’s accusations of abuse by Alec Holowka and his subsequent death. Tweets and private communications obtained by The Post Millennial begin to cast doubt on Quinn’s word.
Some already doubted Quinn’s words due to past events. She gained infamy after journalists who slept with her and covered her game did not disclose a personal connection, thereby starting GamerGate. She has also been accused of continuing this nepotism, allegedly sabotaging game jams, and allegations she physically and psychologically abused her former boyfriend Eron Gjoni.
The new doubts come via The Post Millennial writer Anna Slatz. In an article produced on September 8th titled “Zoe Quinn’s allegations are falling apart” Slatz states she had spoken to “A source with access to Quinn’s locked Twitter account.”
Zoe Quinn’s Twitter account @UnburntWitch was deactivated shortly after Holowka’s death was announced. When it later returned it was locked (so only those who Quinn permits to follow her Twitter account can see what she tweets). Social media posts have shared the following image, allegedly a tweet from the account stating Quinn’s reasoning behind her actions on Twitter:
“this account was deactivated for mental health & security reasons. it has been reactivated & locked due to a sudden number of attempts to break into it, and deactivating seemed to turn off 2-factor authentication protect. this account will not be further used at this time.”
Slatz’ article hosts various images of alleged tweets Quinn made before the account was shut down, and prior to accusations made against Holowka. Our own research via archiving websites has been unable to find these tweets, though we will continue to search and will update this article if such proof is found.
In Quinn’s original accusations, no date was given as to when she first went to Winnepeg. Slatz’ cites “A cursory scan of their Twitter reveals Quinn was preparing to leave for Winnipeg at the end of March 2012 for an unspecified period of time and had arrived at the end of March or beginning of April 2012.” While those tweets are now deleted and were also inaccessible to Slatz’ source, a screencap of those tweets were taken by YouTuber “Channel Jorp” and used in their video “Famous Fraud Zoe Quinn & The Bloody Cost of Professional Victimhood” (around the 18:05 mark)
Slatz’ first accusation of doubt comes from Quinn’s claim that she was “physically confined” and “isolated” while living with Holowka. However, tweets from April and early May 2012 revealed she had been freely communicating with others, and taking part in many excursions and activities- including obtaining materials to create plush toys, taking part in a musical, and working on a game project in a coffee shop.
In addition, on April 29th, 2012 (in the second image above) Quinn posts that she had plans to visit Toronto “for a bit after the 4th.” This further contradicts Quinn’s statement that she did not have the finance to fly home from Winnipeg, after Holowka allegedly paid for her ticket to fly to Winnipeg.
The article continues, with Slatz’ showing tweets of “Quinn and Holowka” (though Holowka’s Twitter name “Infinite_Ammo” is not in the images below) organized a Meetup.com event called “Windiepeg” for indie developers to meet up around mid-April and early May. Slatz claims the vent took place at “Urban Forest where up to 38 other developers were present, many of which had been those Quinn had been interacting with through Twitter.” As the URL shown is obscured, attempts to find archives of the event have been difficult.
On April 14th, 2012 both Quinn and Holowka appeared on a podcast called Indie Function. Our own research into the podcast shows that the podcast made on April 14th (Broadcast #25) featured Shebly Smith and Todd Luke instead. However Broadcast #26 (taking place between April 14th and May 12th when the next podcast took place) is a “Lost Broadcast”. Out of 85 broadcasts, three of them are “lost”.
Nonetheless, Slatz includes audio in her article from the alleged podcast. Quinn discusses meeting Holowka, their first interactions via Twitter, and his interests in Quinn’s projects. Quinn also states Holowka supported the idea of having “more than five percent of the industry” be women, and how their relationship is “adorkable.” Holowka also encourages Quinn to talk about their next project.
Editor’s Note: Due to the size of the audio files, the following .mp3s are hosted via ThePostMillenial.com
Later in the podcast, Quinn continues to describe her life while with Holowka as positive. “My life right now is- I wake up, I bullet on a game I care about very passionately, and I pass out from exhaustion.”
Slatz also makes note when the conversation turns to discussing how they felt many misjudged indie developer Phil Fish, and comments made by Holowka that she believes apply to what happened.
“And that’s one of the reasons you don’t really want to be famous… Because that’s what happens. People basically turn you into a cartoon character. You don’t get to be a person anymore. You are a concept.” Quinn adds “I’m pretty sure I’m not that well known yet because that hasn’t happened to me. And I don’t think I am that way where I would be characterized as one thing or another.” Holowka agrees, stating “Everyone is going to get mad and yell about something eventually and then get characterized that way…”
Returning to alleged contradictions in Quinn’s statement, Quinn’s claims that Holowka took over her video game project It’s Not OK, Cupid also has discrepancies. In both the podcast and in Tweets made in April, Quinn seemed to be working on the project, and even her relationship with Holowka may have inspired her.
As aforementioned, Quinn’s statement about not being able to fly back were already put in doubt due to her Tweets. Furthermore, Quinn states her roommate helped her “flee.” Slatz uses Quinn’s own tweets to cast doubt on that claim:
“However, three tweets sent out between April 24th and April 30th demonstrate Quinn is being dishonest about the circumstances surrounding the return to Toronto. In fact, they prove Quinn was aware of the plan to leave at least 10 days prior to the actual departure. In the tweets, Quinn is discussing an hours-long layover in Montreal, asking if any friends wanted to meet up, and announcing a return to Toronto.”
To further put Quinn’s statements in poor light, Slatz points out how “Quinn also says that upon the rapid, anxious escape from the abusive circumstances with Holowka with the help of a roommate, the man did not do so much as acknowledge the departure.” However, yet more screenshots prove that on May 4th, Quinn was interacting amicably toward Holowka on Twitter during May 2012, and the two continuing to work on It’s Not OK, Cupid.
Slatz states “The last tweet shared between Holowka and Quinn was sent on May 10th, and was a single “Hi” from Quinn.”
A second article was also produced by Slatz in conjunction with Diana Davidson on September 10th. “Alec Holowka’s private messages reveal Zoe Quinn’s abuse” opens with claims that the prior article may have been the reason for the website to come under a DDoS attack on the 9th. While some have claimed Quinn or an associate of hers somehow orchestrated it, no currently known evidence would seem to indicate this.
Another source spoke to The Post Millennial anonymously “due to fears of backlash.” The source claimed to be a developer who had worked alongside Holowka, and provided “dozens” of Twitter direct messages exchanged between them in 2014 regarding Holowka’s experience with Quinn. Slatz and Davidson claim “the authenticity of these messages have been verified.”
Holowka had expressed that he wished to discuss his time with Quinn sooner, but feared reprisal. While the topic is not elaborated upon, it seems to be about an unknown male who disclosed information about Quinn himself.
Holowka also expressed a fear of making Quinn angry. Talking about a time she was heavily drunk and flirting with others, he said nothing (being new to relationships in general). When Quinn expressed a dismay at being “hit on” frequently, Holowka knew suggesting her to flirt less would enrage her. Asking if there was something they could both do to avoid it happening in the future still made her “freak out.” The unknown source’s post also mentions “She said she got into the social justice for revenge which is weird to me.”
Holowka’s messages run in complete counter to Quinn’s statements. He states that he wanted the relationship to work, and suggested couple’s counseling, something Quinn suggested she did not require with “Well if YOU think YOU need that.”
The authors also state “Holowka also expressed that he felt those viewing what would have been the GamerGate controversy as an issue of simple sexism were mistaken, having first-hand experience with Quinn that contradicted the very public narrative.” The associated image shows messages where Holwka and the source talk about Quinn having “serious issues and should be working on them if she wants respect.”
Holowka did speak poorly of Quinn publicly in 2013, with the authors stating that this absolves Holowka of wishing to lie about his time with Quinn.
“However, Holowka’s expressions of dissatisfaction with his past relationship predate Quinn’s 2014 controversies, eliminating the possibility that the conversations stemmed from a bitterness towards Quinn’s public stance or a need to sneakily cover his own abusive past. In simpler terms: Holowka has no motive to mischaracterize the relationship he had with Quinn. His claims in 2013 are consistent with these newly uncovered claims.”
The article then continues, discussing messages that allegedly prove Holowka was “continuously apologetic towards the feminist cause,” and was unhappy about how GamerGate “was polarized by ideological interest groups.” The second shows the source expressing concern how “people like Zoe” would “create more sexism,” and would cause women to be seen as a liability more. Holowka replies “I don’t know, it’s clearly not because she’s a woman, it’s because she’s a shitty person.”
Slatz and Davidson summarize that Holowka may have supported Quinn’s feminist causes and had deep feelings for her, causing him to reach out to her in 2012. It seems that after that, Quinn may have been abusive to Holowka. As the authors state however, this does not exonerate Holowka and condemn Quinn, merely presenting more doubt and a need for deeper investigation.
“As stated in our September 8th exclusive, this new evidence is not completely exculpatory. It does not provide a complete picture of what happened between Zoe Quinn and Alec Holowka during the time they were living together in Winnipeg in 2012. It does, however, continue to call into question the credibility of the allegations made by Quinn against Holowka, and, more importantly, demonstrates the tragic logic of guilty before proven innocent.”