Vlogger's 'suicide' video threatens his €12.4m empire
As recently as late December, YouTube star Logan Paul celebrated his wildly successful 2017 in trademark fashion - with a high-octane video gushing about all his achievements.
Among them were buying a $6.5m (€5.4m) mansion in Los Angeles complete with a home theatre system, launching his clothing range, Maverick Apparel, appearing on the 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' show and starring in his first Hollywood movie.
However in the first week of 2018, the name Logan Paul has gone from household fame to global notoriety due to the first video he posted in the new year, one that has rocked his multi-million dollar empire to its foundations.
On Monday he uploaded a video, entitled "We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…" that showed the corpse of an apparent suicide victim in Aokigahara forest, the site of frequent suicides.
The 22-year-old had gone to the "haunted" forest at the base of Mount Fujiintending to spend the night as a stunt for his latest vlog.
However, when he and his crew stumbled across the body of an apparent suicide victim he kept the cameras rolling. In an intro to the video, he says: "This is not clickbait. This is the most real vlog I've ever posted on this channel.
"I think this definitely marks a moment in YouTube history because I'm pretty sure this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever."
Paul ended his intro saying: "Now with that said, buckle the f*** up because you are never going to see a video like this again."
The backlash was swift and Paul deleted it from YouTube, but not before it had been viewed more than six million times.
Over the last few days the fallout has gathered pace as more than 120,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for his channel to be deleted from YouTube.
He has also been publicly excoriated by celebrities such as 'Breaking Bad' actor Aaron Paul and 'Game of Thrones' actress Sophie Turner.
In a bid to stem the controversy Paul issued a sullen video apology saying he was "ashamed" of himself and didn't "expect to be forgiven".
Yet in Paul's own words 2017 had been his "rocket fuel" year, the heady and highly lucrative culmination of a career that had started with him making six-second comedy sketches on the defunct video platform Vine.
"This was the year that the two first names Logan and Paul became household names," said Paul as he beamed into the camera for the video entitled 'Why 2017 was the best year of my life'.
Paul has managed to translate his huge global reach into a significant commercial operation that has earned him an estimated net worth of around $15m (€12.4m). (© Daily Telegraph)