Elle Oh Hell was one of the funniest women on Twitter. But she had a secret...
They say behind every great man is a great woman. And very occasionally, behind a great woman, is a sneaky dude just pretending to be one.
Comedy account @ElleOhHell made waves on Twitter this week when she outed herself as a man. The account, which boasted more than 25k followers and was featured on various lists of Twitter's funniest ladies, left a lot of actually-female followers furious when "Elle" admitted he'd been duping them for years.
The man behind the account, while profusely apologizing, revealed he had been using his wife's picture for his profile, claiming she was aware of it.
Amid his confession he revealed they were now divorcing, which led many to speculate this played a big part in him coming clean — after she presumably told him to stop using it.
"The avatar is not in fact me, but my wife. She knows about it, and was glad for me to have this creative outlet," he wrote. "The anonymity was very liberating, and honestly who would want to be a man on the internet. The unintended consequence was that people got hurt."
"The picture I used most often was of my beautiful wife on our wedding day," he continued. "Now after many years of marriage and two years of separation … we have decided that divorce is the best course of action for everyone."
Despite his insistence he did "not try to get a girlfriend out of this", the immediate consensus online was: Creepy.
Twitter User @TheDreamGhoul, who was one of the many duped followers, screen-grabbed the confessions before the account was deleted.
"i can't emphasize enough how much i thought this was gonna be 'elle' outing a creepy dude account with lots of followers. we're all used to that scenario by now," she wrote. "But it turns out.... she was the creepy dude account with lots of followers."
DreamGhoul, whose real name is Jade, told TooFab that Elle had violated women's trust. "He garnered emotional intimacy with women because they trusted they were speaking to another woman. Which is creepy in its own right," she said.
"The strange thing is that this isn't the first time this has happened," she continued. "It happened a couple years back as well. But 'Elle' continued deceiving people in spite of seeing how hurt people were by this kind of behavior."
Many followers also lambasted him for polluting the female comic pool; others criticized the way he prefaced his apology with an anecdote about when he first started the account: another well-followed user supposedly DMed him and asked if it really was him in the avatar because "Some of us thought you were too funny to be a girl."
"Why did he begin this with the 'too funny to be a woman' anecdote? I'm very confused," one follower asked. "That's what I'm wondering- 'omg it was true all Long, he was too funny to be a woman!'????" added another.
Jade also shared a DM "Elle" sent her when she first started telling jokes and gaining a following (she now has almost 24k herself) in which he attempted to school her on Twitter manners.
"'Elle' was very concerned about Twitter decorum and would often complain about not getting enough retweets or recognition long after most people stopped caring about that stuff," she told TooFab. She joked on Twitter: "Should have known something this petty & patronizing was coming from a whiney dude lol."
In a more sinister turn, Jade revealed that she herself has now become the target of abuse, merely because she was the one to grab the screenshots.
"Basically people using me as the focus for making fun of anyone who was fooled by this, or anyone who is involved in internet culture in general," she said. "Someone told me to kill myself and get my meds adjusted, etc."
@ElleOhHell has since been resurrected as a parody account, but so far has only 400 followers. No word yet on whether it is run by a man or a woman.