In a story deeply reported by BuzzFeed, Robyn Byrd and Katie Rice say that Kricfalusi befriended each of them in the 1990s under the guise of mentoring their animation careers.
In hindsight, the two women allege that Kricfalusi, who was in his 40s at the time, was much more interested in grooming them to be his sexual partners.
“I believed, as a 16-year-old dating him, ‘Oh, the world’s against us. It shouldn’t be wrong for him to date me. We’re cool and rebellious because we’re breaking the rules of society,’” Byrd told BuzzFeed, adding that Kricfalusi said their 25-year age difference was “romantic.”
Tony Mora, then an animator at Kricfalusi’s studio Spumco, said he thought the relationship was odd, especially after Kricfalusi showed him a drawing he’d made of a dog ejaculating on a naked Byrd.
Mora also said Kricfalusi showed him pictures of Byrd ― who was 20 at the time ― performing oral sex.
Rice said she never actually had sex with Kricfalusi, but that he sexually harassed her in all sorts of bizarre ways, including “telling me that his friend’s advice to ‘get’ me was to just rape me one day.”
Kricfalusi alluded to his “friendship” with Rice in a video extra for a “Ren & Stimpy” DVD that can be seen below.
“I was at her 15th birthday party. We’ll tell you that backstory a little bit later,” he said with a grin.
An attorney for Kricfalusi told BuzzFeed that “the 1990s were a time of mental and emotional fragility for Mr. Kricfalusi” and that he had a 16-year-old girlfriend back then.
The lawyer also said that the animator, now 62, has struggled for years with what was eventually diagnosed as mental illness in 2008:
To that point, for nearly three decades he had relied primarily on alcohol to self-medicate. Since that time he has worked feverishly on his mental health issues, and has been successful in stabilizing his life over the last decade. This achievement has allowed John the opportunity to grow and mature in ways he’d never had a chance at before.
Both Byrd and Rice expressed strong feelings about how Kricfalusi’s actions damaged them.
“He ruined a good bit of my childhood and my early adulthood, gave me PTSD, and forced me to change careers, putting my life 10 years or more behind,” Byrd said.
Rice noted that Kricfalusi made her “a better artist,” but said she still wished she hadn’t worked with him.
“I wish I were a worse artist now and I didn’t have all this bullshit to deal with,” she said.
Read the full BuzzFeed story here.