Drag queen says Kari Lake blocked him after spat over tweet from Arizona gubernatorial candidate
PHOENIX — A popular Phoenix drag queen said Kari Lake has turned a cold shoulder to him after a spat over a tweet from the frontrunner GOP candidate for Arizona governor received national attention.
Richard Stevens, who goes by the stage name Barbra Seville, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Tuesday that he reached out to Lake, who he has known for decades, on multiple platforms to no avail.
Stevens posted photos on his social media accounts of Lake posing with drag queens and screenshots of his conversations with her following a Lake tweet from Friday that claimed “they kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens.”
“I hit her up in the DMs on Facebook, where we’ve been friends for over 10 years, and boom, gone, vanished. She had blocked me,” Stevens said.
“And that’s when I realized that it wasn’t just a coincidence. She wasn’t answering her phone. She was creating distance between me and herself.”
Lake’s campaign published a statement Sunday condemning the media for covering the controversy and threatened to sue Stevens for defamation.
The statement called Stevens a “talented comedian and performer that Kari Lake covered during her TV career” and pointed to his support for Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.
Stevens said Lake’s actions hurt his feelings considering her past support and friendship.
“I would do the exact same thing because if you talk about Barbra Seville doing drag shows in front of kids or if you talk about drag queens and libraries, you don’t have to talk about your best friend, Donald Trump, staging a coup,” Stevens said.
“You don’t have to talk about protecting kids from guns in classrooms because you’re protecting kids from drag queens. Yeah, of course it’s a distraction and it’s insulting.”
Lake jumped quickly into the frontrunner’s position after launching a campaign that energized the GOP base and earned Trump’s endorsement.
She has aggressively promoted false claims that the 2020 election was marred by fraud. But she faces a challenge from businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson, whose family fortune has allowed her to vastly outspend Lake on television ads, and from former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon.
“That’s not the Kari I know. That’s not the Kari that I’ve had a 20-year friendship,” Stevens said. “That’s not the Kari who reached out to me to console me about the loss of my parents. That’s not the Kari I know.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.