Jose Canseco — former All-Star outfielder, admitted steroid user, part-time fantastic Twitter idiot — apparently just live-tweeted the police arriving at his Las Vegas home, then said he has been accused of rape, then proceeded to publicly name his apparent accuser to his more than 500,000 followers, with bikini photos, and the woman's phone number, and talk shows, and cats... then proceeded to delete the whole thing. Except her name.
(Update, 6:14 p.m. Eastern: He's at It Again, so Why Is Twitter Letting Jose Canseco Set Another Example of Rape Victim Shame?)
Sure, there's a possibility that his account could have been hacked, but perhaps more troubling is that this kind of social-media behavior isn't exactly out of character for Canseco. But Las Vegas police have named him a suspect in a sexual investigation — we've obscured the name of the apparent victim in the tweets below, all of which, save one, have since been deleted:
A celebrity live-tweeting a rape charge and a visit from police would be a first, yes. But Canseco (or whoever is manning his account) continues:
If this is a true story — police say they haven't filed charges — Canseco has started a frenzy by doing exactly what you're not supposed to do with rape victims besides not assaulting them: name them in public, which as we've seen with many high-profile rape cases over the years, is known to prevent future victims of sexual assault to come forward. And Canseco has already thrown the apparent victim's credibility into question, and maybe even revealed more about the accusations before the police do:
After those tweets were deleted, Canseco's account then sent out this picture of a tanned, bikini-clad woman — without any context:
Which was followed up with another tweet, again naming the apparent (but not yet alleged) victim and saying the bikini-clad woman is the same person:
Then Canseco tweeted the apparent phone number of this woman:
Then he tweeted that "i am willing to take a polygraph on national tv" and asked the woman "will u do the same."
I am now getting on a flight to dallas fort worth to play with the cats. Come out and have some fun— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) May 22, 2013
And then he tweeted the woman's work address, asking the media to ask her to take a polygraph. The only tweeted that remained was a challenge to "play truth or dare" with the woman.
Obviously this is absolutely bonkers. But the thing is, Canseco is sort of known for being bonkers and tweeting ridiculous things — for instance getting weird about Lance Armstrong's steroid use and explaining "ancient" gravity. As Gawker's Adrien Chen pointed out, Canseco has used ghostwriters in the past, which could mean that there may be people other than Canseco with access to the account. That's one thing for gaining followers and being funny, but this is not funny at all.
Update 2:19 p.m. Eastern: Clark County District Attorney's office has stated that there no charges against Canseco in the system at this time, Buzzfeed's Kevin Lincoln and Chris Geidner report. But that doesn't necessarily mean that there are no charges against Canseco. They write that a spokesmen mentioned "that it was possible they would not yet be in the system if the charges were just filed."
Update 2:34 p.m. Eastern: We placed a call to the criminal division of the Clark County's District Attorney's office, and they were unable to give us a timeframe of when Canseco's apparent incident would show up in the system (if any exist). They did say that the matter was under investigation, and directed our call to the Las Vegas police. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police has confirmed with ABC Las Vegas they are investigating a sexual assault involving Canseco.
We'll keep this story updated as it develops.