Trans Canadian Twitch streamer and political commentator Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti recently suffered from a second attack in what is shaping up to be a hellish summer, she revealed in an August 18 YouTube video.
On August 5, Sorrenti was the target of a potentially deadly swatting attack that led to London, Ontario police wrongfully arresting her, sticking an assault rifle in her face, and repeatedly using her deadname, which she first legally changed a decade ago. After describing the attack in an August 9 YouTube video, Sorrenti and her fiancé relocated to a hotel that should have been safe. But members of the violently transphobic hate-speech forum Kiwi Farms continued their stalking by using an innocuous photo of her cat lying on the bed to compromise her location.
“The people who have been harassing me spent hours cross-referencing the bed sheets with other local hotels until they found a match,” she said in the video. “In the morning afterwards, five different pizza companies sent pizzas to my hotel room under my deadname. Obviously, it isn’t the pizzas that are the problem—but it’s the threat that they make, that they know where I live and are willing to act on it in the real world.”
On August 14, the Hate Crime Division at the London Police Services notified Sorrenti that they are investigating the pizza “prank” as criminal harassment. This new development, Sorrenti said, is “part of the same multi-jurisdictional investigation between London Police Service, Toronto Police Service, and Durham Regional Police Service to track down the person who stole my identity and used it to weaponize the emergency response team of the London Police Service to terrify me at best, and kill me at worst.”
She also disclosed that, on July 31, Toronto Police Service’s Sergeant Nathan Gibson called her about an attempted swatting in Toronto that left an Italian man with the name C. Sorrenti with an upturned home.
“The [Kiwi Farms] users had narrowed down my address to one in London, Ontario and one in Toronto, Ontario,” Sorrenti said. “The police sent SWAT teams to the addresses in both of those cities, including my home, because emails in my name were to local politicians making threats of committing mass violence. I’ve since talked to the elderly Italian man who shares my last name and lived at the address that got swatted in Toronto. He had nothing to do with this and innocent people are being hurt in an attempt to hurt me. This needs to stop.”
London Police Services’ Chief Steve Williams called Sorrenti personally to apologize for the cruel, transphobic treatment she received on August 5, which Sorrenti said she would not accept “unless he and London Police Service are willing to work with me to the best of their ability in order to catch the swatter and also the people who provided all of the information that the swatter needed in order to mobilize the emergency response team team of the London Police Service in an attempt to harm me.”
Kotaku reached out to Sorrenti for comment. She did not say in her video if London Police Services provided her with information, but, on August 18, Canadian news network Global News obtained and released the email sent to London city councilors that prompted the August 5 swatting. The network described the email as having “red flags aplenty,” and it does, plainly. In it, its unknown author clumsily describes plans to go “out to city hall and shooting every cis-gendered person I see with a gun I illegally acquired,” uses Sorrenti’s deadname, and misspells her last name as “Sorenti.”
Though Sorrenti says her brother asked London police in March if their family could be put on a “no-swatting list,” Deputy Chief Trish McIntyre told Global News that the Services’ show of force at Sorrenti’s residence was “in this case, with that threat … the appropriate response.”
London Police Services declined Kotaku’s request for comment beyond emailing a link to Chief Williams’ apologetic August 11 statement and writing that, “as this is currently an open and active criminal investigation, London Police Service will not be commenting any further on this matter.”
But while London Police works on fulfilling what Sorrenti called Chief Williams’ “[vow] to catch the swatter,” she encourages everyone who watches her video to help generate a “national and international discussion” about the terrorism members of the Kiwi Farms forums continue to plan.
“This is the only way you can help me, as well as honor people like Julie Terryberry, Chloe Sagal, and David Kirk Ginder who took their own lives because of the harassment from this heinous website,” Sorrenti said.
Sorrenti’s August 18 video’s description links to a substantial press kit, one element of which is a 28-page document from an anonymous writer “briefing” the public on the threats posed by Kiwi Farms.
“I cannot stress this enough,” the anonymous writer says. “Doxing is not the main problem here—it is a problem, but [...] it does not get to the root cause of what KiwiFarms is, a forum for stalking and harassment.”
Sorrenti’s press kit also includes screenshots of how exactly Kiwi Farms stalkers determined her apartment’s address, how they found her hotel room, the slur-heavy death threats they routinely post, posts orchestrating the Toronto swatting that got an unrelated C. Sorrenti caught in the crosshairs, and an interview Clara conducted with that other C. Sorrenti.
Sorrenti describes herself as currently being “in hiding,” and, since the second incident of potentially lethal harassment, has been forced to live in a rotation of AirBnBs, use a virtual private network (VPN) to shield her location, and a green screen to prevent the furniture-matching that lead to the second attack. She will soon resume regular Twitch streaming, using a portable streaming setup to do it safely. She is currently accepting GoFundMe donations to help with legal fees and Patreon subscriptions to help pay her staff.
Near the end of the latest video, Sorrenti says, “The response to what happened to me has been overwhelming. There’s been a tremendous outpouring of support and news of what happened to me went international. Despite how much I’ve gone through, seeing all of that support made me feel significantly less alone during one of the most stressful periods in my entire life.”
“I just want you all to know that I never plan to back down. I am never going to go away. I am going to continue fighting. Like I said in an interview with Global News [in the aftermath of getting swatted], if they really want to stop me, the next time, they better manipulate the police into pulling the trigger, because I am going nowhere.”