I’ve been trying to write this for over two weeks. In my head, for over a year.
I thought that when the time came, the words would flow out like the body of a river breaking a dam, symbolizing everything I have internalized for far too long. But of course, things never are as they seem, and that’s what’s been troubling me.
I’ve been living somewhat of a lie…
This time last year my ex-fiance, Rey Gutierrez, (or Reynaldo Gutierrez from Miami, Florida), faced heavy accusations of abuse within the #MeToo movement and video game industry. Although he never officially issued a statement, I defended him knowing that he had been mentally, emotionally and physically abusive as well as possibly unfaithful throughout our relationship. In a delusional sense of love and loyalty, I think I hoped he would finally appreciate my efforts and see they were unselfish, as he always claimed otherwise of my character. There was never an agenda other than wishing he would see the error of his ways. Defending him felt like I had finally done something right, but I took it to an extreme that I’m not proud of. In my defense, he told me I was the only one he actually ever abused or physically hurt — his “first black eye” as if it were a statistic. Made me believe that the accusers were the liars, that they wanted to take him down. He hated that I got the worst of him because I was “the one that mattered.” In the most fucked up way that made me feel loved; and I believed him.
Rey will always be the greatest love of my life, but he was almost the end of it. In an eerily self-fulfilling prophecy, he was arrested on charges of domestic assault the night he threw the 2018 ‘Murder Palace’ GDC party that many boycotted due to allegations of abuse in the first place. I should explain that my life was deeply intertwined with his, as we worked together as partners under his agency, Black White Blood, which represented ‘Murder Palace.’ Our previous client and party sponsor at the time, Destructoid, had us remove all affiliation and people were demanding refunds as well as warning others about ‘Murder Palace’ on threads. Barely anyone showed up. He had drank so much being upset over the parties failure that he was unable to finish his DJ set. Of course, this being my fault, I wasn’t out there supporting him, and he needed me. His bar-banned dancer and I had gotten into it beforehand, so I decided to stay with the crew in the back, keeping my promise of being a million miles away from anything that could go wrong. I wanted it to be clearly impossible to be blamed for anything. At the end of the night, someone came to tell me I needed to take care of him. We all met outside to get him home and sober with me. I didn’t want to ride with him alone, so a friend dropped us off at our Airbnb, where he then viscously attacked me. In a recording of us all outside, you can hear me telling someone I was scared of going home with him when he’s like this, and that he may flip out on me, blaming me for whatever he could. That was a regular occurrence with any argument or fight. He could try holding himself off the ledge of a 20-story building, but somewhere in his timeline, I caused him to do it. That actually happened, too.
Sure enough, as soon as we walk in the door, it begins. In flashes, I remember trying to appease the maniacally evil persona he would become when he’s angry or drunk. As always it turns into a yelling match about me and what I did wrong. I was always “a cancer that needs to die”, “the equivalent of a fly”. He got in my face, and I don’t recall how I wound up on the floor. Evil eyes, vindictive smirk, pressing his booted foot down on my throat like flooring a gas pedal, he stared down at me. I could barely breathe to scream, and the pressure of his shifted body weight was crushing my throat. I was pinned down on the wood floors trying to wriggle out and desperately begging, screaming and clawing at him to stop. I could feel the room fading into a vignette frame and feeling a ‘light’ go out. In that instance, I remember looking up at him mortified that he wasn’t letting off and started crying screaming at him that I’m sorry and I loved him in hopes he would stop. If he strangled me to actual death right then and there, my last words to him would’ve been an I love you.
But he wouldn’t have remembered… I fear the alternate reality where he blacked out and went too far, and woke up with me dead on the floor. It haunts my nightmares. Sometimes I wonder if he would have stayed in denial and tried to cover it up, or if he’d finally come clean and seek help in my memory. Would he tell people I must have done something to cause that myself? Because that’s what he would tell me. In fights afterward, he would tell me it was my fault and that he should’ve pressed down harder, no remorse.
I don’t remember how I got free. I ran as far as I could upstairs away from him thinking he was chasing me when I heard the police coming in downstairs. To be honest, I was going to hide from them. I thought Rey would think I called them and I’d have hell to pay once it was all over. He always threatened to call the cops after he had insulted or done enough for me to start yelling and fighting back, and I was scared of going to jail again. I had been arrested once previously defending him and would later again for taking the blame in a bloody fight over escorts, telling officers that I must have caused the scratches myself. I was petrified of what he would do afterwards so I didn’t point fingers, it would be more trouble. I gave the SF police the room number, and they busted down the door to find him bundled up fast asleep in bed. I was upstairs with an officer calming me down to give a statement in front of Rey. They walked me to where they had him cuffed in his underwear and he looked at me blank like he had no fucking clue what happened. I couldn’t believe it.
I confirmed my statement, and they took him away. I dealt with legal bullshit, attorney, bondsman, and Airbnb host all while the police were dropping off my protective order against him wishing me luck. I stayed on the phone with our families, banks, airlines, and sat around babysitting an apartment with no door until the owner’s repairman friend could come to relieve me. I was able to get him released three days later. If I had pressed charges, he would’ve been booked for however long until a trial for sentencing, but I didn’t. I just wanted him out to understand what happened and to go home. I remember him being so grateful and so proud of me for handling everything like such a woman, his woman. I had proved myself to him once again, there would be nothing but pure love and adoration for the next week. After all, we had just gotten engaged the night before the attack. Time to celebrate! Let’s extend our trip as if nothing happened and buy a HomePod to throw at the wall later.
My delusional sense of love shining through, I stayed with him under the condition that we find him therapy asap and he stops drinking. Since he didn’t know Tulsa, I had to help him find someone despite having a plethora of my own medical issues to conquer. It was hard enough for me to take care of myself. I became increasingly ill six or so months into our relationship with some mysterious issue no doctors nor tests have been able to figure out apart from stemming from extreme stress and anxiety. Doctors even told me not to drink when they thought it was my liver, which was great because I wanted nothing to do with alcohol after lessons learned. That still didn’t help me with Rey. When I would tell him how I wanted to stop drinking and how it’s been so detrimental to my life he would get oddly tense and argue with me about how he doesn’t want to marry a prude. I stopped mentioning either because it made me feel guilty and just started a fight. I felt guilty because he paid for everything, which angry Rey never let me forget. Sweet Rey wanted to support me as a stay at home artist & wife, personal assistant at best. Any time I brought up therapy the room filled with tension and it became another father-daughter lecture about money and work, ending with blame over what happened.
A few weeks after the GDC incident, he held me down by my neck again in an argument like mentioned above. It became his new way of stopping the fight. I had recorded the whole thing at that time and showed my Mother how he talked to me after I left. You could hear my restricted voice complying. “Okay Rey, Okay Rey, Okay Rey, I understand, Let Go Rey.” To my detriment, I later deleted those voice memos after I admitted to recording him out of disbelief. I thought it’d make him reflect on his psychotic behavior rather than “setting him up to fall”, which he claimed. Recording things made me the bad guy, not him, even though it made me feel safe. I needed evidence of what I heard because it was so insane, I could barely believe it myself. I still have a multitude of evidence between video, photo, and voice recordings that’s honestly too much to share; borderline demonic. His manipulation had no boundaries, and as blatantly stupid as I may seem for enduring all of this, I honestly thought I was the one in the wrong. Ask my friends and family, they would beg me to leave, and I would defend his point saying maybe he would change if I just tried harder.
Through all of his lies, he remained steadfast in the idea that I was psychotic for even assuming he could be this person I was describing. A regular theme to our fights, and even now, as I write my story, I still struggle between what’s real and false. I lived, breathed and believed in his warped reality.
The GDC incident was by far the most catastrophic thing he had ever done to me. By this point, he had already given me three black eyes, countless wrestling bruises, slapped me, pushed me out of a door, stomped on my purse, mocked me for crying like a victim, taunted me over sex workers and other women, brought kitchen knives out for “theatre”, and dragged me around by my hair. I hid in the closet a lot. Once, he dragged me out and down the hallway of our Vegas hotel after getting upset over how he was treated at the premiere of his movie. But perhaps the most haunting moment is when he dragged me out of our bed that my then pregnant self was hiding in after standing over me screaming, spewing spit with his face inches from mine as I lied there waiting for him to stop.
“Oh look here I am standing over you while you’re pregnant again, do you see what you do to me? Are you done?”
In my second (ectopic) pregnancy, he would scream at me about how I was going to make myself miscarry after I suddenly started experiencing extreme pain. I was on the floor clutching my side and brought to tears, asking to go to the ER. He made a big scene about how I was doing this to myself and would cause another miscarriage. He had to finish some edit and couldn’t be bothered to take me to the hospital because ‘I was fine.’ After we fought and I tried convincing him I wasn’t killing our baby with worry, we got to my car, but I could see he had flipped into his fast evil attitude. I changed my mind, not wanting to deal with his antics despite the pain. It got worse the next day, and my mom came to take me in. I was rushed into surgery immediately. If I had waited much longer, it could have ruptured and I may have died.
I felt that I couldn’t call for help in arguments because I, too, had abused him. In reality, this was self-defense — but the gaslighting had affected me so profoundly, that I could do nothing but put the blame on myself. In one of the instances he was leering and screaming above my face, I punched him, busting and bloodying his lip. He smiled, grabbed my face and gave me a big long kiss, smearing the blood all over my face and into my mouth. There were times when I would push him during arguments when he was trying to leave. He always decided to leave in the middle of a heated argument, run to a nearby bar. I wanted to stop him because I knew what the outcome would be. I would only ever escalate after he gaslighted me into circles. Instead of using violence I always tried my hardest to get him to sit and talk things out calmly, without insults or raised voices. He would never let me speak in arguments, talk over me, dramatically mock me, shut me down and scream at me to shut up while he blamed me for everything that was wrong with us.
Mentally and emotionally I was shell-shocked from his explosiveness. I still have recurring nightmares of situations he would put me through. In most of them, he is taunting or mocking me while I cry and beg for him to please stop and listen to me.
Boy’s Club Problems
Never in a million years did imagine myself ever dealing with what I did in this relationship, so much that I was in denial. It had just been a few months since I moved in when I encountered something quite disturbing. Call me old fashioned, but I never dreamt that the love of my life — nor any man I would give the time of day, was the type to pay for sex. “Pay for sex? Ha!” Of course, I was wrong again. He only looked at those sites and contacted escorts as if it were “role-play porn” on any regular adult site, as any normal guy would do. The male imagination being the largest sexual organ of all, he just liked to imagine the scenario, nothing more. Yes, a real argument he used to defend this behavior. “All men were like this.” How naive of me. Again, I had never dealt with this type of thing, so I went along with it, even though it screamed bullshit. And it was.
Red flags had been glaring for too long. We always fought about trust and his women friends because he would make comments about them or throw them in my face. I could never tell who he had slept with or not which bothered me because he was always weirdly friendly, even his ex admitted to having trouble with that. Something was not right, you could feel it. Once when my brother was visiting, he accidentally saw Rey checking out an older ‘masseuse’ online before clicking away. The same one whose number I would later find saved in his phone and history, sparking an entire investigation on my part. After such, I would never be able to look at him the same. I still don’t. In his emails I unfortunately, discovered that he had been cheating on his exes and ordering prostitutes for years. Again he denied following through, but old iMessages, emails, and contacts show otherwise. I felt like he was living a double life. I found numerous escort appointment inquiries over work trips, even some from the nights he was waiting to meet me for the first time in LA. Sexual messages between the assistant at his previous employer he later claimed was only to get the job, being why he hid it. The dialogue was sickening; I had never seen such disgusting and immoral conversations designed to be kept a secret.
When I finally confronted him on all this, he told me that it was in his past but was a “necessary evil.” He talked about how he had to be this person for everyone else, or his career would have never made it as far as it did. He blamed his abusive and not at all once-in-a-lifetime job at PlayStation for this. Within his excuse, he would tell me stories about how the Boy’s Club of PlayStation executives went out to strip clubs, partying on drugs and cheating with escorts together like it was a fraternity he had to pledge into to keep his appearances up. He said there was a lot behind the scenes I would never understand. On top of numerous secret accounts, he had a $99/month membership to a premium escort database website called Preferred411.com that gives you a secret code to verify your legitimacy and client reviews to escorts. He eventually admitted he only ever paid for sex a few times as a novelty during his PlayStation days, but that confession came after accusing me of being insanely insecure and mistrustful for months. Pulling the truth out of him was the most grueling process, and even then, I could never be sure that what I was given was real. I still don’t entirely know what to believe, but I know what I’ve seen.
One of our biggest fights happened right before the #MeToo accusations when a current client of his said they needed him to come to San Francisco over the weekend. He was ecstatic, and I was genuinely happy for him. I made sure to express that clearly since the idea of him traveling alone was a touchy subject for us due to his past. Wanting to address the elephant in the room, I calmly brought up that I was worried he would fall into old habits with escorts since that city was his playground. Instead of merely discussing this like adults, he gets dramatically angry that I would accuse him of such things again; especially when he’s celebrating his good news. I always ruined his moment. He lectured then flared up on me, then stormed out for a bar. You would think that in an argument over trust, one wouldn’t go out and do exactly what they called you crazy for accusing them of, but logic had no home here. I let him leave and have his space which he then started spamming my texts with how much he hated me and what I do to him.
A few hours pass and I Facetime him worried. He answers visibly drunk and I can see a pole in the background. I ask if he’s at a strip club and he freaks out over the phone calling me an insecure psycho for even thinking that, of course he’s not, am I insane?! Laughing at me calling me names. He hangs up and calls back soon after. Only this time he’s crying and begging for my help. He had no idea what happened, but he got jumped and thrown out of “somewhere” and can barely move his face. I picked him up and took care of him, only to be accused of causing the whole incident because I called him and must have made him angry, it was the last thing he remembered. He would later post a photo of his battle wounds to social media as if he were the victim and cursed Tulsa for being such a pile of shit.
Murder Palace: My Hell
When we first met I moved from Oklahoma into his studio apartment in San Francisco, thinking that we would start our life together and a joint vision of creative success. Being without employment in SF we agreed that I would help make content for his “media” company, for free and he would keep paying rent. He got up every morning to trek down the street to his then-job at a well-known video membership platform company, leaving me home all day to do his bidding. If I wasn’t up and taking care of things by his first break, meaning housewife duties and coming up with bullshit for his brand — he got weird about it. If the dishes weren’t done or I didn’t have some sort of progress report when he got home, he got weird about it. I didn’t realize how much he would put upon my shoulders and then routinely bring me down for, as a result. I didn’t realize this was a form of control.
My anxiety would spike throughout the day, never knowing when he was coming home, but knowing he expected me to be hard at work. Sometimes I would hear the hallway elevator open, and my heart would jump into my throat thinking it was him. I had to gather my thoughts. What had I done today that was productive? Probably unnecessary, but after so many fights, I had become a nervous wreck. Some days I would wake up and have no idea what I should be doing. I felt so anxious that I had to calm myself down before I could even think. Then when he came home, no matter what I was doing, I sat and listened to him rant and devise his evil master plans to take over the world. No one could stop him now that he had me, I was to become his anti-everything. The way he pitched it to me honestly sounded enticing, like a drug dealer selling you the best high of your life. But he had so many descriptions for what he wanted me to be, almost as if he were casting me rather than dating me. Maybe he was using me as his catalyst for getting back at all those who ever wronged or doubted him.
He wanted me to write a vlog series for Murder Palace, so I tried. He loved my style of writing and said to make it my own over our past footage, so I did. My own version of those stories weren’t enough, meaning they weren’t edgy enough to fit with Murder Palace. I spent weeks editing single vlog scripts or redoing voiceovers to fit his vision, usually turning into a malicious way of nodding to his own past and hatred towards the industry. He would break things and throw equipment around the room if I had taken too long or couldn’t get it right. My service as his catalyst became more obvious as he nitpicked my work to insert his vision, blaming me for frustrations. Nothing was ever good enough. He was impossible.
I realized too late that ‘Murder Palace’ and ‘The Crown Killer’ were catalysts for his darkness. It’s when I stopped catering to the vision and started seeing the truth that things got worse. I began to feel this internal eye-roll any time I heard the words ‘Murder Palace.’ I didn’t want to do a damned thing for it after what I had been through, and I had lost all respect for it. I saw it as a projection of his false ego. But I still supported him, regardless of how fake and harmful it was to me, because I loved him, and because I was still so lost within his brainwashed fantasies. It didn’t help that all of our friends or supporters online had no idea of the truth behind it all. To them, it looked and sounded so cool, whatever “it” was. It drove me to insanity.
Watching our relationship crumble over a ‘brand’, and I lost interest in his grand plans. I was depressed. I stopped being myself. I got sick. I quit hobbies. I lost half of my weight. I was a shell of my former self. He began to constantly berate me for being lazy or threw my ADHD in my face. He frequently told me that I needed to die or kill myself for being so worthless. He would stand in front of me yelling, asking if I had a severe mental handicap or disability, offering to call my mother and discuss the history of my mental health. I would have to audibly answer his question and tell him that no, I was sane and functioning, apologizing that I would do better. I became somewhat of a mental hypochondriac reading up on different disorders to figure out why I was this way — a cruel hamster wheel of mental agony. ‘Without me, Murder Palace would be huge by now.’
He would always tell me that I should be grateful of how many chances he gives me because any other ‘professional boss’ would’ve fired me long ago. I would never make it in the real world, I would be laughed at by anyone else. No other man nor job would put up with me and do what he does for me. He’d dare me to try and I’d say ok… but when I had actual paying opportunities that didn’t come through him, remote that I could do in our studio, it either was ‘too normal’ to be worth my time or caused a huge spat because it was entirely disrespectful of me to work with anyone else when I wouldn’t do the same for him. After all he’s fought me over and taught me! He ‘discovered me’, and my voice and look was his. It was tied to MP and he didn’t want me using my voice for anything other than his brand. Regardless of the fact that he was grilling me about working and doing my own thing, I could not use any of the equipment he bought for Murder Palace to work on other things. He would also try to threaten me by claiming he was looking for ‘my replacement’ since I didn’t want to do anything for MP. Something he constantly used against me. This was a very effective method of manipulating me into doing whatever the hell he wanted. I felt stuck so I stayed that way.
I will say that I would have never had a lot of the opportunities I had without him, despite how they transpired. He pushed my writing, voice overs and on camera work to his clients helping me get out there. But it had to be under his direction, and no one knows what hell went on behind the scenes of most projects and sets.
A lot of the time Rey was behind the camera hurling obscenities and insults at me. Throwing spiteful things in my face to get a reaction since I had no energy after he had sucked it out of the room with his attitude. A lot of them I was fighting tears back just wanting to get it over with and arguing with him between takes.
It didn’t matter what time we began, as soon as he started setting up equipment the energy shifted. He threw tantrums about having to set up by himself but didn’t want my help, he just shouldn’t be doing this, he should have a crew. By the time he was ready for me he was usually in such a sour mood that it was hard to focus, harder to work with. He blamed it all on me and all of the usual things. Even outside of work I was on constant eggshells around him. He could exhale and my skin would jump thinking he sighed because of something I did wrong. I was constantly on high alert over his moods. I tried my best to stay upbeat on camera but it felt like having a huge smile across my face at a funeral. He always said I was in training, like he was my bootcamp. He was my drill sergeant and this was going to be how he would turn me into a warrior. He would mock me for being too sensitive and weak if I broke down. And if I wanted to walk away or quit? Well we would be breaking up of course, he’d send me back to my Mother and he would find a replacement. He would tease me about adding it to the list of all my failures.
My biggest failure being Destructoid & a show called NintendoPro. I originally wrote this in detail but it’s just more insanity, proof speaks more than I could. In short I went through hell and back trying to work with Rey on numerous things which normally resulted in episodes of rage. Explosive fights, psychotic mannerisms, downright evil and sadistic behavior. He claimed that nothing could work with me because I was lazy or had mental problems. In reality, nothing could work due to his ego and power trips over Murder Palace. We could not work together but it was always all because of me. I have audio of him screaming at me over edits while telling me what a pathetic piece of shit I am.
The insanity went on within pretty much everything; Power Rangers & Destructoid most prominently. But I endured that attitude within any project. There was a period of time in late 2017 where he was at at his desk doing lines of coke or acid and drinking all day editing and plotting Murder Palace branding things all over social media. I couldn’t say anything because he would claim it was work, even things like ‘networking’ with random girls all over local Facebook that would fit the brand and represent. Much like how he later claimed the escorts were a form of therapy, or tried starting an X-Rated brand behind my back that he used to flirt with old friends claiming it was marketing work. Hyped up on whatever, he would sit there scheming within this little world, reaching out to all his former industry connections and try to form the master plan and recruit artists into the Murder Palace cult. He would reach out for help blaming his lack of direction or progress on me and the fact that I was sick or lazy. They would give him advice as if that were true and he would take it as if he were not the problem at all. He claimed by doing this he was trying to make it as easy as possible for me. He would hide secret accounts “for work” and then say he didn’t tell me about them because I’m psychotic and wouldn’t understand.
I only wish people would have understood that it was never me. It was never fair that I seemed like the issue to everyone we came in contact with.
Looking back on all of this, the escorts, the lying, the gaslighting, the physical and mental anguish he put me and so many others through, it has become clear that this is how he has and will continue to achieve the things he envisions. No one can stand in his way, and no one can convince him that he is wrong. Without going into any more detail of the people and companies involved, I can say with confidence that the impact of his lies, manipulation, and affairs runs deeper than I can explain here. If you know Rey, you’ve probably been woven into a masterful plan of deceit.
So why am I reliving all of this — writing it out for all to read? It didn’t have to happen this way. I never wanted this story to be a reality, as many times as I’ve typed it in my head. Because to me, sharing it means finally putting it all away. Finally sharing my reason for a lot of things I’ve done out of character. Finally being free to start my life over again. I didn’t understand what that meant before for other victims. As I’ve sat with this on my conscious for over a year, I finally do.
Coming out with this is my ultimate source of accountability, but it has not been easy. Apart from needing to get this out, I can’t help but look back on good days and feel wrong for only sharing the bad. I still struggle with knowing if I’m in the wrong or not. I question even sharing this, as if I’m airing out dirty laundry, spilling too many secrets — like I’m hurting someone. The mental and emotional chains are still holding me back from healing, sadly I know in my heart that he will never take responsibility for himself nor change his ways on his own. He still does not understand the gravity of what he did to me, but I pray that this is the beginning.
I hope that any responsibilities he may face due to these truths genuinely open his eyes to his wrongs once and for all. I strongly discourage anyone from supporting Murder Palace as it nearly cost me my life and represents the darkness of someone that ultimately, needs help.
Someone that ultimately needs to face a necessary evil.