It seems every week a new “social experiment” video seems to go viral. Last week it was the video “Drunk Girl in Public,” which purportedly documented an intoxicated woman walking up and down Hollywood Boulevard being taken advantage of by predatory men. The video garnered over 11.5 million views and was sold to the public as a cautionary tale.
But it was a fake.
The “drunk girl” actress and the “predatory” men came forward saying they were paid actors who thought they were filming a funny parody video a la College Humor. The creator of the video, Stephen Zhang, was discovered to be a viral marketer, and has since made the video private and deleted his personal Facebook page following the media backlash.
Jennifer Box, star of “Drunk Girl in Public” posted a heartfelt YouTube video explaining the video was entirely staged, and never knew it would portray the actors approaching her as predators.
“I never meant for the video portraying these guys as they did," she explained tod FOX411. "It was supposed to be a light-hearted prank show and all of these people are calling these guys rapists, and they were all nice people. None of them deserve the backlash they received. The men were actors. We all signed video releases.”
Box, 24, said the video’s producer Seth Leach and cameraman Chris Olmedo were independent contracts hired by Zhang and never worked with him before.
“I don’t believe Seth [Leach] knew what kind of video it was going to be," she said. "He called me a few days ago a little upset and apologized.”
However, The Smoking Gun reports that Leach messaged Mike “Mokii” Koshak privately on Facebook saying, “Totally cool you’re telling people we came up to you and you acted the part. This video is going to get you well known and have a future with us and our company.”
Leach reportedly continued: “We are going to be huge and you are a part of it. Just go with it dude, you are in our team now and we will take care of you.”
According to The Smoking Gun, on November 12, Leach posted a Facebook message tagging Box, Zhang, Olmedo’s personal Facebook pages and captioning them the “dream team.”
Leach no longer has a publicly visible Facebook page.
As to those accusing the model of being in on the act? “No one was paid except for me," she said. "I was paid $160 before we even started shooting. I’m just a random actress.”
Although Box has received hate mail online, she says the attention has been bittersweet.
“On one side it’s good for the publicity, and on the other side I have all this hate mail. Someone said she hopes I become so broke I become a hooker. I stayed in my living room all weekend because I was scared if I went to clubs that I would have paparazzi and feminists going after me.”
Box hopes the creators of the “Drunk Girl in Public” come forward to apologize and admit they hired actors.
“These men should not be portrayed as rapists," she said.
FOX411 reached out to Zhang, Olmedo, Leach and Koshak but did not receive comment in time for publication.
Fox News.com Reporter and FOX411 host Diana Falzone covers celebrity news and interviews some of today's top celebrities and newsmakers. You can follow her on Twitter @dianafalzone.