The untold truth of Erika Costell

If you've been on the internet at all in the last three years, you've probably heard of Team 10. For those who are still struggling with dial-up, Team 10 is a group of YouTubers led by Jake Paul who mostly all live in the same house and perform chaotic pranks for AdSense money (and to sell that sweet, sweet YouTube merch). What you might not know is that this crew of headline-grabbing young millionaires wouldn't be possible without Erika Costell.

Costell first made a name for herself as Paul's "girlfriend," but before that, she was handling the nitty gritty stuff behind-the-scenes. Today, you might know her for her cheeky YouTube singles (see "Karma's" lyrics: "I don't have to be a b***h, I know karma's gonna deal with it") or the fact that she's somehow still sucked into Team 10 drama even after attempting to remove herself.

Though she seems like an open book to her fans, there's a whole lesser-known story about how she went from Team 10 den mother to star YouTuber in her own right. This is the untold truth of Erika Costell. 

Erika Costell was a cheerleader before she was a model

Erika Costell wasn't always a model, though she did want to be one from a young age. She also had a lot of other interests, including football. That's right, the model is a total tomboy. According to the YouTube channel Before They Were Famous, the star originally wanted to join her school's football team, but her dad wouldn't let her. Instead, she became a cheerleader, but this was no average squad. It was something straight out of Bring It On. Costell ended up competing with her cheer squad for years, traveling across the country, and even winning some National Championships.

During her later high school years, Costell briefly considered a career wildly different to YouTube. She wanted to become a cop, but instead she decided to take the leap and become a model. According to The Gazette Review, the star signed with her first modeling agency when she was 16 years old. She's been represented by both Wilhelmina International and the DAN Talent Group. In a YouTube video, she opened up about her unusual career trajectory. She claimed she "never once planned on pursuing social media as an actual career," but thankfully, life happens when you're not planning for it.

Erika Costell was absolutely broke when she met Jake Paul

Erika Costell's path to fame wasn't easy. In fact, it's not clear what would have happened to the star's career if she never crossed paths with Jake Paul. According to the YouTube channel Before They Were Famous, Costell left Middle Tennessee State University, where she was studying business administration, and started hyper-focusing on modeling. She also served as an extra in the TV drama Nashville, but found it harder and harder to get opportunities when she moved to Los Angeles and signed with Wilhelmina. 

In a YouTube video, Costell admitted that acne almost ruined her modeling career. "I literally remember like going into my agency. My agent was like 'I can't send you to this casting, like, your face just looks, like, angry' and it was. It was so red. It was inflamed, and it was like zits that you couldn't even really pick at. They were just there. I remember just leaving my agency, like, so embarrassed," she said.

Before They Were Famous reports that the star was racking up debt in L.A. and "sleeping in a living room she found on Craigslist." Honestly, as hectic as it sounds, it was still was probably less hectic than the Team 10 HQ. Nonetheless, at one of her lowest points, she had just $7 to her name, but she crossed paths with Paul shortly after, who was looking for an assistant.

Erika Costell was Team 10's first employee

Erika Costell might have eventually become Jake Paul's girlfriend, but she was also the first employee of Team 10. This made her responsible for a fair amount of the group's success, despite not initially having a YouTube channel of her own. Remember: this tough as nails gal went to college for business.

Anyone who's watched Shane Dawson's documentary series on Paul knows that Costell took care of a lot in the Team 10 household. This likely includes overseeing that time Jake's brother Logan lit a bunch of stuff on fire in their backyard, and standing by Paul's side when he was fired from the Disney Channel for doing stuff like letting his brother light a bunch of things on fire in his backyard.

In a 2017 interview with HollywoodLife, the YouTube sensation opened up about her role in Paul's tightly knit circle of multi-millionaire YouTubers. "I helped everybody grow, and I've been the mom of the group, and now I'm still involved in the business side but it's great, everyone's been so supportive," she said.

Erika Costell got a million subscribers overnight

Jake Paul and Erica Costell aka "Jerika" were going strong by the time Costell launched her own YouTube channel in June 2017 (though whether or not the relationship was real at that point was totally up for debate). The star managed to somehow, inexplicably, rack up one million subscribers overnight after Paul gave her channel a shout-out. That's all it takes — one shout out. If it were any other YouTuber, we'd probably think they bought their followers. The instant fame made her nervous, but she managed to somehow overcome it (we're sure buying a souped up, $45,000 Jeep helped ease her nerves just a little).

In an interview with HollywoodLife, Costell spoke about getting a million subscribers in 24 hours. "Honestly the craziest thing that has ever happened to me, I was not expecting that at all. We estimated 150,000 subscribers in the first week. Then I hit a million and I'm like... okay! It was a little nerve-racking because I've never done vlogs before," she said.

Costell's first video addressed dating speculation with her then-BFF Tessa Brooks. Her second followed her fake wedding with Paul. Clearly, she knows how to craft some clickbait (even if it's labeled "not clickbait"). As of this writing, Brooks and Costell don't seem to be as close, but who needs a BFF when you've got more than 4.6 million subscribers?

Are they or aren't they?

Jerika has always been a mystery. The couple's entire relationship was always a dance of are they or aren't they, and, real or not, they so popular on YouTube that their single "Jerika" actually hit the Billboard Hot 100. Even more impressive? They did it without a major label or any label at all. It's since been streamed on YouTube more than 55 million times, which means 55 million people were subjected to Jake Paul's rapping skills, or one person who just likes the song that much.

Though Jerika presented as a solid unit, Paul opened up about their relationship to The New York Timesand basically said everything was for clicks. "We're not even actually dating," he told the outlet, adding, "It's like the WWE. People know that's fake, and it's one of the biggest things of entertainment." How romantic!

That wedding that drew more than 32 million streams was also staged, which at this point seems like Paul's signature move considering he essentially repeated the move with another YouTuber, Tana Mongeau. Yet, somehow, things between Costell and Paul did actually become real. According to Just Jared Jr., the controversial YouTube star actually asked Costell to be his real girlfriend in 2018.

Jake Paul claimed Jerika was 'toxic'

Thankfully fake weddings don't need real divorces because splitting up all of Team 10's assets would be a nightmare for Paul, who ended up announcing his split from Costell in late 2019. Though Newsweek questioned whether fellow YouTuber Shane Dawson's documentary might have had something to do with the break up, Paul opened up about the alleged dark nature of their not-so-sacred union.

"Like I said, it turned into this, like, downward spiral where we were just like super, super toxic for each other," he admitted in a episode one of his Uncut series explaining his split. "And we, like, know everything about each other, and, like, we know how to hurt each other, and it's so sad that it got to that point but it did."

In the second episode of Jake Paul's Uncut series, the star tried to pinpoint where his problems with Costell began. It allegedly boiled down to a trip in Greece, which J-14 points out the stars seemed excited for during Dawson's documentary series. Apparently, they argued like crazy and Paul struggled to find a resolution. Jerika is no more, but will probably infest the internet forever like a bad case of bedbugs. Paul has since moved on with fellow YouTuber Tana Mongeau, though according to Peopleit's not clear if they've consummated their fake marriage.

Did Erika Costell actually like Jake Paul?

Fellow YouTuber and Jake Paul ex Alissa Violet has a complicated relationship with Erika Costell, so it's hard to tell if her dramatic slights against the model are truthful or just mean-spirited gossip. In a video that Seventeen claims was meant to refute Team 10's allegations that FaZe Banks, another YouTuber, assaulted one of their assistants at a nightclub, Violet admitted that Costell absolutely couldn't stand her alleged boyfriend, Jake Paul, at least at one point.

"She would come into my room all the time and slam my door shut and be like, 'I cannot deal with Jake right now, dude. He's the most sexist, racist, homophobe,'" Violet said in a YouTube video. "She would have to leave the office."

Honestly, this is so messy it has us longing for the days where people would just talk trash on MySpace walls rather than blast it out to millions of subscribers in a carefully calculated video while hawking their merch. At the heart of it, Costell claimed the internet blew her feud with Violet out of proportion; however, it's not clear if she actually harbored bad feelings towards Paul. There is, after all, a fine line between love and hate.

Is Erika Costell doing a revenge collab?

Watching a YouTube revenge plot play out is one of the few things up there with prime entertainment like Love Island and Bachelor In Paradise. It's hard to look away even if you're constantly muttering to yourself, "...But why?" In 2019, Erika Costell took petty to a whole new level when she hinted at plans to collaborate with Logan and Jake Paul's online nemesis KSI.

According to Dexerto, the UK-based YouTuber has a long-standing feud with the Paul brothers (which puts him in the same camp as the Disney channel, the people of Japan, KTLA field reporters, their neighbors, and probably a lot of parents of young "Paulers"). Nonetheless, Costell "lowkey" announced on Twitter that she was interested in linking up with KSI. Fans also noticed that KSI followed Costell on Instagram in November 2018, prompting some rumors that the pair was dating. 

As of this writing, no collaboration has actually been released to the public, but it would certainly be the chaotic kind of petty that makes the world of Team 10 a multi-million dollar enterprise. Not to mention, Logan and KSI's feud led to a Pay Per View boxing match that, according to Forbes, raked in around $10 million from streams alone. With the rematch set for November 2019, it's hard to imagine Costell not being involved.

Erika Costell has a brand new crush

Erika Costell's breakup with Jake Paul was unbelievably public — it was pretty much a global event. Not only was it garnering headlines in U.S.-based publications like Newsweek, but the story graced the British tabloids and the BBC, alike. Honestly, the UN should consider hiring these guys for their next climate change summit if they're really looking for press. 

This time around, Costell has remained tight-lipped about any new romances, but she is apparently in the early stages of a new relationship (though she's hesitant to put a label on it because she doesn't like labels). In a YouTube video, the model admitted that she's living her life for herself at the moment, and putting her career first, but there is someone sitting around on the sidelines. "Dating in LA is hard, and dating with the way I live my life is even harder," she said, adding, "I'm not going to say too much. I'm not like 'official' in anything, but I definitely have my eyes on somebody."

Now that both Paul and Costell have moved on, is there a chance for — at the very least — a friends reunion? Not if Tana Mongeau has anything to do with it.

Erika Costell had a Panera reunion with Jake Paul

Though Jake Paul described his relationship with Erika Costell as toxic, it appears the pair have at least mended some bridges over bread bowls and half-sandwiches. The former flames were reportedly spotted out together at Panera in the summer of 2019 — and Tana Mongeau was not thrilled that her fake husband was hanging out with his fake ex-wife.

Following her wedding, Mongeau hasn't spent a lot of time with Paul due to some family emergencies. Her grandmother died, and she was forced to go back to Las Vegas. During that time, she found out from Twitter that her YouTube husband was hanging around Costell, according to Insider. Fans even pointed out that the model was hanging out with her ex at a birthday party that same weekend. Mongeau posted the tweet "lmao wtf" as a response, then took to Instagram to do a spiteful parody of Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next."

"Thought I'd end up with Bella / Yet it wasn't a match / Wrote some songs about Hunter / Now I listen and laugh / Even actually got married / And for Jake I'm so thankful / Except when he goes out to lunch with his ex / And I find out on Twitter," she sang (via Insider).

Let's be clear, Mongeau might have been a little peeved at Costell, but she was laughing through her song. Is a brand new throuple on the horizon for Mongeau?

Erika Costell is seriously obsessed with goats

Casual fans of Erika Costell might not know that the model has a serious obsession with goats. We get it: they're cute; they jump around; and they  sometimes faint when startled. The YouTube compilations of goats yelling like humans are a form of entertainment so spectacular it could have only been crafted by the heavens themselves — but, like, why is Costell so wholesomely obsessed?

In a YouTube video, Costell explained her unbridled obsession. She had a pet goat when she was around 12 years old, and the lifelong love stuck with her forever. "I loved this goat so much. His name was Twinkle Buddy ... Twinkle Buddy was my favorite, and he actually died unexpectedly. I've been obsessed with goats my entire life," she said.

In that same video, Costell also points out that GOAT means greatest of all time, which is — as she puts it — "dope." It's so dope that the model has two tattoos with the words "goat," according to Steal Her StyleOne is on her wrist and one is on the inside of her lip. To be fair, they are a tiny bit different: one is lowercase, and one is all caps (basically, they're the same tattoo).

Erica Costell tried to get her Team 10 tattoo removed

Erika Costell has around eight tattoos at the time of this writing, but it's a little hard to keep track of them, especially because they're so small and ever-changing. In 2018, the YouTube star decided to get rid of one of her most meaningful tattoos: the little roman numeral meant to represent Team 10. 

There's a lot of room for drama considering Costell split from Team 10 (after essentially helping found it) and had a very dramatic breakup with Jake Paul. As the queen of clickbait, she used this to her advantage when uploading a video called "The reason I'm getting my Team 10 tattoo removed ..." Sadly, for those of us who like to watch random spats between YouTubers like it's an episode of Bad Girls Club, there was not a stitch of tea. 

"The only reason for this is because the guy who did my tattoo completely screwed it up. It's uneven. The color is ugly. It was just a total fail ... That's my seventh tattoo — I've had no problems with any other tattoos, and I just can't get used to this one. I hate it; it was poorly done," she said.

Unfortunately, Costell couldn't get the tattoo removed that day. The laser clinic only had machines that handled black ink, and if she tried to remove it, it may have changed colors or caused scarring.