Anatomy of a Questionable YouTube Engagement: The Tangled Romantic Worlds of Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau

The vlog stars say they're engaged after a couple months of dating: fans are cyber-cheering, skeptics (and jewelers) have their doubts

By Natalie Finn Jun 24, 2019 8:50 PMTags
Tana Mongeau, Jake Paul Drai’s Nightclub Las Vegas

Sure, why not?

Controversy-courting YouTube stars Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau claim to have emerged from a weekend in Las Vegas engaged, though they could just as easily not be.

Drai's Nightclub relayed the proposal details in a press release, showing that Jake brought Tana onstage and the video screens flashed, "Tana, will you marry me?" as he first presented her with a Ring Pop. She said yes, they kissed, the question was replaced by photos of the two of them and staffers brought up a three-tier cake with a topper in the shape of a big ring. By the time the couple returned to their table, according to Drai's, she was sporting a real ring. 

But though Tana, who was celebrating her 21st birthday in Sin City, flashed her big sparkly bauble on Instagram Story with the caption "i'm engaged @jakepaul," both online skeptics and a few jewelers are holding back on congratulating the couple on their betrothal.

YouTube Stars Jake Paul & Tana Mongeau Are Engaged

"Nothing is a sure thing without seeing the ring(s) up close, but everything about this little clip says 'fake,'" says Ira Weissman, founder of The Diamond Pro. "You can see the exaggerated sparkling light reflecting off of something in the bottom right of the frame in the beginning of the clip. This is exactly what you would want to use to try to enhance the sparkle of a simulated diamond to make it look like the real thing.

"Plus, the glassy look of the very large center stone as it's brought closer to the camera also points heavily towards it being a cubic zirconia."

 Well, when is the sparkle not enhanced on social media?

A source also tells E! News that they're hearing the whole to-do is "100 percent fake."

Neither Tana nor Jake's rep has yet replied to requests for comment.

Jake tweeted moments ago, "I proposed."


It makes more sense if they aren't engaged after barely two months of dating, especially considering Mongeau's milestone birthday was being documented for MTV's No Filter: Tana Turns 21, but more shocking things have happened, on YouTube and off.

Tana started making a name for herself years ago with her "storytime" videos but has really burst into the on-and-offline consciousness in recent months thanks to a high-profile relationship with Bella Thorne

She and Thorne broke up in February after over a year of dating, the Insta personality and the actress having first indicated their more-than-friends status in the fall of 2017, when Mongeau tweeted, "I want to date Bella Thorne next," and two weeks later, after they met at the Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival in Vegas, shared a pic of them kissing on Instagram.

Mongeau marked a year together in September 2018, writing on Instagram, "It's so crazy to me how fast a year can fly by when you're surrounded by love you never thought was possible. what started with a viral kissing pic turned to you being the love of my feels like just yesterday I was drunkenly bothering you at life is beautiful. thanks for wanting me to stick around and bother you endlessly."

Thorne had acknowledged in September 2016 that she considers herself bisexual and Mongeau seems to go where the love is as well.

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"I just love who I want to love," Mongeau said in a YouTube video in January. "If you want to call that pansexuality, you can call me pansexual...I think people need like a box to put people in to feel OK but I'm just not like that. I don't need a box, I don't give a f--k. I'm just me."

She continued, "I'm going to love who I want to love and I'm going to do what I want to do and I don't give a f--k who doesn't like it. If people can't accept that, then that's on them."

Both ladies also were frank about their unconventional relationship: Thorne was dating rapper Mod Sun (real name Derek Smith) when she got together with Mongeau, and by the beginning of this year Mongeau was also dating Brad Sousa.

"It's still very, very, new," she shared in January. "I'm in this new thing with this awesome person. He's so sweet and he makes me feel those childish butterflies."

Instagram/Hunter Moreno

Talking to Gay Times for its February 2019 issue, Thorne said (per Just Jared), "I don't think anybody will really understand the bonds that I share with Mod or Tana. Yeah, we joke around about poly, but we aren't in the sense that we don't put a word, a box or label too many things. It is what it is."

Alas, what it was a few weeks later was over.

"Tana and I aren't together anymore, pls stop asking. We love U guys," Thorne tweeted in late February.

Mongeau chimed in, tweeting, "i love her forever don't get that twisted. she changed my life forever. don't rly wanna talk on it.. there's no negativity at all." When a fan tweeted, "love you both as long as you're happy," Tana acknowledged, "i'm not fully. this obviously breaks my heart. i will be though. as long as she is."

Meanwhile, she was still dating Sousa, apparently up until April when she posted a video titled "i got cheated on but that's ok" on YouTube.

"this is how many people want you to NOT get back together with Brad," wrote commenter john paul, emoji-pointing to the (as of now) 6,500 likes his comment ended up receiving.

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Sousa took to YouTube to respond to Tana's lament a few days later.

"There was a little bit of over-exaggeration to some of it," he said, "but I mean, what she was going through and what I have done...I don't blame her for speaking just her mind and her truth—and her heart, to be honest with you."

"Coachella weekend was very bad," he admitted. "Both weekends. People have it twisted, saying that I cheated on her during the weekends, that's not true. That did not happen. I never physically touched another girl during our relationship, ever. I did Snapchat a few girls from back home, and they did send me nudes. And I replied...I was drunk, stupid, didn't realize what was going on. Regardless, I'm an idiot."

It's all very agonizing.

Then, in a video posted just last month, Mongeau retroactively inserted herself into the at-the-time very compelling and very short relationship enjoyed by her ex Lil Xan and Noah Cyrus, who broke up in September.

Tana mused (for about 40 minutes) about seeing the couple at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards in August.

"I hear from a bunch of other people that [Noah] just, like, hates me," she said. "It hurt. It still hurts."

At the VMAs, "I turn to see Lil Xan beelining toward me. And I see, out of my peripheral, a very, very unhappy Noah Cyrus walking up to us. And I'm standing there...and she looks at me and it's just this awkward-ass silence. … She just looks so f--king unhappy that she even had to, like, walk up to us."

"She looks at me up and down and goes, 'Nice to meet you,' … and just, like, shoulder-checks my ass."

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All of which came as a surprise to Cyrus, who got word of her mentions seemingly within minutes and replied on Twitter, "lol this is hilarious i deff dont hate you and for sure turned the opposite direction of you no shoulder check. lets hangout and talk about how bitchy girls are to other girls @tanamongeau dm me."

Predictions poured in about how Tana must be freaking out (in a good way) over Cyrus' tweet, and sure enough, she replied, "Omg. wow. love u. love this. wow. girls sticking together."

Anyway, also for the last couple months, Mongeau and Jake Paul had been showing up in YouTube videos together, often looking amorous, but they at first insisted they were just friends.

Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

"I think it's always fun to poke fun at how crazy the Internet can be," Mongeau said at the end of her April 30 "Mukbang in Bed With My Rebound Jake Paul" video, which they spent eating and chatting while sitting on his bed, two days after the video in which she talked about being cheated on. "It's like, they see one Snapchat of me somewhere, and like we're automatically f--king and secretly dating and whatever... and people's interpretations and ideas of people from what they are on the Internet isn't always, like, all of what they are. Sometimes it's only sides of them and stuff, but I think...

"I'm just trying to get savage Tana back...I'm single and I'm trying to be a savage again. I don't know how it's working, going to go home and cry for a few hours for sure. I had fun, that's all I'm doing on this channel..."

On the same day, Paul, 22, posted a vlog called "here's the girl I've been hiding from you," in which he wears a t-shirt reading "I'm single" and says that he and Mongeau are "good friends." 

Despite all the crying wolf, Paul and Mongeau seemed to be legit dating—they were at least legit kissing—within days.

A couple weeks later, Sousa popped back into the picture in a video that he swore had nothing to do with Tana and solely to do with some beef he said was started by Paul.

"This guy is just trolling," Brad said. "He's messaging me, trying to make me jealous. Like, bro, I'm not here for no one. I'm glad, you guys be happy. I'm here because you started s--t with me." He said sure, he'd fight Paul, just say when, in the ring or the octagon.

Cut to a snippet of Tana sitting on Jake's lap in a video as Jake seemingly challenged Brad to some sort of rumble.

"I'll beat your ass, bro," Brad promised in his reply. "I really don't care." He claimed he'd been DMing Jake to try to set something up, but Jake only seemed to want to duke it out online.

Stewart Cook/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Paul, whose fame first sprouted on Vine back in 2013 along with his big brother Logan Paul, has had his own share of closely chronicled dating drama, most recently with YouTuber and model Erika Costell, who had a modest hit last year with her single "Jerika," featuring DJ Kade.

Their relationship came after they had a fake YouTube wedding that has been viewed by more than 32 million people, of course. Paul titled the June 2017 video, "WE ACTUALLY GOT MARRIED."

"We're not even actually dating," Paul clarified later that day. "It's like the WWE. People know that's fake, and it's one of the biggest things of entertainment." (None of the above has done much to go toward the legitimacy of Jake and Tana's engagement, we know.)

"I really think in the next six months, we can triple that, if not quadruple that," Jake told the New York Times in September 2017 after Team 10's subscriber base passed 80 million. "It's about coming together and pushing your boundaries every single day." Paul alone has upward of 19 million subscribers.

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He and Costell did eventually get together but Paul announced their breakup after about seven months on Twitter in November, writing that it was "the healthiest thing for both of us." 

She was a "beautiful soul," he said in a statement about the split, who "has helped me become a better person on so many levels."

True, neither would have wanted a back-and-forth like the one between Paul and ex Alissa Violet, a former member of his burgeoning Team 10 empire who he accused in 2017 of sleeping with Logan.

"This time Im not being silent... Alissa f*cked my brother... that's why i kicked her out...oopsie I just told them the truth.... Im done being the 'bad guy,'" Jake tweeted.

"Wait what hahahaha," Alissa tweeted in what appeared to be her reply.

Meanwhile, Alissa had already accused him of cheating. "He knew exactly what he was doing to me," she said in a vlog called "What You've Been Waiting For" in June. "He would play all these mind games. He would literally tell me he loved me one day, then tell me he hates my f--king guts the next day."

She then teamed with Logan for an in-no-uncertain-terms diss track called "The Second Verse," released that July.

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In November, in an episode of Jake Paul Uncut, Paul said that his and Costell's relationship had become "toxic" and "it's so sad that it got to that point, but it did."

In a Q&A just posted five days ago, Costell, asked if she was in a relationship or "talking to" anyone, she exclaimed, "You guys are literally detectives in my love life!" She took a breath, then explained, "Since my last relationship, I have wanted to keep my relationships and my love life private, at least in the beginning stages, but I've met some really cool people.

"Here's the thing," the "Thots Not Feelings" singer said. "Dating in L.A. is hard, and dating with the way I live my life is even harder. I really, really, really am selfish with my time. This is the only time in my life when I'm going to get to live for me and only me, and I don't feel bad about that." It was going to take a special person to take her away from that, she added, so, "I'm not going to say too much. I'm not like, 'official,' in anything, but...I definitely have my eyes on somebody. I hate putting labels on stuff right away. Every time I've 'fallen in love,' or gotten into a relationship, which I love, it's always just happened. And I don't care about labels at all, so...that's the first time I've talked about any boy tea. If something changes and I need to update you, I will."

So... she is talking to someone!

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As for Tana and Jake's big news, neither has taken to YouTube or Instagram or Twitter yet to share any more details, or proof.

At the end of May, the duo got matching tattoos. But just a couple weeks ago, Bella Thorne posted a screengrab of an apparent message exchange between her and Tana, with Bella asking if Tana was "tryin to hang" or "just saying hi for no reason other than saying hi." 

"When she's sooo confusing," Bella tweeted, punctuating her confusion with a slew of emojis.

Which Tana then retweeted, writing, "TAKE ME BACK how's that for not confusing?"

Earlier today on Instagram, Thorne posted one of their old romantic pics to wish her ex happy birthday. "Through thick and thin... I love you tana happy bday you beautiful beautiful special girl."

One of their many shippers replied, "THIS IS THE RELATIONSHIP WE NEED BUT YALL ARE PLAYING."

Drai’s Nightclub Las Vegas

That was June 5. On in a Team 10 Uncut video posted June 11, Jake flashed back to the start of the Jake-and-Tana era just last month, going back to the day Tana Snapchatted from his bed and then posted her own vlog about it, the one in which she stated that she thought it was fun to mess with perception on the Internet.

"I know Jake is going to say I'm doing this for clout, which is so f--king annoying," Tana says in the episode. "No, I came over to hang out, I looked cute, I took a Snapchat story. I'm sorry your f--king bed's famous."

Then Jake added, "I know she did this on purpose. She's not going to admit it. Tana did this on purpose." But he had nothing but respect for the move.

"I really like trolling the internet and this is a perfect example and way to do that, because it's just fun. It's somewhat real but at the same time just messing around with it, and I don't know, we'll see where it goes."

The two certainly seem adorably close, at least by social-media standards, but when pushing boundaries and messing with the rumor mill is part of their day to day, it's hard to tell just how serious they are.

"Whether or not Ms. Mongeau's engagement ring is real, a rectangular cushion-cut center stone is always an excellent choice!" jewelry and style expert Lauren McCawley tells E! News. The ring in question, however, resembles "a simulant (CZ) or a lab-created white sapphire, which retails around $200."

At least, without a doubt, Tana and Jake have found a kindred spirit in each other.

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