Popular transgender beauty influencer Nikita Dragun has been released from jail after she was arrested following an altercation at a Miami hotel pool, Rolling Stone has confirmed. Police were called to the Goodtime Hotel in Miami Beach after reports that Dragun was acting in a disorderly fashion. She was arrested and charged with one count of felony battery, disorderly conduct, and misdemeanor battery. But according to documents reviewed by Rolling Stone, the influencer — who has spent much of her online career openly discussing her male-to-female transition and is now legally female — was listed as a male on her booking paperwork. And in hearing Wednesday morning before her release, Dragun said she was being in a men’s unit and requested to be moved.
“Do I have to stay here in the men’s unit still?” she asks in a video of the hearing that began circulating online, appearing emotional. Judge Mindy Glazer told Dragun that she “didn’t make the rules” but said accommodations, like a separate area, could be made. (It is unclear if said accommodations were made before her release.)
“The situation with Nikita, who is legally female, being placed in a men’s unit of a Florida jail is extremely disturbing and dangerous,” Dragun’s rep tells Rolling Stone. “This decision made by the Miami-Dade County Corrections Department directly violates their protocol, which mandates that transgender inmates are classified and housed based on safety needs and gender identity.”
“Nikita has been released and is now safe. Thank you for respecting her privacy during this time,” the rep added.
Bur According to a statement given to NBC Miami, Miami-Dade Corrections has denied Dragun was ever placed in a men’s unit.
“Inmate Dragun never made it beyond the booking process prior to release; therefore, she was never placed in a men’s unit,” corrections spokesperson Juan Diasgranados said. “All inmates undergoing our intake process remain in an open seating (open booking) area, in the presence of correctional staff.
And following her arrest, Dragun’s rep told TMZ that the influencer is seeking mental health treatment. “We want to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support for Nikita during this time. She is in a safe environment addressing her mental health. We ask for continued respect for her privacy and the sensitivity of this matter as she seeks treatment and healing.”
A popular influencer who starred in the Netflix reality television series Hype House, Dragun has 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube, 9 million Instagram followers, and 14.6 million followers on TikTok. While best known for her makeup and fashion content, Dragun grew in popularity for her videos about the transgender experience. In 2018, she publically announced she was taking hormone replacements as part of her transition and has continued to document her transition and life as a woman on her YouTube channel.
Prison reform groups have found that transgender inmates housed in prisons that are in line with their gender identity can often be the target of increased physical or sexual violence. According to Florida law, transgender inmates are allowed to be placed in gender-specific prisons on a case-by-case basis, and while they’re legally afforded the same rights as other inmates, reports have found that transgender convicts in Florida can face increased discrimination for their orientation.
“Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (MDCR) is committed to protecting the rights of the transgender community and of all LGBTQ people,” Diasgranados added. “MDCR has procedures in place for the appropriate intake, housing, and medical needs of transgender inmates, and we are committed to ensuring that all inmates in our custody, including transgender persons, are treated appropriately throughout our intake, classification and placement process.”
Dragun’s arrest and subsequent jail time comes shortly after the influencer revealed in May that she had been placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold after being picked up by police. Dragun has also been vocal about her diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
‘Something that even I had to learn about being bipolar is it’s not what you see in movies and it’s not what you see on TV,” she told Yahoo Life in June. “It’s not that you’re flipping through emotions in every single second, and you’re just a bunch of different personalities. [There are] longer periods of times of ups and downs and mania and depression. And it’s a whirlwind to be inside of and to experience.”
According to public court records, Dragun was released on no bond. Her next court date is scheduled for December.