Embattled Republican Rep. George Santos, RN.Y., called claims that she played a drag queen “absolutely false.” His denial comes shortly after a Brazilian drag artist shared on social media a picture of himself and another man in drag, whom he identified as the newly elected congressman.
“The media’s recent obsession with ‘I was a drag queen or I played a drag queen’ is completely false,” said Santos, who has been making international headlines for weeks while building up parts of his resume. He tweeted that Thursday morning. “The media continues to make outrageous claims about my career as I work to deliver results.”
Last week, Brazilian drag artist Eula Rochard posted a picture on Facebook and Instagram of a man wearing a red feather dress, bright red lipstick and dangling chandelier earrings. Rochard, identified in the photo as Eula Roard, says the other person pulled over went by the stage name Kitara Ravachi and was actually Santos.
“I’m with the US Republican Congress that doesn’t leave my house,” Rochard wrote in Portuguese in a Facebook post. “Whoever said I was a liar, bite your tongue.”
NBC News did not independently verify the images posted on Rochard’s social media accounts, which he said first appeared in a Brazilian newspaper in 2008. As of Thursday afternoon, the images were widely circulated on social media and news websites.
Journalist João Fraga told NBC News that he interviewed Guitar Ravachi in an exchange. The image was captured on video.
Fraga confidently said that the person he interviewed was Santos and that he was the same person in the photos shared by Rochard. However, the journalist noted that this interview was carried out a long time ago.
During the interview, Fraga said the actor was “dropping the name” and trying to get media attention.
Rochard told NBC News that he met Santos in 2005 and last saw him in 2008 through Niterói’s gay community, but only knew him by his drag name Kitara Ravache and various combinations of the name Anthony (Santos Jorge. Anthony Devolder Santos, full name listed 2019 Central Election Commission Filing) Rochert said he saw a photo of Santos as a recently elected US congressman in a Brazilian news agency and recognized him. When asked why he decided to release the film, which he claims was of him and Santos, he said, “Because I wanted to.”
Rochard, who described himself as Brazil’s “RuPaul,” said he knew Santos when he was “coming up” in the drag world and that she was his mentor. He described her as having a “high sense of luxury” and said “he lied all the time”.
Rochard’s claims about Santos, who has positioned himself as a conservative Republican and aligned himself with some of the party’s most hard-right lawmakers, come as the GOP drags out a centuries-old art form. .
At least six states are considering bills that would bar minors from attending drag shows and seek to classify any business that hosts drag shows as a cabaret or “sex business.” NBC News Analysis New legislation targeting LGBTQ rights and queer life.
Legislation includes a Tennessee bill that would ban drag queens from playing on public or private property in the presence of a minor. If enacted, repeat offenders could be charged with up to six years in prison.
The anti-LGBTQ legislation coincides with recent far-right protests and threats toward drag events.
Last year, there were at least 141 protests and significant ones Threats targeting drag events In 48 states, According to LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD. A report by the Crowd Counting Consortium, a public interest and scholarly project that documents crowding and controversy in the U.S., found a steep increase in anti-LGBTQ protests over the past two years, with drag-related events a common target last year. .
An attorney for Santos did not return NBC News’ request for comment regarding Congress’ position on proposed policies related to drag shows. In an earlier interview, Santos told NBC News He says he sees no conflict between his identity as a gay man and his party’s policy positions, saying, “I’ve never experienced discrimination in the Republican Party.”
Questions about Santos’ biography first erupted on December 19 The New York Times published a bombshell investigation He questioned whether he had fabricated aspects of his education, work history and finances. Santos later admitted that “decorate” on his merits and apologized for doing so.
Democratic lawmakers, as well Many Republicans, They later demanded that Santos step down.
Kate Chantalis, Olympia Sonier And Chantal da Silva Contributed.