Let's just get one thing straight, Jake Paul and Erika Costell aren't really dating. Though it may seem like the YouTubers are, in fact, an item, don't let their affection on social media fool you. Jake and Erika have built a storyline on the Internet that centers around their fake romance. They even shared a Valentine's Day photo on Instagram!
But Jake has been very vocal about the fact that his love for Erika is merely online. "We're not even actually dating. It's like the WWE. People know that's fake, and it's one of the biggest things of entertainment," he said in an interview with The New York Times.
Jake and Erika are part of Team 10, which is a group of social media influencers whose sole purpose is to grow their online following. They do all sorts of outlandish acts on YouTube in an effort to draw attention to themselves.
Who is Erika Costell?
Erika is an integral part of the Team 10 community, an Instagram model, and Jake's fake girlfriend. She's 24 years old from Bedford, Michigan, but she now resides in LA. She has 12 siblings, is a national champion cheerleader, and she gained one million subscribers overnight when Jake gave her a shout-out in one of his own videos.
Are Jake Paul and Erika Costell married?
This is where it gets a bit complicated. Jake proposed to Erika — with a candy ring pop — in a YouTube video titled, "WE ACTUALLY GOT MARRIED…" leading fans to believe that they legitimately tied the knot. She wore a wedding dress and he suited up in a tux for dramatic effect, however, the wedding was entirely fabricated.
But, although their relationship is fake, their attraction for one another is very real. In a video titled, "The Truth About Jerika…" Jake admitted that they occasionally hook up. He said, "I love Erika. She's so awesome, beyond being my best friend she's really attractive so there is a little bit of intimacy and I don't know what to call it. We kind of just go with the flow and I think Erika would tell you the same thing."
Erika confirmed Jake's comments on her own YouTube channel by saying, "Obviously yeah we’re like really good friends and like we’re together all the time…but there’s also an attractiveness and like he said an intimacy at times so I don’t know, Jerika is Jerika. There’s no pressure on it we just like to go with the flow, we like to have fun, we’re young, we’re just like hanging out being best friends and we’re attracted to each other."
This low-pressure relationship has clearly paid off — for Erika at least. Not only has she gained millions of followers because of Jake's presence on all of her social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram, but she's also grown a business. She sells her own merch and has fans of her own who are willing to pay money to meet her.