Dee Kosh's offline behaviour courted more controversy than his online remarks

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SINGAPORE - Ten years ago, Dee Kosh was starting to make a name for himself - albeit a problematic one at times - as a radio DJ-host and online personality.

But it would all come crashing down, as his offline behaviour courted even more controversy than his online remarks did over the decade.

The Singaporean YouTuber, whose real name is Darryl Ian Koshy, was sentenced today (Aug 5) to 32 weeks' jail for committing various sexual offences involving teenage boys. The 33-year-old began serving his term today (Aug 5).

Mr Jian Yang, head of strategy at strategic communications agency Distilleri, says Kosh's case serves as a wake-up call to the industry when it comes to the wider repercussions of misbehaviour, criminal or otherwise.

The larger one's social footprint, the greater the fall from grace, he says.

The 42-year-old, who is an influencer himself and holds the Asia Book of Records' largest Barbie doll collection, tells The Straits Times: "Back in the old days, there were only celebrities and normal people, and nothing in between.

"Now, you have the middle ground of influencers, of manufactured self-made celebrities, where Dee Kosh was.

"From an influencer standpoint, the truth is sometimes they have to push the boundaries of controversy to be seen, to get attention and views."

Mr Yang says those who have put themselves into the limelight have to behave accordingly. "Because once anything in your private life gets found out, you as a KOL (key opinion leader) do not have a professional public relations expert to teach you what to say or coach you on your body language, and you are left fending for yourself and won't be ready to do so."

Kosh got his start in the entertainment scene as a YouTube vlogger in 2011, and gained popularity for his comedic videos and random musings about life in Singapore.

The flamboyant online personality also served up silly ditties about local events and food, as well as a version of South Korean pop star Psy's viral hit Gangnam Style music video.

He moved on to a radio career in 2012, teaming up with fellow DJ Divian Nair for The Double D Show on 987.

But in 2013, he posted an insensitive racist joke on Twitter about the Little India riot and was co...

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