Fans were left shook when news hit the web that Bryce Hall and his former fellow Sway House member Jaden Hossler were arrested for drug possession on May 26, 2020. Now, the TikTok star has opened up about what the “mortifying and shameful” experience was really like for him.

“Sitting in that jail cell for a day, I had so much time to think. I thought about how much I had let my mom down. As a single mom, she worked really hard to raise me and has always been my number one supporter through everything — including my screw-ups. I knew that if I had listened to her 100 percent, I wouldn’t have ended up there,” he wrote, in an essay published in People Magazine. “I also thought about my father — someone who was never around and that I knew to be abusive and irresponsible. He spent time behind bars for unpaid child support and abuse; and as I sat in that cell, it made me feel just like my father. It was a mortifying and shameful experience. I had promised myself for the past twenty years that I would never be like him … and there I was.”

The 22-year-old explained how he also thought about his fans and his followers, and how many of them “would be upset” with him.

“It dawned on me what a huge platform and responsibility I have — especially with my younger fans. I realized that living up to my ‘Party Animal’ brand isn’t dependent on being intoxicated; it’s about who I am deep down. There’s a time and place to go nuts… And I can get crazy without alcohol — whether it’s cliff-diving with my Sway bros or pranking the Hype House guys by stealing their sign,” he continued. “I emerged from that cell as a 20-year-old with a renewed sense of understanding about who I am and who I want to be. I’ve been living on my own, working and taking care of myself since I was 16 years old, so I knew I had the tools to be responsible; I had just lost my way.”

The influencer also got real about the negative effects of being in the public eye.

“Most teenagers and younger 20-somethings mess up and it’s over after a court date. If you’re an influencer, it not only plays out all over social media — you get to see it replayed and commented on in the media at large. While being a social media influencer is the biggest blessing of my life, at times, it can feel like being an animal in a cage,” he said. “Learning how to cope in a positive way when someone pokes at you online or in-person is all part of having this platform.”

Bryce explained that he has been sober since then, and that it’s been “transformative.”

“While I will still drink occasionally, gone are the times of drinking heavily every day. After getting sober, my body and mind feel amazing. I’m more focused than ever before and am constantly working hard on my brand and have never been more excited to post amazing content for my fans on social media,” he concluded. “There is a time and a place for everything — for partying, for working hard and for making a difference. I want people to know Bryce Hall for all three; not just the first. But most of all, I want my mom to know that she raised a great son. While I’ve messed up in the past, I’m learning and growing … and I will make you proud. I promise.”

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