The Zola movie has been years in the making!
And this Wednesday, June 30, fans will finally get to see the crazy Twitter thread come to life! It’s no wonder “#TheStory,” which was filled with s*x, strip clubs, and violence, completely captivated the social media platform!
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So whether you followed this journey from the start or are just joining in now to watch Taylour Paige star across from Riley Keough, let’s look back at the tweets that started it all. To do that, we’ll have to rewind to 2015 when Zola (real name A’ziah Wells) first recounted her crazy tale of traveling to Florida with “this bitch” Jessica.
Here it is in full (below)!
OK, now she’s really got us really reeled in. What happens next is wild though — and is serious insight into the dangerous world of s*x work:
Unfortunately, things weren’t looking up for Jarrett after pulling that move.
Are you even prepared for what happens next??
And like any good story, there’s a reason for every character…
You ready for more??
BUT THIS TALE STILL ISN’T OVER!
As for what’s fact and what’s fiction, an interview with Rolling Stone had Zola sharing her truth… and Jessica sharing hers.
Writer David Kushner recollected their sit-down, noting at one point:
“When she posted the story on Twitter, she was caught up in the moment, she explains, riffing on the reactions of her followers who were responding in real time. She had posted and removed the story twice before and no one cared. To garner more interest this time, she made it darkly funny while preserving the gist of what happened. And she has no regrets. ‘I made people who probably wouldn’t want to hear a s*x trafficking story want to be a part of it,’ she says, ‘because it was entertaining.’”
So, yes, the author took some liberties in her retelling, like “Z” (real name Akporode “Rudy” Uwedjojevwe) shooting the other pimp in the face. In actuality, both she, Jarrett, and Jess have different versions of the events that went down over that alleged scammed hookup. Kushner explained:
“Zola says a guy then answered Jessica’s ad with a special request. ‘Jess,’ Zola told her, ‘there’s five of them. Are you okay with that? Should I just not respond to this?’ For $5,000, Jessica agreed to do it. Zola says she waited in the car, while Jarrett walked Jessica inside. Moments later, he came running out. A guy had snatched Jessica, he said, and slammed the door in his face.
They called Rudy, who hurried over. ‘Where’s my bitch at?’ He shouted, pounding on the door with Zola and Jarrett behind him. ‘You’ve got five seconds to open the door, and then I’m going to shoot.’
The door opened. There were fake designer purses and lingerie on the bed. Jessica was cowering in a corner. The guy wasn’t a john at all, but a rival pimp. He offered Rudy $20,000 to buy Jessica. Rudy scoffed. ‘She makes that for me in a weekend,’ he said. ‘Just give her here.’”
According to Jarrett though, “there was no confrontation between Rudy and the pimp”:
“He also denies Zola went with them on the outcall at all, saying it was he and Rudy alone who drove Jessica to that hotel. When they went to pick her up, Jarrett says, Jessica was already in the lobby. The pimp never offered Rudy $20,000 for Jessica, he says, and she hadn’t been beaten. The only thing Rudy did in retaliation, according to Jarrett, was tell the hotel clerk to call the police because a man had tried to snatch his girlfriend. (Jessica’s story closely mirrors Jarrett’s, except, she says, it was Zola, not her, who was in the room with the other pimp that night).”
In the end (actually just days after Zola and Jarrett hopped on a plane out of Florida), “Z” was arrested in Reno after he and Jessica allegedly lured two of her friends into prostituting. He was charged with sexual assault, s*x trafficking, battery, attempted pandering, and felony counts stemming from a fight in jail.
It’s unclear if the upcoming film will tackle his downfall, but you can ch-ch-check out the trailer (below) if you haven’t already!
The shocking adventure may have been an epic read and crazy topic among friends, but s*x trafficking is very much a real problem years later. There’s been a rise in cases since 2015, with 11,500 human trafficking cases reported in 2019 (over 8,000 of those were directly related to s*x), according to the Human Trafficking Hotline. You can find more info on their website HERE.
If you or someone you know is a victim, you can call their hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
[Image via Zola/Twitter & A24/YouTube]