A Customs and Border Protection agent who became a viral star last year, earning the nickname #ICEbae after being photographed with Vice President Mike Pence, revealed she has quit over alleged sexual harassment.
Kiara de Leon posted her resignation letter to Twitter on Friday claiming that she made attempts to report the harassment and cyber-bullying from her co-workers to management but the CBP failed to act.
Among her claims is that a male co-worker asked her whether she’d had a boob job, while others posted memes about her on social media and made lewd comments to her at work.
The mother of two also claims to have been demoted without reason as management and coworkers ‘looked down on me’ since she hit headlines with her Pence photo last year.
Kiara de Leon posted her resignation letter to Twitter on Friday claiming that she made attempts to report the harassment and cyber-bullying but the CBP failed to act
She became a viral star in 2019 after this picture with Vice President Mike Pence
She posted her resignation to Twitter and said she is starting her own business
De Leon, who says she has been a CBP agent at the Laredo Port of Entry in Texas for the past five years, claims she is resigning now and noting her claims again to ‘advise the port of Laredo in how management failed miserably in addressing all these sensitive and serious issues’.
She said that her treatment from other staff impacted her work as they would not teach her or explain daily duties.
In one incident in May 2019, the former CBP agent alleges that a mail coworker approached her and ‘asked me in his own words if I had work done and pointed to my chest’.
De Leon claims is that a male co-worker asked her whether she’d had a boob job, while others posted memes about her on social media and made lewd comments to her at work
She says that the abuse became worse by August 2020 when she reported it again
‘I was in a state of shock when he continued and asked me to stand up and tighten my shirt so he could see because he couldn’t tell,’ she wrote.
‘The same day, I shared my shock and discomfort with a fellow officer which advised me to report it, but I felt mortified and did not report it on the same day’.
She said that she later reported the incident on the advice of her union president but that she ‘felt embarrassed in reporting the encounter, being that this individual is high up in management’.
De Leon says that when she finally made an attempt to report it, she was asked if her friendship with the male co-worker made him feel comfortable in asking the question.
‘I express my concerns to upper management and investigative departments that I did not want this to happen to another female officer and it is hard to come out and voice something shameful that happened in an safe work environment in a male dominate occupation,’ she continued.
Border Agent Kiara de Leon has said her co-workers harassed her on social media
She claims they also made comments to her in work about the business aspect of her accounts
The mother of two says she now needs a break from the job for her mental health
She then claims that after the media attention she received following Pence’s visit in July 2019, ‘DHS decided to forcibly remove me from my temporary duty assignment against protocol’.
‘They gave no explanation and did not take responsibility for their breaking of policy,’ De Leon continued.
She says that the harassment escalated by August of this year when the two male officers began the alleged social media abuse.
She claims that they also made comments to her in work about ‘my business aspect’ which is believed to be the OnlyFans account that she has established.
‘Every day or other day they would post derogatory images with phrases that was targeted towards me,’ she said.
She again contacted her union but writes that she was told it was not ‘a claimed harassment’.
‘I was to the point that I broke composure and I responded on one of the images that an officer posted on social media,’ she said.
De Leon has been a border agent in Texas for the past five years, she said
The Latina told a fan on Twitter that she is now going to start her own business
‘The male officer complained to management and Work Liaison Unit called me in and told me to cease and desist my actions against him and I was being investigated for my actions. When I expresses my concerns regarding how the male officers were treating me, WLU stated “you are better than that.”
‘Which made me believe that a male can say whatever they like but when a female voices out, it is called harassment.
‘I attempted to file EEO against my post for gender discrimination but decided it was for my well interest to just remove myself from the situation entirely due to my past experiences and ultimately to resign.’
De Leon asked to leave the CBP for one to two years to ‘re-evaluate my mental and physical health regarding the last two years’.
Customs and Border Protection was contacted for comment on De Leon’s allegations but a representative was not available.
She revealed on her Twitter account that she is now going to attempt to start her own business and encouraged people to not ‘stay anywhere you aren’t valued, appreciated, or respected’.
‘On to bigger and better things,’ she added.
De Leon is seen here to the left at the Texas detention center with VP Pence in 2019
Fans on social media shared the viral photo of the pretty officer at the detention center
Some social media users were enraptured by IceBae, with one saying she was ‘keeping America safe and looking good doing it’ when the picture went viral last year
Yet her social media fame also drew a lot of ire, with one person tweeting that she is ‘literally a guard at a CONCENTRATION CAMP’ and condemning her for her job
Many social media users decried the nickname #IceBae for an officer at a facility where nearly 400 Central American men are packed in cages when the picture of De Leon went viral
De Leon became a viral star in July 2019 after the Latina patrol officer was pictured standing outside an overcrowded holding cell as Pence visited the McAllen immigration detention center.
She was dubbed #IceBae on social media for her good looks, but the nickname and her response to the overnight fame was slammed by critics at the time.
Many social media users decried the use of it for an officer at a facility where nearly 400 Central American men are packed in cages.
One person wrote: ‘This country is a mess, we are praising and trending #IceBae when she is literally a guard at a CONCENTRATION CAMP, guarding CHILDREN IN CAGES, RIPPING FAMILIES APART AT THE BORDER. you’re all sick, honestly.’
‘#IceBae is such a cute name for someone who puts black and brown children in cages,’ someone else commented.
Others joked that De Leon was welcome to arrest them.
‘Keeping America safe and looking good doing it,’ wrote one user, whose profile picture shows him wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ hat.
‘#IceBae could detain me for however long she wants,’ someone else commented alongside the photo of the female officer that made her famous.
De Leon created a Twitter account in response to the fame and has since amassed almost 57,000 followers.
Responding to a person who said she was ‘litteral scum [sic]’ and her parents would ‘disown’ her for being ‘Hispanic working for ice’, she tweeted: ‘I think that’s really rude and naive of you to say.
‘You have no idea who my parents are and no idea what goes into my job on a daily basis… before speaking on something you know nothing about…. DONT.
‘Regardless I’m blessed and thankful for the career I have.’
While De Leon was revealed to be a registered Democrat last year, she did not vote in 2016 and during this year’s election, asked that the country could turn Republican.
‘Can what I’m watching on the news be as red as this photo,’ she wrote alongside a photo of herself and adding #MakeAmericaGreatAgain.
In August 2020, she set up her OnlyFans account after claiming she’d been offered many opportunities since her viral picture.
‘Excited to get personal and closer to my amazing and loving fans!’ her bio reads.
‘2020 has been rough, but hopefully I can be your reason to smile and push through these difficult times!’
In September, she also revealed she had coronavirus and went to work before she knew she had symptoms.
De Leon also has an OnlyFans account that she advertises through her Twitter page
She revealed in September that she had also fallen ill with coronavirus