Who is Griffin Johnson? What to know about the Sway LA founding member

If you live on Straight TikTok, odds are you’ve come across a video or two of Griffin Johnson. The promising young influencer has captured the hearts of teens and tweens everywhere with his side-swooped hair, six-pack abs and serious swagger. (If it sounds like I’m describing literally every male influencer on TikTok, that’s because, frankly, they all look the same.)

Johnson tends to stay out of trouble much more than his testosterone-fueled counterparts, but over the summer, he became engulfed by drama that pretty much swallowed the whole TikTok universe. Below, discover more about Griffin Johnson’s upbringing, his rocky relationship history and his aspirations for the future.

Griffin Johnson didn’t grow up in L.A.

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LA was fun

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According to Famous Birthdays, Johnson grew up in Paris, Ill., and played baseball as a child. He also enjoyed (sometimes daring) outdoor activities during his adolescence like dirt biking and fishing. He has one younger brother named Graham Johnson who appears to still be in high school.

He has more than 9 million followers on TikTok.

Johnson has quite the social media following. As of writing, he has 9.8 million TikTok followers, 3.6 million Instagram followers and just over 1 million YouTube subscribers.

He’s a founding member of Sway House.

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Friday mood

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Johnson is a founding member of Sway House, the content creator collective dubbed Hype House’s fratty counterpart. Sway House was founded in January 2020 by TalentX Entertainment, a talent management group that also oversees TikTok stars Nessa Barret and Joey Klaasen.

Though Johnson was part of Sway LA at the beginning, it appears he is no longer affiliated with the rowdy group of bad boys. In an interview with Insider in July, he revealed that he was leaving the house to go “more into the entrepreneur-acting route” and take on a leadership role at SwayGaming, a partnership between TalentX and esports organization ReKTGlobal.

“For me, it wasn’t a personal thing,” he said. “It was just the fact that I have different goals, and I believe in the boys, and I know that they’ll be successful in their own paths.”

He is a Capricorn.

Johnson was born on Jan. 13, 1999, which makes him 21 years old as of writing. He shares a birthday with Liam Hemsworth and “Stranger Things” star Natalia Dyer.

He wants to be a nurse.

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Johnson has dreams of joining the healthcare field. In February 2019, before blowing up on TikTok, Statesman Online reported that Johnson — then a sophomore — was enrolled in the nursing program at Indiana State University (ISU).

At the time, he was also active in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and served as Vice President of Recruitment. Johnson still has ΣΦΕ — the Greek letters for the frat — in his Instagram bio.

It’s unclear whether Johnson is still taking classes at ISU, though it’s entirely possible that he’s finishing up online in light of the global pandemic.

He also played one (sort of) on TV.

In early 2020, Johnson scored his first real acting gig when he was cast as Will in the YouTube Brat TV series “Attaway General” about teenagers who volunteer at a hospital. The show premiered on YouTube on May 20, and all of the series’ eight episodes are short and sweet — just under 10 minutes each.

In the show, Johnson’s character Will strikes up a relationship with Georgia, played by fellow TikToker Dixie D’Amelio. The pair went on to mimic their on-screen performance IRL and start a relationship, though that blew up spectacularly and very publicly.

He’s working on an upcoming TV show.

In a recent interview with People, Johnson revealed that he’s working on a new TV show that’s set to air in 2021. He will be hosting the “reaction-based” show, which will have a similar format to Ridiculousness.

“It’s going to be reaction-based,” he explained, comparing it to Tosh.0. “But obviously with the relevant videos and TikTok — everything that we know today. I’m so excited.”

He had a very public (and very messy) relationship with Dixie D’Amelio.

Johnson and D’Amelio only dated for a few months, but for the few months they were together, they were TikTok’s “it couple.”

After it was announced in February that D’Amelio was starring in “Attaway General” alongside Johnson, the two TikTokers started to make more and more videos together, which made fans suspicious.

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rip(out) my teeth

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On March 4, they seemingly made things Instagram official when Johnson posted some (now-deleted) photos of the two of them with a heart caption. Not even a week after that, D’Amelio uploaded photos of Johnson by her side post-wisdom teeth surgery. D’aww!

For the next few months, Johnson and D’Amelio were lovey-dovey without being nauseating, and fans couldn’t get enough. However, in early July, there was trouble in paradise, as Hype House member Chase Hudson (aka LilHuddy) accused Johnson of cheating on D’Amelio with two different women.

Johnson adamantly denied the accusations at first, but fans quickly noticed on July 30 that D’Amelio had unfollowed Griffin on both Instagram and Twitter. On Aug. 2, D’Amelio confirmed what everyone had suspected: the couple had broken up.

Things got messy from there. In August, Dixie revealed that she had “48 screenshots” that proved her ex-boyfriend was guilty of infidelity — and in response to this, Johnson released a diss track titled “Convenient.” D’Amelio wasn’t joking about those receipts, though. On Sept. 23, she made a TikTok releasing the screenshots she teased earlier, set to her ex’s track.

He may be dating Kelly Osbourne.

TikTok stars Bryce Hall and Griffin Johnson at Kelly Osbourne’s 36th Birthday on October 27, 2020.
Credit: Getty Images

In October, Johnson was seen out on the town several times with 36-year-old British actress Kelly Osbourne. However, when Johnson and his manager Michael Gruen were confronted by Hollywood Fix about the rumors that the two were dating, Gruen said that the relationship was strictly business.

“He’s trying to be a host and Kelly’s one of the best,” Gruen says. “She’s a mentor. She’s just a mentor.”

If you enjoyed this story, you might also like reading about a time Addison Rae stood up to body shamers.

More from In The Know:

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Griffin Johnson apologizes to Dixie D’Amelio after a very public cheating scandal

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