Friday, May 20, 2011

Media fooled by fake Botox mom story

ABC News has launched an investigation into a report it aired on "Good Morning America" in which a woman claimed she injected Botox into her 8-year-old daughter to give her a better chance at winning beauty contests.

ABC wasn't the only media outlet that fell for the story. The British newspaper The Sun and the syndicated "Inside Edition" also ran with the story, and the Chronicle's SFGate.com posted this on Sept. 13:
    When a British tabloid that's known for sensationalizing news ran a story in March about a San Francisco mom injecting her 8-year-old daughter with Botox, people were skeptical and questioned whether this story was made up. Turns out the story is true.
Actually it wasn't true. But to be fair, the Chron's Matier & Ross got on the story a few days later and reported that the woman was using her maiden name and wasn't from San Francisco as had been claimed.

But TMZ tracked down the mom, Sheena Upton, who went by Kerry Campbell in The Sun and on the TV interviews. She said she first got touch with The Sun through a close family friend and was under the impression she was only doing a simple story about a spa day with her kid.

Upton told TMZ that during a photo session, producers asked her to pose with a medical syringe and "act like I was just holding it up."

She said in a sworn declaration to TMZ that she had no idea the story was going to be about Botox -- and claims she doesn't even know what Botox is.

After the photo session, Upton said things began to spiral out of control — and she received detailed scripts instructing her how to carry on the lie in front of television cameras.

Upton apparently was working with a broker who got a $10,000 fee from GMA for the story, TMZ reports. Upton said she got $10,000 from GMA and $9,500 from "Inside Edition." The broker's name hasn't been revealed.

To support her claim, she has produced documents she claims she was given. TMZ posted the documents this morning. They include instructions on what to say and do during interviews with GMA and "Inside Edition."

An ABC News spokesman told TMZ: "We have just seen the sworn declaration on TMZ written by Sheena Upton, a.k.a. Kerry Campbell, and are vigorously investigating her most recent statement and rapidly shifting story."

6 comments:

botox Kitchener said...

She did what she said, but now she's trying to fool the authorities, because she saw they want to punish her and show this case as an example of what not to do. Botox should be used only to treat aging signs, or excessive sweating or migraines, not to make kids win beauty contests.

Robert B. Livingston said...

Aggressive fact-checking is victorious on the trivial...

could it lead to something?

Anonymous said...

TMZ should be outing the broker. The mom and her daughter sound like victims, and the broker (along with the bookers for GMA and Inside Edition) are predators.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how often this happens and those committing the hoax are never caught? Editors should be more skeptical of unbelievable stories.

Anonymous said...

You should point out that SFGATE and the Chronicle's newsroom are entirely separate. SFGATE posted the story saying the woman's story was true. The Chronicle debunked the story.

Anonymous said...

I guess the instruction about not talking to the makeup people makes sense since they would probably be the ones most interested in such beauty treatments like botox.