The news out of TMZ today suggests that several blogs and news sources, including ABC's Good Morning America, were duped by a woman claiming to inject her 8-year-old daughter's face with regular doses of Botox. The celebrity gossip site reports that Sheena Upton, introduced to the world as Kerry Campbell, "now swears under oath [that] she made the entire story up for a few hundred bucks."
In a sworn declaration obtained by TMZ, Upton supposedly insists that The Sun, a British tabloid--the first to break the story--actually paid her $200 to play "Kerry Campbell," a displaced English woman now living in San Francisco and desperate for her daughter to succeed in the beauty pageant circuit. Upton claims The Sun provided her with a script to act out--the basis for their story. The Sun article sparked the attention of Inside Edition and Good Morning America which both, Upton alleges according to TMZ, offered her "a large fee" to be interviewed.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Upton's declaration that the whole story was a hoax was an effort to get her daughter back. Child welfare services revoked Upton's custody of the child after the two were seen talking about their controversial beauty regimen on television. The story was picked up by several sites after the TV appearances. Jezebel, in particular, questioned the story's integrity after The Sun, months later, attempted to argue that a trend was forming by reporting on a different English woman who, after also relocating with her daughter to California, began injecting her kid with Botox and tattooing her eyebrows. "I've never actually seen a tattoo gun in real life, but I'm under the impression that they don't look like a broken electric razor," Jezebel's Margaret Hartmann wrote, examining a photograph of the woman in question supposedly tattooing her daughter's eyebrows. "We're calling shenanigans--THANK GOD. We'd rather have a shady tabloid paper publish fake stories than a legitimate 'botox your second grader' trend."
All eyes should soon be turning to ABC for a reaction to the scam and a clarification of whether and what sort of deal resulted in Upton appearing on Good Morning America. So far the only information comes from TMZ's contact with "an ABC News insider" who denies Upton's claim that GMA offered her $10,000 for her appearance, and "an ABC News spokesman" who told the site that "Good Morning America has repeatedly questioned Upton, members of her family and other sources who again and again stood by the Botox story. Good Morning America is solely interested in getting to the truth and will share with our audience any new information we find."