Ethics are a fascinating thing. While it was okay for ABC News to pay $10,000 for a story — or, more specifically, to pay $10,000 as a licensing fee for photos given part-and-parcel with an “exclusive” Good Morning America interview with Kerry Campbell, or “Botox Mom” — it is not okay to pay $10,000 post-interview, once that story is proven to be fake. ABC had “agreed to pay a $10,000 licensing fee to a U.K. freelancer for the pictures, but obviously in light of everything that’s happened, zero money has been sent that way,” said ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider to The Hollywood Reporter.
Campbell, who’s actually a woman named Sheena Upton (if we believe that; this isn’t our first rodeo) had been given $200 by the U.K. Sun to go along with their story of child Botox and be photographed “holding up a syringe to her daughter’s face.” All that is nuts enough, but things got more nuts when San Francisco Child Services got involved and took Upton’s daughter away, causing Upton to come forward and say everything had been a lie. (A doctor apparently checked the kid’s face for Botox traces, and found nothing.) Yes, it’s all very confusing and bizarre. What’s not confusing is the GMA stance. Schneider continued,
“We have a contract with the freelancer, which obviously stipulates that the images depict what they purport to show, that there’s no staging in any way,” he goes on. “So with all those open questions, we’re going to hold [the money] back.”
An insightful glimpse into how the morning show sausage gets made, really.
The Sun is considering legal action of their own and have denied that they knowingly published a false story. And Upton claims, now, that she doesn’t even know what Botox is. OK, come ON. When will the lies end?
Said ABC News:
“We have one goal: To get to the bottom of this,” adds the rep, “and to share with our audience any new information and development we can uncover.”
Hopefully the plus side of all this is it will prevent future parents from Botoxing their children, or fake-Botoxing their children, for money and fame — and the rest of us from mustering up the energy to care when it’s all just a hoax in the first place.