A day after Sheen Upton admitted she made up the story Good Morning America ran about her injecting her 8-year-old daughter with the wrinkle-removing formula, ABC says it won’t be paying her the $10,000 the show promised to secure her first TV interview as a “photo licensing fee”–the check may have literally been canceled. Upton had bragged on the show that she gives her pageant daughter Britney regular injections of the muscle freezer to keep her face looking baby-smooth at upcoming beauty pageants.
Upton says she was paid $200 by the U.K.’s Sun tabloid to front a story titled “I Give My 8-year-old Daughter Botox.” Upton, using the pseudonym Kerry Campbell, got offers to tell her story on GMA and Inside Edition. The GMA interview created a firestorm and child services temporarily removed Upton’s daughter from her care. She now has supervised custody.
Faced with potentially losing her child, Upton says she decided to come clean this week, offering a signed affidavit to TMZ and documents purporting to show she was given scripted talking points.
ABC and Inside Edition then told E! News they were going to investigate, while the Sun released a statement insisting it didn’t knowingly make up the story, instead shifting the blame to an unidentified “reputable U.K. news agency.”
“The Sun strongly denies any suggestion it solicited or knowingly published a false story regarding Kerry Campbell and her daughter,” the newspaper said in a statement. “The article was published in good faith, in common with a large number of other news organizations around the world, after being received in full from a reputable U.K. news agency. The agency reporter watched Ms. Campbell administering what appeared to be Botox to her daughter and provided compelling photographs. At no point did The Sun have any direct contact with Kerry Campbell or Sheena Upton. The Sun is investigating the circumstances surrounding this story and consulting with lawyers on possible legal action.”
Now today, facing blowback for not doing more due diligence on the story, ABC is on the offensive: “We 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,” ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider told the Hollywood Reporter. “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. So with all these open questions, we’re going to hold [the money] back.”
RBR-TVBR observation: It looks more like she realized she may lose her child over this and decided to say it was all a ruse. Just because she has documents from TMZ suggesting scripted talking points really means nothing. This is how television interviews are prepped. She needed to know what they’d be asking and have an answer for them by the time of the taping.