LOS ANGELES (AP) — A mother’s story that she injected her 8-year-old daughter with Botox is once again raising eyebrows after reports surfaced that she made the whole thing up for money.
Sheena Upton told ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “Inside Edition” that she gave her daughter the anti-wrinkle injection to give her a competitive edge in beauty pageants.
But on Thursday, ABC said it was launching investigations into the story after Upton told TMZ.com that she told the fabricated story for the promise of payment.
TMZ posted a videotaped interview with Upton, in which she said the Botox story was a sham setup by The Sun, a London tabloid that published a story about Upton’s alleged Botoxing earlier this year.
After The Sun published the story, it was picked up by “Good Morning America” and “Inside Edition.”
Upton claims The Sun had her pose holding a syringe to her daughter’s face in a local nail salon for a story about a mother-daughter day at the spa.
“Honestly, I don’t even know what Botox is,” Upton said in the video. “I was scripted to do everything.”
She said The Sun paid her $200.
The Sun said it strongly denied “any suggestion it solicited or knowingly published a false story regarding Kerry Campbell and her daughter. 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 UK news agency,” the paper said in a statement sent to The Guardian newspaper and TMZ.
The paper also told The Guardian it was considering legal action against Upton.
An early-morning call to the Sun rang unanswered Friday.
ABC News said it was “vigorously investigating her most recent statement and rapidly shifting story. ‘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.”
Adding to the swirl of confusion, Upton appeared on the programs as “Kerry Campbell” and said she was a part-time esthetician who lived in San Francisco.
Her name was later revealed as Sheena Upton and she lived in Southern California. California records do not list her as a licensed cosmetologist. She said she gave her daughter the anti-wrinkle injection to give her a competitive edge in beauty pageants.
Upton’s story and pictures of the little girl wincing as her mother injected her face caused a firestorm of criticism.
GMA reported early this week that the child was taken from her mother as Child Protective Services investigated the case. The girl was later returned to her mother under supervised custody. CPS cannot comment on individual cases.
In a declaration obtained by TMZ, Upton said she took her daughter to a University of California Los Angeles dermatologist Wednesday to determine whether she has had Botox injections. The declaration states the medical exam found she had not received any such injections.
“A report of this examination was given to the Child Protective Services,” the statement said.
Upton’s uncle, Joseph Upton, and other relatives who live in Southern California told the Associated Press on Thursday they could not comment. Sheena Upton could not be reached.
ABC News said it has also been unable to reach her. Spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said the network did not compensate Upton for the appearance on “Good Morning America,” but did pay a $10,000 licensing fee to a British broker, Claire Stephens Ltd., for the Botox injection pictures.
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