Did we call it or what? We didn't buy the "Botox Mom" story back in March, and now Sheena Upton (aka Kerry Campbell) has admitted that her entire story is false. She testified in court that The Sun paid her $200 to play the role of Kerry Campbell. "I was provided with the story, instructions and a script to follow for a recorded interview," she explained. She then went on Good Morning America and Inside Edition because, at least according to Upton, she was offered several thousand dollars. To get all the details on how the story shook out, whether Upton will get her daughter back, and what this means for the rest of us, just keep reading.
After the GMA interview, Upton's daughter was taken away by Child Protective Services, which is when she decided that she had to come clean. In an attempt to regain custody of her daughter, Upton took the child to UCLA Medical Center on May 17, where she says that "after my daughter received a full medical exam, the results indicated that she has not ever received treatments including Botox or other such injections . . . The truth is I have never given my daughter Botox, nor allowed her to get any type of waxing, nor is she a beauty pageant contestant."
While a part of me is relieved that Upton wasn't actually Botoxing or waxing her child, taking her on television and having her lie about the procedures still suggests that the entire family needs help. The fact that the story rang true to so many people is also disturbing. It says something about the national zeitgeist and the state of our ideas about beauty and young girls that this seemed so real. And I'm sure there are girls, albeit a little older than 8, who really are Botoxing and waxing their way through junior high.
But this story also calls the role of media into question. Every time you see an article on celebrity plastic surgery, or an interview with someone purporting to have any kind of sensational story, just remember this debacle. People get paid for their "stories" all the time, photos are often doctored (and definitely often Photoshopped), and the truth isn't always readily apparent. When a respected show like GMA gets taken in, there should be a big red flag for viewers about the veracity of such stories in general.