Remember back in May 2012 when Chris "Birdman" Andersen—then a member of the Denver Nuggets—had his home searched by the Internet Crimes Against Children task force? Authorities raided his house in Colorado one day, seized a bunch of property, and then left without charging Andersen with a crime. It was a head-scratching situation to say the least, and it left many of us wondering what in the world Andersen was doing in his private life. It also almost cost him his NBA career, as the Nuggets later parted ways with him, and he sat on the sidelines as a free agent for the start of the 2012-13 NBA season until the Miami Heat signed him in early 2013.
Well, as it turns out, Andersen did not do anything wrong last year. In fact, not only did he not do anything wrong, but he was actually the victim of an intricate Internet hoax that was allegedly perpetrated by a Canadian woman named Shelly Lynn Chartier of Easterville, Manitoba. Police say that she orchestrated a relationship between a woman from California—who was real—and Andersen by essentially playing both sides of the relationship. Using social media, she spoke to the California-based woman and pretended to be Andersen, and she also spoke to Andersen and pretended to be the woman. It was a double "catfish" scenario that makes the stories you see on MTV's Catfish seem pretty tame. And Chartier was apparently so good at manipulating both the woman and Andersen that she eventually arranged a meeting between the two in Colorado. It didn't lead to a relationship, but it did lead to a police investigation after the age of the California woman came into question. She was later found to be of legal age when she met Andersen.
Confused? Yeah, so are we. You can read a more in-depth account of the hoax over here. But we have to warn you: It's almost as complicated, if not more complicated, than the infamous Manti Te'o Internet hoax. It reportedly took so long to sort everything out in the case because it was so complicated and featured a woman committing an Internet crime from another country, which added another layer to the story. But the good news is that Andersen will not be charged with any sort of crime and he can resume his NBA career. It took long enough to figure the situation out, but he's now free and clear to go about his life without this cloud hanging over his head anymore. We just hope he does it without using social media from now on.