In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, Broward County, Florida Sheriff Scott Israel has been catching a lot of heat for the incompetencies of his department, both before and during the tragic event. Israel has also found himself at the center of one of the many conspiracy theories about the shooting. Now, a woman behind a series of dated defamatory YouTube videos about the sheriff has admitted that her claims were false and that she was paid to make them.
In the videos, which date back to 2012, the unidentified woman said Sheriff Israel got her pregnant when she was 17 and forced her to terminate the pregnancy. The woman and her attorney told Politico these claims were untrue. "I was paid to say these things. I didn't even know what I was saying," she said. "I’m sorry...It’s fake."
To make things even stranger, the woman also says she was paid $25 per video in 2012 when she was 17. It was the same year Israel defeated the Republican incumbent for his position. I guess national elections aren’t the only ones subject to fake news.
The woman, who now lives in New York, said she made the videos through a freelancing site called Fiverr, where she was paid to pen testimonials for products. The woman said she was surprised to learn her videos had become fuel to the fire for conspiracies about the sheriff.
Israel’s campaign manager Amy Rose addressed the video in a statement to Politico. "Now that these bogus, fake videos have been debunked we would ask that YouTube comply with our previous request (going back to 2012) and take them down!" Rose said. She also lamented the fact that the woman can’t identify the person who paid her to spread these false claims.