An online fundraiser purporting to be raising funeral-related money following the death of Kevin Samuels has received a great deal of attention in recent days. According to a new report, however, the page in question was launched by an alleged “impostor.”
Monday, TMZ reported on the page, citing a source who allegedly spoke with Samuels’ family and confirmed the GoFundMe page was a fake. Per the report, the family has said “an impostor” carried out the fundraising effort, which was originally listed as having been launched by an individual named Melanie King. The fundraiser had a goal of $50,000 and has since been removed from the platform.
Monday’s report also claims that GoFundMe reached out to Samuels’ family to offer them the money that had been raised by the allegedly fake page. The family, however, has been reported to have declined this offer. Instead, those who donated to the page were issued refunds.
When reached by Complex for additional comment on Monday, a GoFundMe spokesperson offered the following:
“Safety is our top priority. It’s very important to us that donor intentions are honored and that money goes to the right place. Generally, if the recipient does not want to receive funds raised on their behalf on GoFundMe, we will refund all donors.
In this case, we have been in touch with a representative of the family and the family has stated that they do not wish to receive funds from fundraisers. As such, our Trust & Safety team is proactively monitoring the platform for fundraisers created on the family’s behalf, and will remove fundraisers started without family consent.
To note, we often see fundraisers started in response to news like this by friends, neighbors, and even strangers with good intentions, as people want to help. Our goal is to always protect donors.”
Samuels, a controversial social media personality whose views were criticized as misogynistic, died this month at the age of 57. While news of his death initially circulated as a rumor online, the Atlanta Police Department later issued a statement confirming it.
Last week, Samuels was posthumously featured in the penultimate episode of Atlanta’s third season. In the anthology episode titled “Rich Wigga, Poor Wigga,” written and directed by series creator Donald Glover, Samuels appeared as philanthropist Robert “Shea” Lee. Earlier this year, Samuels appeared in a Future video.