A Pennsylvania high school cheerleader targeted by a mom who allegedly conspired to get her daughter’s rivals kicked off the squad with “deep fake” videos said she broke down in tears when confronted about a bogus clip of her vaping.
Madi Hime, 17, said she was stunned when her coach from the Victory Vipers cheer squad in Doylestown showed her the footage of her smoking — a violation of team rules.
“I went in the car and started crying and was like, ‘That’s not me in the video,’” Hines told Good Morning America on Monday. “I thought if I said it, no one would believe me because obviously, there’s proof, there’s a video – but obviously that video was manipulated.”
Hime said she was also was sent manipulated photos of herself via text from someone posing as a concerned parent.
She ultimately took the messages to her mother Jennifer Hime, who contacted police.
“It had actually been going on for quite a while, I just didn’t know about it,” her mom told the morning program. “I told her ‘I will call the police,’ because I wanted her to know that’s how much I believed her.”
Investigators were able to trace the messages to Raffaela Spone, another student’s mom who had also been allegedly sending altered images to two other teammates.
Spone, 50, was charged with cyber harassment of a child in connection to the false images and videos, which are known as “deep fakes.”
Her attorney, Robert Birch, said his client denies the bizarre plot to take down her daughter’s cheerleading rivals, news station WPVI-TV reported.
“She has absolutely denied what they’re charging her with and because of the fact that this has hit the press, she has received death threats,” Birch said. “She has had to go to the police herself, they have a report. Her life has been turned upside down.”