KFC Confirms Victoria Wilcher Incident Was A Hoax After All
After a lot of outrage (and plenty of donations), it turns out KFC didn't kick out scarred little girl Victoria Wilcher who suffered severe injuries after being attacked by a pit bull. KFC confirmed Tuesday that three separate investigations had proved it to be a hoax. KFC made the announcement hours after 3-year-old Victoria Wilcher's family, which raised more than $100,000 for her care, insisted the story wasn't made up.
By Tuesday night, a GoFundMe page the family set up to take in donations for the girl's medical bills was shut down by the fundraising company, with refunds offered to the donors. A Facebook page, "Victoria's Victories," that helped marshal public support for donations to Wilcher was also deleted.
Before the GoFundMe page was shut down, Wilcher's aunt, Teri Rials Bates, refuted growing claims that the incident never actually happened, according to ABC.
I promise it's not a hoax, I never thought any of this would blow up the way it has. The article circling the web calling this a hoax is untrue. ... Please do not believe untrue media. I have personally watched this family go without to provide for Victoria. They have not and would not do anything to hurt Victoria in any way.
The page raised more than $130,000 before it went silent, ABC reports. KFC also pledged to contribute $30,000 toward the little girl's medical bills — and has promised not to renege on that no matter what really happened. So has a doctor who promised to donate plastic surgeries to aid Victoria, Frank Stile, whose Facebook page read:
Dr. Stile remains committed to helping Victoria. Our focus is on this child’s well-being and her future care.
WAPT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi published a statement from the local franchise owner, Hannon Food Services, that read in part:
As of today, neither Hannon Food Services nor the outside firm involved in the consultation has found any evidence to verify that the incident took place at our restaurant on Woodrow Wilson Drive. Nevertheless, we'll continue to exhaust every possible avenue until we're absolutely sure we have all the facts.
The family's lawyer, who is reportedly working for them pro bono, told the station that speculation over what really happened isn't fair to the victim at the center of the story.
Victoria is an innocent child with very real physical and emotional scars. The focus of her family has always been, and will always be on Victoria and making her whole again.
A source who spoke to the Laurel, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger said surveillance videos didn't pick up anyone of Victoria's description at either of the two KFCs the family apparently would have visited. And though Victoria's grandmother, Kelly Mullins, said she ordered a sweet tea and mashed potatoes, there aren't, according to the paper's source, any receipts that include both those items on the day Mullins says the incident occurred.