A woman who told a news agency that she injected her eight-year-old daughter with botox, for a story which appeared in The Sun, now claims she was told to make the tale up.
The Sun insists that it published the story in good faith believing it to be true and has said it is considering taking legal action.
The story was provided to The Sun through an agency and was published on 23 March under the headline: “I’m injecting my eight-year-old with Botox and getting her body waxes so she’ll be a superstar”.
Earlier today, the US gossip website TMZ alleged that the mother made the story up after being approached by a UK company.
In the original story the woman was identified as Kerry Campbell, from Birmingham, but TMZ said her real name is Sheena Upton.
In a sworn declaration obtained by the website, Upton said she was ‘solicited by a company in the United Kingdom, to play the role of Kerry Campbell in the United Kingdom newspaper, The Sun… I was provided with the story, instructions and a script to follow for a recorded interview for a paid fee”.
Upton goes on to claim she was paid $200 for the story, and that her daughter had since been examined by medical experts who found no evidence of Botox injections.
Upton claimed she doesn’t ‘even know what Botox is”, and that she was ‘doing an acting job”.
She also appeared on US television network ABC’s Good Morning America which published a story today identifying the ‘UK Company’that approached Upton as a named news agency which Press Gazette can find no record of.
It also names freelance journalist Alley Einstein as the author of the story. She told Good Morning America: ‘I saw her physically inject her daughter. She did it twice.
‘They were very small amounts of what appeared to be Botox. The daughter was in pain but she rubbed on a gel which people use for tattooing to take away the pain. The daughter seemed to think this was a regular thing that they did.”
A ‘close family friend’of Upton is also quoted by Good Morning America insisting that the original story was true and that she had seen Upton give her daughter the injections.
Today, the Sun said it strongly denied suggestions it ‘solicited or knowingly published a false story regarding Kerry Campbell and her daughter”.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the newspaper said: ‘The article was published in good faith, in common with a large number of other news organisations around the world, after being received in full from a reputable UK news agency.
‘The agency reporter watched Ms Campbell administering what appeared to be Botox to her daughter and provided compelling photographs.
‘At no point did The Sun have any direct contact with Kerry Campbell or Sheena Upton.
‘The Sun is investigating the circumstances surrounding this story and consulting with lawyers on possible legal action.’