Victoria Wilcher: KFC eviction story a 'hoax,' according to insider

KFC has promised £17,600 for the girl's medical expenses, while well-wishers donate £80,000 on crowdfunding website

The family of a three-year-old girl, whose story of being asked to leave a KFC because the youngster’s facial scars were “scaring customers” went viral, are facing down claims that the entire thing was an elaborate hoax.

Victoria Wilcher’s family had complained of the harsh treatment via a 12 June post on a Facebook page which had been set up to provide medical updates for the toddler. Victoria had suffered a vicious pitbull attack in April.

Following an outpouring of shock, support to the family and admonition towards KFC, the fast food giant said an investigation would get underway, while also pledging $30,000 (£17,600) to assist with the girl’s medical bills.

A further $135,600 (£80,000) has been donated to crowdfunding website GoFundMe from wellwishers around the globe, heartened by her story.

However, a source supposedly close to the situation, who has spoken on the condition of anonymity, told the Laurel Leader-Call, that CCTV footage from the day the incident was supposed to have happened – 15 May – does not show any children in store matching Victoria’s description.

The source also claimed that the food order of mashed potato and sweet tea, which Victoria’s grandmother claims to have made that day, was not in the store’s system.

They also said that unwell or disfigured customers go to that KFC, in Jackson, Mississippi, fairly regularly with no trouble at all.

“We have never ever, ever run off anyone, and we have seen some really, really sick people come to the restaurant from the hospital,” the source told the newspaper. “We’ve had people come in who were shot in the face. We’ve had them with tubes and wire sticking out. We never have asked anyone to leave.

“There is a physically challenged person working in [a nearby] location and one of the other [KFC] managers has a child with Tourette’s syndrome.”

The Victoria’s Victories Facebook page, which is run by the youngster’s aunt, Teri Rials Bates, had also initially stated that the incident happened in a different KFC branch, which had been shut down for several years. The family later corrected the location.

The viral post, which asked: “Does this face look scary to you? Last week at KFC in Jackson MS this precious face was asked to leave because her face scared the other diners. I personally will never step foot in another KFC again and will be personally writing the CEO.”

It led to the family being inundated with gifts and offers of free surgery, as well as media attention from around the world.

The family have since rejected the claims that it is a hoax and have appealed for people to withhold their judgements until the KFC investigation is finalised later this week.

“I promise it’s not a hoax, I never thought any of this would blow up the way it has,” the post begins.

“The article circling the web calling this a hoax is untrue. The article itself says the investigation is not complete. It is not over until KFC releases a statement.

“The media outlet running this story is not connected with KFC. The family has not asked for anything, an attorney is handling all the media publicity for the family pro bono.

“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.”

According to Dick West, the president of a firm that runs one of the largest franchisees in the KFC chain, the company has pledged the funds whether it transpires that the incident was real or not.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?