Cheerleader, 17, who appeared in 'deepfake' vaping video 'made by rival's mom' tells how she broke down in tearsMarch 16, 2021
THE CHEERLEADER shown in a fake video vaping that was created by her high school rival's mom has broken her silence about the "deep fake" that caused her ouster from her Pennsylvania cheer team.
"I went in the car and started crying and was like, ‘That’s not me in the video,'" said Madi Hime, a 17-year-old cheerleader seen on what she calls a "deep fake" video of her vaping, which is against her Doylestown squad team's rules.
"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," the cheerleader said on Good Morning America on Monday.
Hime alleges the mom of another cheerleader on her Victory Vipers cheer squad team reportedly manipulated a video to depict the 17-year-old vaping in violation of the team's rules.
She also claims she was texted manipulated photos of herself by someone pretending to be a concerned parents.
That's when she took the texts to her mom, who contacted police.
"It had actually been going on for quite a while, I just didn’t know about it," Hime's mom said. "I told her ‘I will call the police,’ because I wanted her to know that’s how much I believed her."
Police were able to track the messages back to Raffaela Spone, the mother of another student on the squad team.
Spone is alleged to have also sent the false images to two other teammates.
The 50-year-old mom has since been charged with cyber harassment of a child in connection to the false images and videos, which are classified as "deep fakes."
She and her attorney vehemently denied the charges.
"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," her attorney Robert Birch said.
"She has had to go to the police herself, they have a report. Her life has been turned upside down."
Spone was arrested on March 4 after Hime and several other girls on the team came forward about the messages they were receiving, including ones urging them to kill themselves.
Authorities have said there's not yet any indication that Spone's daughter knew of her mother's alleged actions.
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