Chelsey, 25, says when she and others learned their friend, Meaghan, 25, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, they banded together to support her — from shaving their heads in solidarity to getting matching tattoos and raising thousands of dollars to help with medical bills. Chelsey says she was shocked when, more than a year later, Meaghan confessed to her that it was all a lie — she never had cancer.
In an exclusive interview, Meaghan — who has pleaded not guilty to charges of grand theft and fraud — opens up to Dr. Phil about what she says motivated her behavior. How did the ruse come about? Why did she let it continue for so long? Plus, hear Meaghan’s message for her friends and family. Can they ever forgive her?
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"Sick and Twisted Lie"
“Imagine your best friend tells you the terrible news that she is facing the battle of a lifetime, a death sentence, incurable cancer,” Dr. Phil says. “Would you do anything you could to support her? Host a fundraiser? Donate your last pennies? Even shave your own head to show your support? Well, for months and months, a group of devoted friends did just that. They believed their friend Meaghan was about to leave this earth forever, and there was nothing they could do, except be there for her. They wheeled her through the airport when she was too weak to walk. They even got matching tattoos so they could always share a piece of each other. But then, the unthinkable happened. These friends found out that it was all a sick and twisted lie.”
Meaghan’s father, stepmother and sister reportedly also were duped into believing she was very sick. Her stepmother created a fundraising website, and 83 people donated a total of $5,000. Eventually, an anonymous call launched an investigation. After the truth was revealed, Meaghan’s stepmother posted an apology on the site, promising to pay back every penny that was donated.
Why did Meaghan decide to lie about a terminal illness?
"This wasn’t an impulse. This was something that was premeditated, and you sustained this lie in stages over 14 months."
Why did Meaghan let her friends get tattoos in her honor?
Tune in: What did Meaghan do with the money that was donated to her? And, she opens up about a painful time in her childhood. Might this explain her "bad" choices? Plus, Meaghan finally faces her friend, Chelsey. Will Chelsey get the apology she deserves?