The grandmother of a 3-year-old girl who allegedly got kicked out of a KFC in Mississippi because her scars were disturbing to other customers in the fast-food restaurant insisted on Tuesday that contrary to a new report, the story is not a hoax.
Victoria Wilcher and her grandmother, Kelly Mullins, were allegedly dining at the fast-food restaurant after she had just been released from the hospital, when an employee went up to the pair and asked them to leave because the girl’s appearance was scaring other customers.
The little girl was disfigured after she was mauled by three pit bulls in April. She had lost her right eye and suffered a broken jaw, broken ribs and several puncture wounds as a result of the attack, Victoria’s family said.
Her story went viral and sparked nationwide outrage after Mullins posted it on a Facebook page she started for the girl called “Victoria’s Victories” and media outlets around the country picked it up.
KFC subsequently offered to donate $30,000 to the girl’s family, while a GoFundMe page set up for the young girl has raised more than $135,000.
A Las Vegas plastic surgeon also offered to give Victoria free reconstructive surgery.
But the report, published in the Laurel Leader-Call on Monday, stated that the KFC incident never occurred.
Citing anonymous sources, the newspaper reported that surveillance video from the day taken from the restaurant the day the alleged incident occurred never showed anyone matching the description of the girl and her grandmother.
It also said, according to the source, that there were no orders that day that matched what Mullins said she and Victoria had — mashed potatoes and sweet tea.
Mullins, however, has refuted the Leader-Call report, insisting in a post on Victoria’s Victories Facebook page late Monday that the incident really did happen.
“I promise its 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,” she stated in the post. “The article it self say the investigation is not complete.”
Mullins added, “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 findings of KFC’s report were expected sometime this week, according to the Leader-Call.
KFC has reportedly said it will give the $30,000 to the family for Victoria’s medical costs regardless of the report’s findings, according to Jackson television station WJTV.
Correction: An earlier version of this story gave the incorrect name for the Mississippi newspaper that reported on the alleged hoax. The story has been updated.