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Balloon Boy

Wife Confirms 'Balloon Boy' Hoax

Mayumi Heene, the mother of 6-year-old Falcon—better known as “balloon boy”—told authorities that last week’s helium-filled incident was in fact a hoax intended to draw media attention. On October 17, two days after the media madness, Heene told Larimer County investigators that she and her husband Richard knew their son was hiding in their home, but told authorities they thought he’d floated away in the balloon, leading to an intensive police and military search. Mayumi explained that the couple devised the plan two weeks prior to the incident and “instructed their three children to lie to authorities as well as the media,” according to documents. According to her, their intention was to “make the Heene family more marketable for future media interests.” Each of the boy’s parents, who met in a Hollywood acting school, are facing numerous charges, including conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and attempting to influence a public servant. The Heenes had reportedly approached TLC, the producers of the show formerly known as Jon & Kate Plus 8, months ago, but the network passed.

October 23, 2009 5:47 PM