Well, we definitely didn't see this coming.
Earlier this month, people became outraged after hearing that 3-year-old Victoria Wilcher—who was attacked by three pit bulls that got into her grandfather's house, and subsequently had to have surgery to fix her broken jaw, nose and cheek bones and completely lost her right eye—was allegedly asked to leave a KFC in Jackson because her scars were disrupting customers.
However, new reports are claiming that the entire scandal was a hoax!
According to The Clarion-Ledger, sources with deep knowledge of the investigation said exclusively to the Laurel Leader-Call that the incident involving Wilcher and the popular fast-food chain, which resulted in the family receiving more than $135,000 in cash, as well as gifts and free surgeries, was completely fabricated.
Since the investigation is still open, no one from KFC would comment on the new allegations, but they released the following statement on Friday: "We continue to take this report seriously, and of course have great sympathy for Victoria and her family.
"Since we have so far not been able to verify the incident in our internal investigation, we have also hired a third-party consultant to conduct an independent investigation to help us resolve this matter," Jackson franchise owner Kirk Hannon said in a statement reported by WJTV.
"We have always prided ourselves on respect for all people and we will continue to emphasize this to all our employees. In addition, regardless of the outcome of the current investigation, KFC Corporation has committed $30,000 to assist with Victoria's medical bills. Along with the KFC Corporation, we are determined to get to the truth and address the situation appropriately."
Kelly Mullins, Welcher's grandmother, has not released a comment on the matter, and her attorney, Bill Kellum has stated that the family has not decided whether or not they're going to accept the money from KFC.
"This doesn't go to the family, they don't want it; it just goes for Victoria," said Kellum. "While we are pleased that KFC has brought in a third-party investigator, our primary goal isto help Victoria recuperate."
While the corporation has already stated that they're donating the money regardless of the outcome from the investiagtion, Dick West, who is the president of West Quality Food, one of the largest franchisees in the KFC chain and the owner of the local KFCs, expressed on the Facebook page of a Jackson television station that he doesn't think the incident ever occurred.
"When the allegation was first made, KFC pledged $30,000 to go to medical expenses and started an investigation to find the truth. They have pledged the money even if it is proven that the incident never happened. At this point their story is full of holes. Any thinking person who follows their timeline can see it. The event at KFC never happened."