Survivor Villain Jonny Fairplay Arrested For Allegedly Stealing From His Grandmother

Survivor star Jonny Fairplay was arrested in Virginia on Friday for allegedly stealing furniture from his grandma. Ironically, his claim to fame on the show was telling his "Dead Grandma" lie.

By Lindsay Weinberg Dec 23, 2020 9:18 PMTags
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Jonny Fairplay is in trouble once again.

The notorious Survivor villain has been arrested for larceny after he allegedly stole $5,000 worth of household items from his elderly grandma. As fans remember, he rose to fame on the competition show by spreading his "Dead Grandma" lie in order to gain sympathy from his tribemates in 2003.

E! News can confirm that the 46-year-old reality star was arrested for theft on Friday, Dec. 18, along with his mom, 67-year-old Patsy Hall, in Danville, Virginia. 

TMZ obtained the arrest warrant and complaint reportedly filed by Fairplay's aunt, which claims he stole a side table, bar stools, a leather chair and a silver necklace from his grandmother Jean Cook, who has dementia. Hall is accused of mentally abusing Cook, according to TMZ.

Fairplay told the outlet, "I (we) have been unjustly charged by a family member. I welcome the opportunity to vindicate myself (and my mother)." 

However, on Tuesday, Dec. 22, Fairplay shared on Instagram that he was out for a 3.1 mile run, by documenting his progress on the platform Strava. 

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Back in September, Fairplay appeared to be on good terms with his grandmother, as he posted on Instagram to wish her a happy 86th birthday. He wrote, "'Dead Grandma'... STILL alive and kickin!"

The Survivor: Pearl Islands alum recently reflected on his time on the show, including his infamous fib. He told Entertainment Weekly in November, "The 'Dead Grandma' lie is still considered one of the greatest moves in the history of not just Survivor, but reality television as a whole."

He explained, "I wanted to bring an outside element to the game and create the first reality villain. There had been 'bad guys' prior to me on reality TV, but they never sought out that personification... I embraced the role and reveled in it."

Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

Now a realtor in Virginia, Fairplay has two "beautiful, amazingly intelligent" daughters, 12-year-old Piper and 3-year-old Madilyn. In 2011, he split with his wife Michelle Deighton, who starred on America's Next Top Model. At the time, he tweeted, "I wish her the best in her future endeavors." He's since been linked with Caryn Finkbeiner.

The former wrestler admitted to EW that he would love to appear on another season of Survivor to make his family proud.

"For all that is sacred, YES!" Fairplay answered when asked. "I used to say, only if it's legends. But I don't care what the theme is at this point. I feel I'm one of the greatest players of all-time and I want to prove it. I want my daughters to watch me play in the modern era of Survivor and I want them to be proud of their dad."

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