Just hours after an attorney for the Alabama resident released a statement admitting that the ordeal was a hoax, Simmons shared his thoughts on the matter, saying that Russell's actions created "hurt." His latest statement comes just days after he came to Russell's defense publicly, issuing a plea on cyberbullying.
"I was made aware of the false narrative after coming to the defense of my ex Carlee Russell," he said a statement shared to Instagram July 25. "Myself and my family's nature was to react in love, and genuine concern. We are disgusted from the outcome of this entire situation. I strongly feel exactly like you all, blindsided with Carlee's actions."
Though Simmons noted that it's "still an ongoing investigation," he added that with "all the recent information and with Russell's confession, "now we gain closure with this situation."
He concluded his note with a message of gratitude, thanking those who aided in helping with the search for their "unwavering support."
"The severity in this matter has not been overlooked," Simmons wrote, "and I deeply respect the genuine support shared during this situation."
Russell's disappearance sparked national attention when she vanished on July 13 moments after calling 911 and a family member to report seeing an unattended child on an Alabama highway.
Two days later, the 26-year-old returned home and shared a statement to authorities after being treated at a local hospital. During a press conference July 19, police stated Russell alleged she was abducted by a man and a woman, who forced her into a vehicle.
However, on July 24, an attorney for Russell shared that there was "no kidnapping" that took place.
"My client did not leave the Hoover area when she was identified as a missing person," the statement provided by Russell's lawyer Emory Anthony read. "My client did not have any help in this incident. This was a single act done by herself. My client was not with anyone or any hotel with anyone from the time she was missing. My client apologizes for her actions to this community, the volunteers who were searching for her, to the Hoover Police department and other agencies as well, as to her friends and family."
The attorney concluded the statement with a plea to the public, adding, "We ask for your prayers for Carlee as she addresses her issues and attempts to move forward, understanding that she made a mistake in this matter. Carlee, again, asks for your forgiveness and prayers."