WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Tessica Brown, who went viral for using Gorilla Glue on her hair, claims that she couldn’t withdraw from her GoFundMe.
- She was treated for free by Dr. Michael Obeng, so she decided to donate most of the funds to his charitable foundation, which provides reconstructive surgeries for people in developing countries.
- She says that her account was reported as fraudulent, which stopped her from withdrawing the funds raised.
Brown became online famous after using the extra-strong adhesive on her hair. She eventually needed medical treatment to remove the sticky substance, so she set up the GoFundMe page to raise funds for her medical expenses — or to buy wigs if it’s too late to save her hair.
Brown had only asked for $1,500 on her GoFundMe, but it ended up raising over $23,000. She was eventually treated for free by Dr. Michael Obeng, director of MiKO Plastic Surgery, so she decided to donate the money to charity.
Now, GoFundMe won’t allow her to withdraw the funds raised.
“They won’t even release it to me because that many people have called and said it was a fraudulent account. Every time you look at it, it says it’s under investigation,” Brown explained during a Zoom interview.
Brown’s chosen charitable organization was the Restore Worldwide foundation, which offers reconstructive surgeries for people in developing countries. It was launched by Dr. Obeng, the surgeon who treated her.
“I’m like, ‘We can donate to Dr. Obeng… I can show my appreciation for his foundation and also I can help the next person.” Brown explained. She added that it was the doctor’s kindness that made her treatment happen, so she wanted to set aside $20,000 for Obeng’s foundationn.
“And the rest of that, I’m going to donate it to three families in St. Bernard Parish,” she said. It was her local parish, so she wanted to help families who have been struggling financially.
“Who are y’all to say, you know, this was a fraudulent account? For one, Dr. Obeng brought me from St. Bernard Parish to Hollywood… to take this out of my head, like this man didn’t have to do none of this,” Brown said.
Several critics accused Brown of using the incident as a social media stunt and questioned the connection of her surgeon and the charity she chose.
“No matter what I do, it’s a problem,” Brown said.
According to a GoFundMe spokesperson, they are now “in touch” with Brown regarding “the withdrawal of funds.” They explained that “she must clearly state on the campaign page how she intends to use the funds” before withdrawal.
Brown had edited the page to say that she will use the money for expenses she incurred throughout her ordeal, but that she hasn’t updated it yet to include her new charitable plans.
Source: New York Post