A Ste Madeliene mother of three who claimed she was living in an abandoned house after being evicted, has admitted to lying about her living conditions.
Nekeisha Samuel, 23, of 153 Springhill Avenue, Tarodale has been receiving an outpouring of aid after her story was highlighted earlier this week by the Express newspaper.
The newspaper reported that Samuel and her three children had been living in an abandoned HDC unit in Tarodale, San Fernando for the past few months.
She claimed she was evicted from an apartment earlier this year after losing her job as a cleaner due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But speaking to Guardian Media in a telephone interview, Samuel, 23, said she concocted the story with the hope of getting an HDC house for her children.
“I was desperate and I would have done anything to get an HDC home,” she added.
She claimed she was ill-advised by someone to lie about living in the abandoned house.
“I know it was wrong. I should have said no,” Samuel said.
She explained that she had recordings of the person who told her how to go about getting aid.
Samuel said she later received a call from the office of the Member of Parliament for San Fernando East Brian Manning who had been assisting her since September.
Samuel had never told Manning that she was living in an abandoned unit so when the Express story broke, officials at the office were surprised at her claim.
She later admitted to lying and promised to make a public confession.
When contacted, Manning said he was very disappointed and did not want innocent people to be defrauded.
“ I know these are hard times, but fabricating claims and misleading people, is never the right choice. This is why there’s a due diligence process to ensure transparency and equity,” Manning said.
He added, “The young woman eventually did the right thing by telling the truth, so let’s see what, if anything, can be done from here.”
The MP also said, “ I’m also very disappointed in the newspaper which made these front page claims, without verification. If I’m to believe what the constituent stated about the role of the reporter in this matter, I’m gravely concerned.”
He noted, “ Do the research, call the agencies, verify the claims, don’t just run with a one-sided piece that embarrasses your parent company in the end.”
Contacted for comment, Express multi-media editor Richard Charan said the Express was standing by its story.
“We have video and voice recordings of our interviews with Ms Nekiesha Stanley, and stand by our reporting,” Charan added.