Mother told to pay a hefty fine of $132,000 and faces flak from netizens after her toddler damaged a sculpture
A mother, who was accused of not responsibly watching over her child, has refused to be the one receiving blame for her 5-year-old son destroying an expensive piece of art in a gallery. Viewers of the show This Morning slammed the mother when she just wouldn't see what the problem was. The mother, Sarah Goodman, was slapped with a $132,000 (£100,277) bill for damages that her son, Troy, had caused when he tipped a sculpture, called "Aphrodite di Kansas City", over. The statue was being displayed at the Overland Park community center in Kansas City, the Daily Mail reported. Goodman was there attending a wedding reception last month.
Goodman sat down with the hosts of This Morning and said that many other pieces of art in the center were kept very secured to prevent damages such as this one. She said that this was the only piece that did not have glass or rope that prevented anyone from touching it and observe that if it was that expensive then it should also have been under protection.
The viewers of the show, however, were not having any of Goodman's explanations and have slammed her for not keeping her son under better control. CCTV footage that was acquired from the venue showed that the toddler, Troy, had gone up to the statue in question and had tried to allegedly hug it by wrapping his arms around the bust. Goodman was sitting on sofas that were provided nearby and was chatting with a couple of other adults.
Goodman then explained that she had been saying goodbye to the bride's father when Troy started roaming around the gallery. She insisted that the toddler and his three other siblings, who were also present, are very well-behaved children and that this was purely an accident.
The mother appeared on the ITV news show using a video link and she said that the family should not be given the fine because her son had not intentionally caused the damage. She said on the show: "As his mother and as my husband as his father, I know we're ultimately responsible for damages that our children cause."
"If my child intentionally defaced property we would absolutely figure out a way to put ourselves out there to be responsible and pay for the damages to make sure the lesson was reinforced without any question. In this particular situation, our five-year-old was just being a little kid and there was no malice or intention to damage any property."
Many viewers who watched the segment said that Goodman was definitely responsible for the damages caused to the sculpture because she did not keep an eye on her son. One user on social media wrote: "100% she should pay the fine, should be keeping control of her kid."
Another one wrote: "Supervise your OWN child at all times!!" A third one then commented: "This mug should have been watching that kid. She's trying to make out like they are at fault." To this, another user agreed: "Sorry but she should of had eyes on her small child. How did she not notice him touching that! Always someone else's fault."
Goodman finally said that she was planning to use her homeowner's insurance to pay the hefty fine but she still thought that the hefty fine was too much for her family to pay. She also revealed that since the incident, she had received multiple death threats and has been the victim of cyberbullying since the video was aired on television.
In the footage showing the fall of the sculpture, you can see that Troy had accidentally pulled the sculture which caused it to fall. The statue fell on top of the toddler and this caused some damage on it's head and arms. Troy himself was slightly injured with scratches on his face. The boy can be seen giving his mother a sheepish look after the statue falls.
Bill Lyons, the artist who made the sculpture, now wants the family to reimburse him for the lost money because he will not be able to sell it due to the damage. The artist has estimated that the sculpture's worth is $132,000. He had given the piece on loan to the city of Overland Park so that they could display the piece. A representative for the city is the one who contacted the mother and asked her to pay for the damage.
Goodman said that she expected the sculpture to be worth much less than the price that was quoted in the letter that she got from the city's insurance company. She told The Kansas City Star: "'It's clear accidents happen and this was an accident. I don't want to diminish the value of their art. But I can't pay for that."
Despite all the criticism she has been receiving, Goodman mentioned that she was disappointed that no ever asked if her son was okay, knowing that the child suffered from bruises and scratches when the sculpture fell on him. “He’s honestly been having bad dreams every night,” she said. “None of these people have ever once said, ‘How is Troy? How is your son holding up? Is his face okay?’”