#StandWithSophie: Texas girl's dad Michael Long accused of lying about sexual abuse; was the campaign a scam?
After winning full custody of his nine-year-old daughter, Michael Long is being sued by the administrators of the #StandWithSophie campaign and other media outlets after being accused of fabricating stories about the level of abuse his little girl was forced to endure while under the custody of her biological mother.
The #StandWithSophie campaign began after nine-year-old Sophie was seen screaming for help in a shocking viral video accusing her mother Kelly Marie Mitton's fiance of sexually abusing her when she was dragged out of her father's car by her grandma during a custody exchange. "What happened was I unlocked the car, her grandma showed up and it looked like an abduction in the back of my car. Thank God I was filming. But this is the most helpless feeling I've ever felt in my life — my daughter was screaming for her life while I was holding a video camera and that's all I could do," Michael said about the video in a Daily Mail interview.
After Sophie was reunited with her father, YouTuber Anne Elise, who spoke to her family members reported on her channel that Sophie was heard screaming in the bathroom one evening while she was staying with her father over the weekend. When her father and stepmother ran in to check on her, Sophie was allegedly in a "massive amount of pain" and it hurt "so badly that they had to take her to the emergency room."
Her family members alleged that while in the hospital, Sophie confided to them that "there were multiple men" at the hotel room she was staying with her mother Kelly while in her custody last week. She disclosed that she was "separated" from the others and isolated on her own. "She disclosed of being assaulted by multiple men and, once again, by Jake Bellington, Kelly's boyfriend,"
Elise said in her latest podcast 10 to Life, noting that Bellington was already court-ordered not to be around the child. "They violated that court order. Not only was the boyfriend there, but other men were also in the room assaulting her."
While Sophie could identify Bellington because of the way he smelled, she had no idea who the other men were. Following the revelations, Michael was granted full custody of his daughter and her two younger brothers on September 9.
However, several administrators and YouTube influencers who had been diligently working and updating people on the #StandWithSophie campaign have come forward to allege that Michael had lied about the kind of abuse his daughter went through just to keep the campaign trending and make money off of it. One of them is an administrator named Jetta Elle, who is also an aspiring musician.
Screenshots of her social media status were shared on Twitter by a YouTube host called Without A Crystal Ball. "It has been confirmed that Michael Long (Sophie's dad) played us admins like fools," the status read. "Now let me make my point — I did see a few red flags, but I never imagined someone as a parent could pull such cruel moves with such selfish motives."
"My sources were in the family and I was taking their word for it, each and every time, with no doubts. My health had deteriorated from overworking myself from morning to night... There were a few things that threw me off - 1) Michael Long was court-ordered not to post on social media & he was still doing it (reason number 2 was missing from the screenshots the user posted)... 3) I told myself the other day that I think he is letting this attention get to his head and my instincts were right."
Sent by a subscriber: a former Admin who worked tirelessly for Michael Long, Stand with Sophie’s dad, said he lied about Sophie being raped in a hotel or increase donations. She also says he’s being sued by former admins and the main stream media pic.twitter.com/8BIXgyyZsu— Without a Crystal Ball (@woacbofficial) September 12, 2020
The status added: "HE LIED ABOUT THE HOTEL INCIDENT. Sophie was originally assaulted but he exaggerated and fabricated a story that 4 men sexually assaulted her and because it was her dad saying it, us admins took his word for it. HE LIED TO EVERYONE thinking he could keep the public interested and attention on him."
Elle said that she could not believe that Michael could exploit his daughter's trauma to get money from donations and that she could not believe any word from him ever again.
Elle wrote: "Now other admins + mainstream media outlets are suing him for lying and fabricating scenarios that never really happened so he could spice things up and keep the public interested. I still believe Sophie from Day 1. I am just upset that her own dad seriously lied and defrauded everyone. so he could gain publicity."
In a chat room, Elle also voiced her concern over how she believed the court granted Michael full custody of his daughter because the Facebook Group set up to get justice for the little girl "basically harassed" the legal system, while others countered with how they did not think that the court fell to public pressure and changed verdicts based on it.
Immense public pressure and threats to judges and attorneys led to this admin believing the court giving dad custody pic.twitter.com/eqfDTgWo4A— Without a Crystal Ball (@woacbofficial) September 12, 2020
In a YouTube video, Without A Crystal Ball host said that she had donated all the money made through the video updates on Sophie to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children after learning that her father could be a fraud. She added that she had spoken to several people involved in the case included a legal assistant, who was aiding Mitton's battle for Sophie's custody.
The assistant dished out information about Michael including the fact that he had a history of making false allegations, had a severe mental breakdown several years ago and had been feeding his kids lies because of which he lost custody of his children back in 2016. Michael is yet to respond to the allegations.