One of the more interesting points of yesterday’s gut-wrenching update about 3-year old Victoria Wilcher’s family’s claims that she was asked to leave a KFC restaurant in Mississippi because of her facial scars was that KFC’s spokesperson promised that the company would donate $30,000 to her family, regardless of the investigation’s findings. People may have missed that tidbit due to the toxic nature of the story and how it pushed all of our cynical buttons until we hit overload, but it seems that KFC is sticking by its finger-lickin’ word.
According to the Leader-Call newspaper, which published the anonymous source story that was picked up by every media outlet under the sun, the company’s investigation is complete and the third-party independent investigation is also finished. Neither investigation found a single shred of evidence that Victoria and her grandmother or aunt had stepped foot in the KFC restaurant that they identified – the second one, not the original that has been shut down for years – on the day that they claimed Victoria’s scars from a pit bull attack offended other patrons so much that management asked a 3-year old girl to exit.
KFC’s spokesman Rick Maynard issued a statement on the investigations and the company’s promise:
“Like the rest of America, the KFC family has been moved by the story of Victoria’s injuries and recovery. After the alleged incident was reported to us, two investigations took place, including one by an independent investigator. Neither revealed any evidence that the incident occurred and we consider the investigation closed. We are honoring our commitment to make a $30,000 donation to assist with Victoria’s medical bills. We hope everyone keeps Victoria in their thoughts and prayers. She will certainly be in ours.”
Despite the findings, someone from Victoria’s family posted this message on the Victoria’s Victories Facebook page before it was deleted:
“I promise its not a hoax, I never thought any of this would blow up the way it has. … Please do not believe untrue media. I have personally watched this family go without to provide for Victoria. They have not and would not do anything to hurt Victoria in any way.” (Via CNN)
GoFundMe also put an end to the fundraiser that had collected more than $135,000 for the family. The donations are all being refunded.