Over the past few years, four from what I’ve been able to ascertain, Kimberly “Kimber” Delacroix presented herself on Tumblr as — in the words of a friend who followed her — a “Globetrotting single mom with an apartment in Manhattan, and a live-in nanny, existing as a personal trainer and an author who wrote under some name she refused to disclose.” She added that Delacroix over time crafted a compelling dramatic narrative: She started out living in Northern Europe with a husband, where she got pregnant and later gave birth to a boy named Enver. She then fell in love with another man, left her husband, moved to New York with the kid where she lived as a single mom. Over time she amassed over 20,000 Tumblr followers, which is roughly the equivalent of having over 100,000 Twitter followers, I think. She was so popular, in fact, that there was even a Tumblr dedicated to her Tumblr. She also appears to have been the person running a popular Tumblr dedicated to tattoos.
But last night Delacroix, or whoever she really is, made a reveal that startled many, though it probably shouldn’t have: She’s a complete fake, and the photos she’s been posting for years, like the one above, as a window into her life, are actually photos of a European girl named Pernilla Pramberg. Additionally, she appears to have deleted her entire archive, and also managed to get all the Google cache of her blog cleared. Her Twitter account is now set to private.
In a post titled “I faked my way to Tumblr fame and all I got was this angry mob,” she writes…
Hi, my name is Kimber, and I’m a fake. Most of you probably already know that by now, though. Pie encouraged me to make this post. He said the Kimber he knows never chickens out and that I should be who he knows I am. So, I’ve been staring at this text box for like an hour, trying to figure out what I could possibly say here to explain acting this fucking lame to 20,000 people but still knowing I should say something.
I owe the people I’ve befriended apologies, and I’ve tried to speak personally with the ones who would listen. I am truly sorry. They befriended and confided in me, and I betrayed that by being dishonest. I hate that I’ve hurt them more than I have words for because they’ve helped me so much more than they know.
I lied about my face and I embellished a lot, but it wasn’t all lies. I hope my explanation will stay with the few people it’s intended for, but I will say I definitely never lied about my heart or my mind here or my loyalty and support for those people. I hope that the encouragement, support, and positivity I’ve spread will outweigh the falsehoods for the majority of people.
The truth is I started this during a time when I needed an outlet for hope. It was never meant to be long-term and I never meant to get close to people. But I did, even meeting someone I consider my best friend, and it just snowballed. Having them in my life has been the only reason this has continued. I know that’s a shitty explanation, and I’ve been a coward. But, through this and their support, I’ve learned to practice what I preach here. So, I’m immensely grateful to you all for that.
Some people are still willing to call me friend, however long of a road that may be to walk back to, because they know my heart even if they don’t know my face. I don’t even have words for how much that means to me. I know I don’t deserve it. I understand why others don’t feel that way, and I hope that even if they can’t forgive me they know that if they ever need someone, I’ll be there.
To everyone else who follows me: I’m sorry I lied, but I hope I was able to inspire or at least entertain you. I hope you’ll continue to post lists of very good things and practice self-love and unfuckwithableness. And if there’s anyone out there walking in my fictional shoes, I hope you’ll have the courage to do what I didn’t and take off the mask. There are people who will understand and embrace you despite it.
This will very likely be the last thing I say to most of you, so I want to thank you for sharing your lives with me and to let you to know that I wish you all nothing but happiness and very good things. It’s been unreal.
While no one seems to have much of a clue as to who the person behind the Delacroix Tumblr is, some are speculating that it’s the “best friend” she referenced in her mea culpa, a 25 year old British guy she referenced often in her posts who last night, in a post expressing his own heartbreak over her being fake, described Delacroix as “my best friend for 4 years.” (UPDATE: The best friend insists that he’s not Delacroix.) If that’s the case, then this is some really twisted sh*t.
While this — that someone faked being someone they’re not on the Internet — should hardly come as any surprise to ANYONE, this case in particular is kind of stunning in its breadth and scope. After all, this facade has been going on for years — it’s a wonder that whoever’s responsible for it all was able to keep it going for so long. It’s positively James Frey-esque, in fact. Whoever Kimberly Delacroix is is the James Frey of Tumblr. OR MAYBE JAMES FREY IS KIMBERLY DELACROIX?!?! It’s also VERY Catfish.
Anyway, about a year ago, after seeing her writings and photos reblogged often on my dashboard, I followed Delacroix — for about a week, I guess, mainly because her last name was one that made me think she might have been from Louisiana, along with the fact that I might have a thing for attractive young mothers — but unfollowed her because something just didn’t seem right to me. I can’t say that I had any indication that the whole thing was a sham, but something about her was off-putting. I’m so glad that my instincts told me to go that route and not allow myself to become invested in her life, as can often happen when strangers become “friends” via social media, but I doubt that I’d be anywhere near as butthurt as many people on Tumblr are claiming to be today.
I’m kind of sitting with my mouth hanging open right now. Husberdude doesn’t understand why, he didn’t follow her stuff like I did. I wasn’t so wrapped up in it that my reality just fell apart, but I definitely feel like a rug just got pulled. Whu huh?
I can understand why someone would do this. I feel awful for her. What I don’t understand is what it takes to pull something like that off for so long. I can’t comprehend. When do the lines blur? How much of your real life turns into building your fake one?
It’s a little bit scary, guys.
The Internet is not always what it appears to be, kids. Never forget that.