Jessica Vega is only 23, but has piqued the interest of readers and even psychologists as they try to understand the motive behind her lies. Was she lying, after all?
Michael O'Connell, a 23 year old construction worker from New York, was filled with sympathy just five months ago when he heard from his fiancée about her terminal illness -Leukemia. He wanted to marry her and give her all the happiness in the world, as he believed that she may not live very long.
Not only did she manage to touch his heart, even friends and strangers were moved by her sad story which had appeared in leading dailies around that time. Many of them responded with donations that paid for the expensive wedding gown, wedding expenses and even the honeymoon costs. The couple was married in May this year amid a whole lot of attention.
Now, Michael O'Connell believes that Jessica had concocted a story to win his sympathy, as well as attract munificent and humane strangers to donate for the wedding expenses. She had her plans clearly laid out, he said.
"I'm disgusted, I'm enraged. It was all lies," he said. "I thought she was dying and my goal was to give her everything she wanted before she did...Now, I want to see the truth come out. If that means her going to jail, then let her pay for what she did."
Jessica Vega has hit back at her husband, calling him an abusive alcoholic. She explained that she had received a letter from a Westchester County cancer specialist diagnosing her with leukemia. Later, when a journalist called the hospital to confirm, they said Vega was never a patient. However, Jessica still holds on to what she had said earlier, that she is suffering leukemia and is willing to undergo blood tests at a doctors clinic .
Vega's mother, Diana, has come out in support of her daughter, who she says is not capable of such lies or manipulation. On the contrary, Vega's friends are flummoxed with the lies and feel betrayed. "We all felt betrayed...We thought she was dying. It was awful. For her to lie to us like this for so long is unbelievable...She still refuses to tell the truth", they said.
Kim Kavanagh, one of the owners of Kavanagh's Jewelers in Newburgory, who was so moved by the story and had gifted the couple a matching 14-karat white gold wedding bands, said that the revelation has left her sad rather than cheated or betrayed.
Rachel Taylor, a local hairdresser said "I don't know what to believe...If she's not sick and dying, then I'm happy for her. But at the same time, maybe she needs some help instead of free wedding gowns and honeymoons. "
The proceedings are on and the couple will be divorced soon. They have a one-year-old child together. Chris O'Connell, Michael's father said "There's a possibility he'll [Michael] get custody at this point. He would prefer custody."
With Jessica holding on to her claim of being a victim of leukemia and Michael O'Connell hell bent on teaching his 'scammer' wife a lesson, guess we will have to wait a while to know the truth.