ABC News’ ‘20/20’ Speaks With Woman Who Served Time for Catfishing NBA Star Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen and Young Woman, Friday, December 8
‘20/20’ Speaks With Woman Who Served Time For Catfishing Nba Star Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen And Young Woman
‘20/20’ Airs Friday, December 8 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC
“20/20” speaks to the Canadian woman, Shelly Chartier, who almost ruined NBA star Chris “Birdman” Andersen’s career and allegedly released nude photos of a young woman as a result of her catfishing scheme. Chartier tells ABC News’ Deborah Roberts what led her to start this scheme, how she feels toward her victims and what she was doing after spending 12 months in prison. Chartier posed as Andersen and 17-year-old Paris Dunn, a young woman from California with a notable social media presence, convincing each of them that they were speaking to the other and orchestrating a weekend together for them. When Chartier allegedly posted nude photos of Dunn online and started to blackmail Andersen, her plot came crashing down on these innocent victims, ruining reputations in its wake. The “20/20” report also includes interviews with Dunn; Rob Marku, Chartier’s husband; Mark Bryant, Andersen’s attorney; Gordon Olson, Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and Nev Schulman, host of MTV’s “Catfish.” “20/20” airs Friday, Dec. 8 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (Rebroadcast. OAD: 4/14/17).
After dropping out of school in sixth grade, Chartier says she rarely left her home in Easterville, Canada, for 11 years. Accessing the outside world through the internet, Chartier started to catfish unsuspecting victims. She posed online as Andersen and Dunn, communicating with each of them while pretending to be the other one. She also contacted Dunn as a video gamer named Tom Taylor, who claimed to be Andersen’s best friend, so she could see how Dunn felt about “Andersen.” Posing as Andersen, Chartier invited Dunn to fly to meet him and spend a romantic weekend together at his Denver area home. After Dunn returned home, she said she received aggressive and life-threatening messages from Taylor, actually Chartier, who claimed that Andersen had sent him the nude photos Dunn thought she had given the basketball star. Those photos were then posted online for a short period of time. Dunn told her mother everything, and they reported what happened to the police. Around the same time, Chartier, posing as Dunn’s mother, emailed and blackmailed Andersen, telling him Dunn was only 17, even though Dunn had told him she was older. Andersen’s attorney paid thousands of dollars to the person he believed to be Dunn’s mother. Months later, police executed a search warrant on Andersen’s home for evidence of child pornography. Shortly after the story broke of the investigation, the Denver Nuggets decided to drop Andersen from the team. As authorities continued their investigation they traced all the fake accounts to Chartier, clearing Andersen and determining the real Tom Taylor had nothing to do with any of this. Chartier pleaded guilty to fraud, impersonation and threats in Canada and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. She was released after serving a year.
“20/20” is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir. David Sloan is senior executive producer.