Balloon Boy Mom Admits She Was Aware of Hoax

Celebrity News Oct. 24, 2009 AT 11:24AM
Balloon Boy Mom Admits She Was Aware of Hoax Credit: Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

Mayumi Heene - whose 6-year-old-son Falcon was feared to have floated away on a "homemade flying saucer" last week in Colorado -- has admitted to authorities that she and husband, Richard, lied when they said the Oct. 15 incident was not a hoax.

Former Wife Swap star Mayumi, whose son was found hiding in the family's attic after an exhaustive search, told a Larimer County sheriff's investigator the fabricated story was planned in an effort to garner publicity.

Mayumi also said that she and Richard told their three boys to lie to investigators and members of the media.

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"Mayumi described that she and Richard Heene devised this hoax approximately two weeks earlier," investigator Robert Heffernan wrote in a sworn affidavit, released Friday. "The experimental flying saucer was specifically made to carry out this hoax."

In the days after his son's brief "disappearance," Richard Heene did the morning talk show circuit denying the publicity stunt. "Now I am starting to get a little ticked off because I am repetitively getting asked this in the last couple of interviews," he told NBC's Meredith Vieira. "What do I have to gain about this? I am not selling anything. I am not advertising anything."

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Richard and Mayumi Heene may face felony charges for staging the helium-balloon disappearance of their son Falcon; the parents of three boys may also be charged by Social Services for conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

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