What Mayumi Heene Told Larimer County Investigators

January 2010

When we last checked on Richard Heene earlier this month, although he had recently pleaded guilty to staging the "balloon boy" hoax, he argued on "Larry King Live" that he honestly believed one of his sons, six-year-old Falcon, was aboard the homemade weather balloon that sent rescuers and news stations into a frenzy last October. "I knew he was in the craft. … In my mind, there was no other place," Heene told King. Now, Heene, who said he pleaded guilty for the sake of his family, is once again looking like a liar. Videos obtained by the Fort Collins Coloradoan via the Larimer County District Attorney's Office show wife Mayumi Heene admitting to an investigator that she and her husband decided to falsely report that Falcon was aboard the UFO-shaped helium balloon. Mayumi told the investigator the family was struggling financially and wanted to get on a reality show. The couple contacted RDF Media, the same company that worked with the Heenes during their 2008 "Wife Swap" appearance, which told the family, "If you guys get in the news or get more like a popularity sort of, we are able to sell you guys." RDF Media played no role in the stunt; the couple just wanted to make the news, she said. Richard Heene is serving 90 days in jail for felony influence of a public official; Mayumi Heene received a lesser sentence, in part because she confessed and cooperated, prosecutors said.

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