Co-workers 'betrayed' by 'rape-lie' weather gal
For months, weathergal Heidi Jones (her website) had convinced sympathetic colleagues at WABC/Channel 7 that she had nearly been raped while jogging in Central Park.
Wednesday, that compassion turned to rage when staffers at the TV station learned that Jones had been lying all along, according to a story at nypost.com.
"It was an outrageous lie," said a fuming WABC staffer, who like others were "flabbergasted" to learn of the deception by reading about it in The New York Post."
"All this trust we had is shattered. We're like a family. We feel betrayed," the source said, adding that it had become "common knowledge" around the newsroom that Jones claimed to have been attacked in late September.
Station officials said yesterday they had suspended Jones, 37, and are conducting an internal investigation. A source said she will be fired.
Police sources said Jones had admitted to filing the false report because she suffered from "personal and professional pressures" and wanted to gain "sympathy" over an undisclosed personal issue.
"I am surprised by it," said another Channel 7 staffer. She's really a nice girl. There must be something deeper that we don't yet know about."
By yesterday afternoon, Jones was persona non grata at the station. A poster of the weather gal that hung in one of the hallways of WABC had been taken down.
Nearly two months after the alleged attack, Jones told cops she was jogging in Central Park on the afternoon of Sept. 24 when a Hispanic man in his 30s or 40s grabbed her from behind, dragged her into a wooded area and attempted to rape her. She told police that the would-be rapist was scared off by two passers-by who came to her aid.
She also claimed that the same man approached her on Nov. 21 and threatened her.
Read more here.