another day another lying feminist caught and exposed in her lies. so what else is new
(CNN) — She was the world’s crusader against the trafficking of girls for sex in Cambodia, and she told an extraordinary personal tale: she was a village girl sold by a grandfatherly man into sex slavery.
Triumphant as well as beautiful, Somaly Mam won attention from Oprah Winfrey, a New York Times columnist, a PBS documentary, Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009, and even CNN, which named her a “Hero” in 2007.
The fame — and her memoir “The Road of Lost Innocence” — generated millions of dollars for her Somaly Mam Foundation, fighting sex traffickers.
But her personal story wasn’t true, according to a Newsweek exposé this month.
In the wake of the magazine’s revelations, Mam resigned this week from her foundation, which had hired a law firm to independently investigate Mam’s background when questions arose. The law firm’s findings weren’t disclosed by the foundation.
Mam, whose book says she was born around 1970 or 1971, couldn’t be reached for comment, but the foundation still bearing her name issued a statement this week:
“As a result of (the law firm’s) efforts, we have accepted Somaly’s resignation effective immediately,” foundation executive director Gina Reiss-Wilchins said. “Despite the foundation’s heartfelt disappointment, we remain grateful to Somaly’s work over the past two decades and for helping to build a foundation that has served thousands of women and girls.
“The foundation’s commitment to eradicating the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls in Southeast Asia remains steadfast, and we ask that you continue to stand with us in the face of these challenging times,” Reiss-Wilchins said.
Somaly Mam, one of the world’s most famous anti-sex-trafficking activists,resigned as head of the Somaly Mam Foundation on Wednesday, after Newsweekpublished an expose by Simon Marks accusing Mam of lying about her background and fabricating some of the sob stories of underage sex trafficking she used to gain attention and funding for her cause. Marks detailed how Mam’s story of being forced into prostitution as a child—her age for when she first started shifted in each telling—didn’t jibe with the memories of her from classmates and family members. More troubling, Marks also accused Mam of encouraging young women who had not been trafficked to lie about it, coughing up lurid stories of rape and abuse in order to get wealthy donors to open their wallets.
She reminds me of another lying, fraud and copyright thief Anita Sarkeesian.