FORT COLLINS, Colo. (Dec. 23, 2009) – The parents who pulled the balloon boy hoax in hopes of landing a reality TV show were sentenced to jail Wednesday – 90 days for him, 20 days for her – and barred from profiting from their newfound celebrity status for the next four years. The sentencing was the culmination of a saga that transfixed the nation in October with the sight of the silvery balloon hurtling through the sky on live television. In the end, it was all a publicity stunt by a family broke and desperate for attention and money after networks kept rejecting their reality TV show pitches. “What this case is about is deception, exploitation – exploitation of the children of the Heenes, exploitation of the media and exploitation of people’s emotions – and money,” District Judge Stephen Schapanski said. The Heenes were also put on four years’ probation, during which they cannot earn any money related to the stunt. That means any book, movie or reality TV deals are off limits. Jay Leno said it best when he said, ‘This is a copycat game.’ And people will copycat this event.” The Heenes “need to go to jail so people don’t do that. Read entire article here
On the upside, in four years and one day they can re-commence hawking their story and after 4 years time to write it, it could be a good one.
In case the FTC is wondering, I am not endorsing anyone.