Friday, May 30, 2014

Founder Resigns from Sex Slave Foundation

Sex-slave crusader ousted from foundation as her tale crumbles

One of the world’s leading anti-sex slavery activists got bounced from her own foundation because her heartbreaking tale of being sold into child prostitution and years of abuse fell apart.
Somaly Mam had become the pretty, glamorous face of the anti-sex trafficking movement, courting celebrities and world political leaders.
The Cambodian claimed she was an orphan, sold into sexual slavery and repeatedly raped and abused for years. She only worked up the courage to escape after seeing a friend killed in front of her.
But over the past several years, Mam’s life story has been slowly picked apart by childhood friends, culminating in this week’s stunning ouster.
“Effective immediately, Somaly Mam has resigned from the Somaly Mam Foundation,” the anti-sex slavery group tweeted.
 - Somaly Mam Foundation On Twitter

The foundation said it hired US-based law firm Goodwin Procter LLP in March to check out the life story of Mam and her fellow activist and protege, Long Pross.
It’s been reported for years that Pross had been rescued by Mam’s group, ending years of sexual enslavement at a Cambodian brothel.
While not revealing any details of this internal probe, Somaly Mam Foundation executive director Gina Reiss-Wilchins said both women are no longer affiliated with the group.
Mam has rubbed elbows with some of the world’s best-known celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Susan Sarandon, Katie Couric and Queen Latifah.
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Mam’s charity in 2012, meeting girls and young women rescued from sexual slavery.
But friends of Mam said she grew up with both parents, graduated from high school and led a happy, comfortable childhood.
Mam has always struggled to keep her story straight, according to a front-page exposé by Newsweek magazine this week.
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Somaly MamPhoto: Getty Images
During a White House visit in February 2012, Mam she said was sold into slavery at age 9 or 10. That contradicted an interview Mam gave to “The Tyra Banks Show,” claiming she was 4 or 5 when her sexual enslavement began, according to Newsweek.
In her book, “The Road of Lost Innocence,” Mam said she was trafficked when she was “about 16 years old.”
The 40-something Mam — whose precise age has never been stated — always knew when cameras were rolling, according to a psychologist who did volunteer work for Mam’s Cambodian charity AFESIP.
“[With donors], she’s very polished and very on and very charming … exceedingly charming,” the whistle-blower told Newsweek.
“And when people are not there, she can be tyrannical; she’s moody, she’s erratic, she’s entitled.”


Kellie said...

Predictable. The loudest "crusader" very often has the most to hide.

colonel panic said...

The only statement we have from SM it's "about 16 years old." and it was taken from a book possibly written by an interviewer through SM... So, not much to go off of but it does respond to the vague estimates given by other sources and "approximations". If a girl was kidnapped at a certain age i would expect get to remember "i was about to turn 16" or "i had just turned 16 and not "about 16 years old."

Anonymous said...

People do really weird things...

Hopefully the foundation was/is at least really helping people.

Unknown said...

I don't understand why she lied about being a victim of the sex trade?? (Especially such a easily disproven lie!)

She could have just as easily started a foundation and worked to free sex slaves without claiming to be a victim herself.

Shame on her for exploiting the real victims of this terrible crime for her own gain.

Anonymous said...

The talk show hosts and politicians lie so much and have so many fake foundations they would never be able to spot their own kind.

This woman was just hoping to capitalize off the exploitation herself.

By claiming to be a victim herself, she demonstrates to others that they can become just like her. So well adjusted and overcame every obstacle. I can only imagine how she treated the real victims when they didn't snap out of it as quickly as she did.

Rose said...

"By claiming to be a victim herself, she demonstrates to others that they can become just like her. So well adjusted and overcame every obstacle. I can only imagine how she treated the real victims when they didn't snap out of it as quickly as she did."

And this is what makes people like her so nasty. She is going to say that she "helped a lot of people," but in truth she hurt people too. She made it seem like being raped from age 5 to adulthood is something that a person can get over in order to lead a successful life, when it really is not that easy. I am always shocked that there are people out there who can pull off scams like this. Are people really that desperate for fame and adulation? How could any person with a conscience do such a thing?

Don't worry though, I promise that loads of defenders will come forward and claim that this woman helped a lot of people so really it does not matter if she lied about her entire back story.