ABC Nearly Paid Balloon Boy $10K
Backed off when judge ruled family couldn't profit from hoax
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 11, 2010 3:00 AM CST
Richard and Mayumi Heene appear in district court in Fort Collins, Colo., after pleading guilty to charges stemming from the “Balloon Boy” hoax.   (AP Photo/V. Richard Haro, POOL)
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(Newser) – ABC News was just about to pay the family of "balloon boy" Jason Heene $10,000 for a video of their stunt and an interview before a judge ruled last month that the family couldn't profit from their hoax. "ABC pulled the story because it didn't want the scrutiny," a source told the New York Post. NBC has recently come under heat for "pay-for-play" perks to news sources.

After admitting as part of a plea deal that the balloon boy incident was a hoax, dad Richard Heene has since changed his story. Heene appeared on Today and Larry King's show last week to say he truly believed his son was in the balloon as it escaped into the sky.