Bride Fakes Cancer to Get Free Wedding

Says her fiance turned husband turned ex
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2010 1:47 PM CDT
the bride   (©MattJP)
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(Newser) – The story seemed like a heartbreaking one with a fairytale twist—a 23-year-old woman from New York was dying from leukemia, but dozens of strangers chipped in to pay for her dream wedding. Except Jessica Vega never had cancer, says now-ex-husband Michael O'Connell. He says Vega scammed him along with those who donated everything from Vega's dress to honeymoon tickets to Aruba in the weeks leading up to their May 2 wedding, reports Doyle Murphy for the Times Herald-Record—the same reporter who in April wrote a story about the couple's quest to wed.

While working on that story, Vega showed Murphy a letter from Dr. Dan Costin that noted her diagnosis. At O'Connell's urging, Murphy listened in when O'Connell recently called the doctor's office to inquire about her, and was told she was "never a patient here." Vega tells O'Connell that the letter was true, but that she doubts its accuracy, and says she's getting healthier thanks to a new doctor, who has her eating fresh food and exercising. She added that O'Connell was abusive, a claim he doesn't deny. Click here for more on the weird, sad story.

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