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$105K Raised for Woman After 'Victoria's Secret Karen' Incident

Much of the New Jersey altercation was captured on video
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2021 2:29 AM CDT
Updated Jul 18, 2021 5:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – The latest white woman to go viral after a questionable interaction with a person of color has been dubbed "Victoria's Secret Karen," thanks to the location of the incident. Ijeoma Ukenta, who is Black, was shopping at the Victoria's Secret at New Jersey's Short Hills Mall when she encountered the white woman who has subsequently been identified as Abigail Elphick. While their initial interaction was not captured on video, Insider reports that, according to Ukenta, it all started with Elphick (who is not wearing a mask in the videos that were captured) getting uncomfortably close to Ukente as she browsed. When Ukente asked her to move six feet away, she says, Elphick went to the cash register and claimed Ukente had threatened her. The first recording starts with Elphick appearing to rush Ukente before realizing Ukente is filming. Then her apparent "breakdown" begins.

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The rest of the videos document Elphick allegedly screaming at Ukente to stop recording her, crying, appearing to faint or pretend to faint, shaking on the floor, insisting Ukente is threatening her, and more—at one point even appearing to chase her around the store—all while insisting she is having a breakdown and Ukente is filming it. Mall security eventually arrived, as did the police (whom Elphick appeared to call), and the ensuing police report reveals that Elphick claimed to have an anxiety disorder and to have suffered a panic attack when Ukente started filming because she was worried about "losing her job and apartment." Ukente, who says Elphick tried to hit her, is not happy with the way authorities handled the situation, and started a GoFundMe to hire a lawyer, the Independent reports. The campaign raised more than $105,000 before it was closed to donations. All of the videos can be seen here. A police internal affairs investigation has been opened into the incident, NJ.com reports. (Read more New Jersey stories.)

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