By Yaron Steinbuch
Carlee Russell’s ex-boyfriend said he was “blindsided” and “disgusted” by the 25-year-old nursing student staging a hoax that led authorities to believe she went missing after stopping to help a child wandering along an Alabama highway in his diapers.
“Carlee’s actions created hurt, confusion, and dishonesty,” Thomar Latrell Simmons wrote on Instagram on Monday night. “I was made aware of the false narrative after coming to the defense of my ex Carlee Russell.”
He said he and his “family’s nature was to react in love, and genuine concern,” adding that they are “disgusted from the outcome of this entire situation” and that he was “blindsided with Carlee’s actions.”
Simmons noted that although the investigation into the elaborate hoax remains ongoing, his family has gained “closure” after Russell came clean and apologized for her actions.
“Thank you to all my family, friends, and the nation for support through this,” he wrote. “The severity in this matter has not been overlooked, and I deeply respect the genuine support shared during this situation.”
On Monday, Russell’s attorney Emory Anthony said in a statement read by Hoover Police Chief Nicholas Derzis: “There was no kidnapping … my client did not see a baby.”
“My client did not leave the Hoover area. My client apologizes for her actions to this community … Carlee asks for your forgiveness and prayers,” Anthony wrote.
She promised to remain at the scene but was nowhere to be found when cops arrived and found her red Mercedes-Benz with her cellphone and wig inside.
Russell suddenly reappeared at her parents’ home two days later, claiming she had been abducted and held captive.
Investigators later discovered that she had Googled the Liam Neeson flick “Taken,” in which he portrays a retired CIA agent who races to save his daughter from kidnappers.
Simmons had earlier deleted all evidence of Russell from his social media but also asked people to stop harassing her online.
“Think about her mental health. She doesn’t deserve that. She doesn’t. Nobody deserves to be cyberbullied,” he added.
Also on Monday, Russell’s mother, Talitha Robinson-Russell, told the New York Times that “now is not a good time” to discuss the sordid saga.
She had previously told NBC’s “Today” show that her daughter had “fought for her life” to escape from her alleged captor.
No criminal charges have been filed so far against Russell, and Derzis said Monday that her parents are not being charged in the hoax.