DETROIT—File this one under Good Intentions Gone Bad. The young woman who made a video and posted it to the internet in which she claimed to have purposefully infected 500 men—some of them named—with the HIV virus has conceded that it was a hoax, and that she only wanted to bring awareness to the risks of contracting the virus.
In terms of publicity, 23-year-old Jackie Braxton, who supposedly runs an adult website, got more than she bargained for, and then some. Detroit police picked her up Friday and forced her to take an AIDS test, which she passed. Not charged with a crime as yet, she has expressed some regret.
“If it scared people, my apologies for scaring them,” Braxton told the Detroit Free Press. “I wanted them to know—one night of pleasure could lead to a life full of pain.” She added that she was “shocked” at the reaction to the video that she shot apparently on the spur of the moment. “I just went in the bathroom, cut the camera on and just free-styled all the way through,” she said.
Impromptu or not, the video by the married mother of a 5-year-old daughter—which she posted to MediaTakeOut.com—was meant to inflame.
“I’ve set out to destroy the world,” she said on the video, her face partially obscured by a large handkerchief with prints of $100 bills on it. “Three minutes of pleasure turns into a lifetime of death.” Braxton, who reportedly performs under the stage name “Fame” on her YouTube channel and also on a subscription-based porn site she operates with her husband, went on to say she had infected hundreds of people in the Detroit area, and even named some names.
The video quickly made its way to YouTube, with easily hundreds of thousands of views across the various sites that carried it. The result was predictable. “It was picked by the media and passed around in e-mails,” reported the Free Press. “Police and health officials received calls from people concerned whether the young woman’s message was true and about its potential impact.”
Now authorities are trying to figure out if Braxton actually broke a law. Richard Krisciunas, a former Wayne County prosecutor and current University of Detroit Mercy Law School professor, told the Free Press that Braxton exercised her free speech in creating the video. The video may have caused a public health scare, he said, but it did not necessarily present a legal clear and present danger to the public—akin to falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater.
“I can’t think of a crime,” Krisciunas said. “I don’t see a crime.”
While Braxton awaits her fate, she apparently is feeling only so remorseful about the fallout from her supposed PSA. According to Mail Online, she has since blogged about the episode—complete with a picture of her giving the finger to those she terrified.
“You dumb a** people, I pulled an old fashioned ‘Gotcha, b**ch”,’” she wrote. “‘Think I give a f***? Ask the picture. Shame on you guys for falling for the dumb s**t smh (an acronym for ‘shaking my head’).’”