FAKE RAPE TEENAGER CASHES IN ON STORY; MP's fury as Gemma featured in kids' magazine.
A TEENAGER who cost taxpayers pounds 40,000 for a police investigation into a rape that never happened is cashing in by selling her story to kids' magazines.
Gemma Collier, 18, sparked a huge manhunt when she reported being brutally raped next to a busy Midland railway line last June.
But after a two-month investigation involving 50 officers, she was cautioned for wasting police time after admitting making the story up - to save her marriage.
Now the Sunday Mercury can reveal that Gemma has signed a lucrative contract to appear in the latest edition of Sugar, aimed at 12 to 14-year-old girls. She is also trying to sell her story to other publications, including teen magazines.
Last night Midland MP Peter Luff condemned the deals and said he was reporting Sugar to an industry watchdog for the 'irresponsible' article.
Gemma had claimed she was raped while walking her dog in her home town of Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
Police initially believed the rape could be linked to six other unsolved sex attacks across the Midlands, but the inquiry, which saw 1,000 people questioned, was halted when Gemma confessed to crying wolf.
The teenager gave an interview to the Sunday Mercury after asking for payment - which we refused.
However, a bizarre legal loophole meant we could not name her as sex attack victims are given life-long anonymity by the courts.
But she waived that right when she agreed to be named and photographed in Sugar.
In the 'Real Life' interview, Gemma explains how she hatched the plot to save her marriage to 19-year-old salesman Gavin.
'To make it look as if I had put up a fight, I scratched my legs with brambles,' she said. 'Then I dropped a knife in some bushes and and ran to my friend's house, crying hysterically.
'But as the time passed, the lying and the guilt made me a nervous wreck. I felt even worse when they arrested a man as I could have ruined his life.
'The Sarah Payne murder finally made me own up as I realised what I was doing was so wrong.
'Amazingly the police were very sympathetic. I could have been in big trouble but they just gave me a caution.
'Now I just want to move away and start afresh.'
But Mr Luff, Tory MP for Mid-Worcestershire, said: 'This article is irresponsible and should never have been published.
'This woman received a caution for wasting police time so she should not be profiting from what she did.
'Sugar's core readership is 12 to 14-year-olds who are very impressionable. I am very worried about the kind of message an article like this sends out.
'I successfully campaigned for tighter regulations on teen magazines in 1996 because of their explicit sexual content.
'The Teenage Magazine Arbitration Panel was set up shortly afterwards to deal with complaints, but articles like these are still managing to creep through.
'I plan to report Sugar to the Panel and hope it will take firm action to send out a clear message to other magazines.'
A spokesman for Sugar said: 'We did not pay Gemma for the article - but we did pay a news agency acting on her behalf.
'Gemma is very apologetic in the feature and does not try to excuse her actions. She is genuinely remorseful. We do not believe this article will influence or encourage other girls to make false allegations of rape.'
LIES ... Gemma Collier with her husband Gavin and (left) how the article appears in Sugar magazine. Gemma said she made up the rape to try to save her marriage
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)|
|Date:||Jan 7, 2001|
|Previous Article:||CONCORDE'S TYRE-SCARE HISTORY.|
|Next Article:||WHY DID YOU KILL THEM..?; Victim's daughter wants answers from evil doctor.|