Exclusive Interview With Teen Involved in MySpace Hoax That Led to Suicide


April 1, ABC News

In an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America," Ashley Grills, 19, admitted she was part of a scheme to create a fake persona on MySpace and start an online romance with a 13-year-old neighbor, Megan Meier.

Grills insisted, though, that she was not the only adult involved in the cruel hoax, which eventually led the emotionally vulnerable Meier to commit suicide in October 2006, after her spurious online boyfriend and others began making nasty comments about her.

Grills has testified to a grand jury that Lori Drew, the 47-year-old mother of one of Meier's friends, was actively involved in creating the account and wrote some of the messages to Meier — a charge that Drew and her attorney deny.

"We were just combining ideas about how we can figure out what Megan was saying about Lori's daughter," Grills told ABC News' Deborah Roberts. "It was all three of us — me and Lori and her daughter."

Now, in a strange twist, the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles has begun its own investigation to charge Drew with fraud. In this case, the alleged victim is not Megan Meier but MySpace, which is based in Beverly Hills, Calif. Grills has been granted immunity in exchange for her testimony against Drew.

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photo: This handout shows self portrait shows Megan Meier, 13, who committed suicide last October after receiving cruel messages on MySpace, Monday, Nov. 19, 2007 in St. Charles, Mo. Meier hanged herself after receiving mean messages on the Internet social networking site. The 16-year old boy with whom she had been communicating turned out to be a fabrication created by a mother down the street.
(AP Photo)