WABC and Good Morning America weatherperson Heidi Jones was arrested this week after police determined she fabricated a story about a Hispanic man trying to rape her in Central Park. Today, the fallout: ostracism, anger, and possible unemployment and jail.
The New York Post broke the story yesterday, and they haven't had any trouble getting Jones' coworkers at WABC to vent to them anonymously. Staffers say the alleged attack had become "common knowledge" at the station, and they express anger over the sympathy Jones garnered for it. One source says she'll likely be fired after an internal investigation. Still, there are only guesses as to why she did it:
"She was deeply unhappy, personally and professionally," a newsroom source said...
"She's really a nice girl. There must be something deeper that we don't yet know about."
Jones' lawyer tells the Post that she'll plead not guilty to the misdemeanor charge she now faces. It carries up to a year in jail, but jail time seems unlikely for Jones. She's already suffering another punishment, though: she's a topic of hot discussion on competing networks' morning shows. "Is it a psychotic break?" wondered some random psychologist on the CBS Early Show.
That's a punishment worse than jail.