Richard Heene and his clan of fame chasers appeared on Friday's episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? He thinks he and his family are known best for the two episodes of Wife Swap that they appeared on, but like much of what came out of his mouth during this bizarre interview, that's bullshit.
Richard Heene is best known as the father of "Balloon Boy" aka Falcon Heene, who almost five years ago, was believed to be stuck in a runaway hot-air balloon that looked like a flying saucer. It was national news. The reason this was believed is Richard and his wife, Mayumi, told as much to the police. It turned out to be false (Falcon was hiding in the attic the whole time), and Richard and Mayumi pleaded guilty to charges of a felony account of attempting to influence a public service and a misdemeanor of false reporting, respectively. Richard said in the newly taped interview that they pleaded guilty to take "the easy way out."
Richard's story is that the balloon boy ordeal was "never a hoax." He's sticking to it, too. It's what he told Camille Dodero last year, and it's what he told Oprah's producers before abruptly changing subjects: "I don't like talking about these things, negative things, bringing up the past. I like to move forward. So, uh, I really don't want to comment anymore about that." I can't imagine why not, but OK, sure.
But what of Falcon's seeming admission of guilt on CNN, when he told Wolf Blitzer that he didn't come out of his hiding place when he heard his name being called because, "You guys said, that, um, we did this for the show"? (Richard was planning a reality show along the lines of "MythBusters-meets-mad scientist," his former collaborator Robert Thomas shared with Gawker.) Falcon explained to the OWN crew:
Well, what happened was, um, this Chinese reporter walked up to me, he asked me if I could show him how I got in the attic for his TV show, so I said, 'OK.' And then after that, another person asked me, "So what happened about this balloon thing?" I was like this: "I did it for the show." I said that because I thought he was talking about the Chinese guy.
Sure. Blame the Chinese guy.
Richard Heene's three sons are now in a metal band. If you couldn't tell, they remain his pawns.