Fans of "Catfish" tend to lend their sympathy to the person within the episode who's been duped -- the fool in love, if you will -- but on last night's episode, Dorion neglected to gain our compassion after putting his real girlfriend through the ringer while he pursued an online fantasy. Raffinee seemed like the true victim in the story, but there was also the woman whose identity was stolen by Alexis in order to start the whole charade!
When Nev and Max did their routine reverse-Google image search, the two were blown away by how many times Jessie Morrison had been imitated, noting that she was "one of MySpace's most faked girls." The sheer amount of search results prompted the investigative duo to deem her a "Catfish feeding ground," and we couldn't help but wonder how someone attracts so many copy-cats...so we called her up!
Twenty-two-year-old Jessica (nope, there's no "z"!), an aspiring model and actress, generously took some time out to chat with Remote Control about how her life has been impacted by the many fake Internet profiles. While flattering, she says it's a large nuisance and has even threatened her safety. Check out the interview, and take note: Jessie's only real online accounts are her Twitter handle, @JessieMorrison, and her Instagram, also @JessieMorrison. Anything else is a "Catfish"!
Had you ever heard of "Catfish: The TV Show" before all of this?
I've heard of "Catfish" the movie, but I never knew they had a show.
How did you first come across the fact that people were using your photos to make fake profiles?
When I was younger, a long time ago, a friend of mine made my first MySpace for me. I think she got the name Jeszica with a "z," and she put my name as "z" in the URL, so I was like, "Uh, do you not know how to spell Jessica?" I basically stuck with that name instead of making a new one because I was lazy. I was young and my parents, of course, were like "no computer," so she would put my photos up for me. One day -- I think I was, like, 13 or 14, I had seen someone taking my photos, and I was like, "Oh...ooookay, this is really weird..." and ever since, I've had fakes all around. Fakes who say they live in Australia, fakes who say they live in f**king Thailand and all these places, and I'm like "Wait, what? I don't live there!" It got really crazy. I even had one who said they lived in Russia, and I was like, "I don't even look Russian! How could I be from there?"
How did you feel when you found out?
I didn't like it when I was younger. Someone hacked a PhotoBucket of mine with personal photos, and they leaked it all out, which sucked. I wish one day I can find whoever did that. You know, when you're younger and you think, "Oh, I can be grown and cute in lingerie," and those were the photos that leaked. It got bad, and I was off the Internet for a while. When I came back on, it was like triple the amount of fakes! After a while I kinda got used to it. People would write me with, "This person faked you!" And I'd be like, "Thanks for telling me, but there are a million others!" There are also people who don't even use my real name. It's never going to change. I even tried to hit up Twitter to verify my account, but that never happened. I have a s**t ton of fakes and I needed them to verify that I was the real me!
How did you deal with it?
I tried to get them deleted...but it never really worked. Even a YouTube page took old videos of me and edited them, and put different music in the background to try to pass off as me. So, I tried getting that YouTube page down. I tried calling Google and they had me on hold for a few hours, and then I just gave up.
Do you know how many fakes exist?
I know for a fact that it's over a hundred, to be honest. It's definitely over a hundred. When I was younger, my friends and I Facebooked my name and MySpaced it, and apparently, like, 50 came up on MySpace. And sometimes I see my photos and it's not my name. So, I don't even know the exact amount, which is the really sucky part. And I've found them on bisexual and lesbian websites too -- and I want to be like, "Unless you are Angelina Jolie or Megan Fox, it's not happening!"
Do you have any idea why your photos have become so popular?
I've always wondered, and I never understood why. It's always freaked me out. It's like, why did they choose to use my face and fake everything? This is a funny story though: One of my fakes, I found out that she was talking to some guy's brother. He wrote to me and was like, "You know, my brother thinks he's talking to you, but I don't know if it's really you." And then he told me his brother was paying her car payments, her rent, her phone bill and I was like, "Oh no! No, no, no, you cannot make money off my face. This is not OK!"
How has this impacted your life?
It was OK at first, but then it got really bad. I remember one time in either middle or high school, a girl actually came to my school to try to fight me, because she thought I was talking to her boyfriend. And I was like, "Wait, what? I don't even know who that person is." She was convinced that it was me talking to him. And I was like, "No, sweetie, sorry, it's not me." They had security come to escort her out. I never found out what happened to her, but she tried to kill me because someone else was talking to her boyfriend using my pictures. Almost 10 years I've had people stealing my photos. And it sucks. And this has been happening way before I even decided to try modeling. I just don't want people to fake being me anymore. I don't want people to make money off of me anymore.
Have you ever had any interaction with Alexis or anyone else who has used your photos?
I've never talked to anyone named Alexis, but I remember one girl wrote me and said she was sorry for using my photos and that she'd stop doing it. And I'm like, "Thank you! That's very brave of you." She never showed her real face, though. But then I found out that she made even more fakes. Like Twitter and Instagrams, and I was like, "Seriously? You JUST said that you'd stop pretending to be me and now you're doing it again?"
Do you think being on "Catfish" is going to help stop people using your likeness in fake profiles?
I am glad I actually said I'd give them the permission to use my pictures, because I have way too many fakes. It gets so annoying, and doing all the stuff I do, it sucks that people make me look like something I'm definitely not. If you're going to portray me, do it right, you know? Don't make me out to be something that I'm not.
Do you have any messages for Dorion, Alexis or Raffinee?
I definitely want to say I'm sorry that happened to you, Dorion, but make sure that before you start falling for a girl over the Internet, make SURE you video-chatted with her, and make sure you've actually met her. I saw the sneak peek and just found it all really weird. And he's such a nice guy, which only makes it worse! He doesn't deserve that. But...if you have a girlfriend, you shouldn't be with another girl. If I was Raffinee, I would have killed him! I would have been like, "Oh you're worried about another girl? It's over, bye!"
I have something to say, for sure, to Alexis. I hope she learned her lesson and stopped pretending to be someone else, because she's hurting people. She's hurting someone while she tries to pretend to be someone else. Just be yourself! There's nothing more beautiful than being yourself. Don't try to be someone else.
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