2:55 PM PDT, May 25, 2021
It was a stunning allegation: the mother of a star cheerleader criminally charged with creating a fake video to disparage her daughter’s rival. But the charges against Raffaela Spone were dropped after authorities were “unable to confirm the video was falsified,” according to prosecutors.
Now, Spone’s daughter Allie, with the permission of her mother, is speaking exclusively to Inside Edition. And the 17-year-old wants America to know that her mom is innocent.
“She gets trashed all over social media. She doesn’t work any more,” Allie told Inside Edition.
Allie Spone was on the Victory Vipers cheerleading squad — one of the most competitive in Pennsylvania. The arrest of her mom in March made big headlines. Raffaela was accused of creating a video purporting to show another member of the squad vaping.
Allie says the video was not faked, but real.
“I was there at a sleepover with another girl on the team, and I watched them take the video,” Allie said.
The girl allegedly pictured in the vaping video told Inside Edition a very different story when we spoke to her in March.
“I was shocked, surprised and scared, because I didn’t know who would be able to manipulate a video like that, because it looked really real!” Madi Hime said at the time.
Prosecutors have since backed off the claim that Raffaela Spone created the video on her computer using so-called “deep fake technology.” “Police are unable to confirm the video was falsified,” the prosecutor said in a statement.
“Little by little the DA’s case is falling apart like a house of cards,” Raffaela’s defense attorney Robert Birch told Inside Edition.
But Raffaela Spone still stands accused of sending the video, along with harassing texts, to the coach of the cheerleading team and the other parents. When asked by Inside Edition about that allegation, Birch denied Raffaela had sent them to “any cheer community.”
“She’ll be forever known as the cheer mom or deepfake queen, and that’s not the case. She didn’t deep fake anything,” Birch continued.
Allie says the allegations have been heartbreaking for her family.
“I feel really bad, because no one should have to go through something like that,” she said.
Raffaela Spone still faces three counts of cyber harassment of a child. She denies any wrongdoing.