Said Rebeccah Beushausen, the suburban Chicago woman whose faux-pregnancy with a terminally ill baby spawned legions of (now-disillusioned) supporters:
I am a 26 year old woman who loves to draw and paint. I've worked for years in the social service (not a licensed social worker; never said I was) field. I am a Christian and while I wrote many of my posts under dishonest contexts, the God I shared with all of you and wrote about is still God; the Creator or life, Father and Savior. I hope to regain my relationship back with Him, fully, myself....In my life I've had good days and I have also dealt with a lot of pain, including the sorrow over the loss of life, among a lot of other things. I don't say that to garner your sympathy or to lessen your anger. I say it because it is true. Was the loss present day? - No. But true, none the less. In my "calendar past," perhaps, but still very much so in my present day to day...I lied and I am not trying to hide that, nor am I trying to minimize it. Worse still, I lied to a community of people whose only intention was to support me through this time and that is wrong, and for that I am sorrier than you could know.
While Beushausen's post, which went up on Sunday, acknowledges that the apology doesn't "excuse" the deception, she explains rather vaguely that "I have suffered this type of loss, more than once, to varying degrees" and that, while the actual sick baby April Rose may not have existed, the emotions did! And she denies vehemently that she made a financial profit:
I received a limited number of gifts through my P.O. box. A baby hat, a pair of little shoes, a hair bow, a crocheted blanket, to name a few. I never once received a check or cash in the mail. Ever. (I have not been to my P.O. box in over a week and will not be going back.
And in an act of either good faith or extreme insensitivity, she gives a link to a site "which highlights nearly 100 real families of real T13 babies presently living with this disease or struggling with such a diagnosis. These women and families and little ones need a lot of support."
That she's a graceful, convincing writer is not in question - indeed, it's kind of the issue. So while the "sociopath" or "sad" question is still unanswered, and it's hard not to think there's a bit of both in there. For those supporters who were willingly moved by Beushausen's writing for months - the very people to whom the post is addressed - this heartstring-tugging apology may not go very far. Says one Christian blogger who promoted "April's Mom," "To be honest, I think she is far from recognizing the true gravity of the situation."
Whatever the depth - or the cause - of Beushausen's pain, according to CBS she's disconnected her phone number and moved in with her mother. Whether her safety is actually in question, some people may call for their pounf of flesh. But, say lawyers, this will be tricky: the lack of substantial monetary profit (she didn't make money off her site's ad, given that it didn't get the required 45 days' exposure), the difficulty of determining jurisdiction, and the still-vague nature of internet law would make prosecution pretty much a non-starter. It seems pretty clear that the only real "results" of the episode are going to be a lot of anger and resentment - and that's the last thing anyone needs. (Caveat: we hope these are the only results. But the horrible spectre of a book deal always looms.)