Today I stopped by E! News to discuss the Real Housewives of Orange County cancer controversy. Vicki Gunvalson’s former boyfriend Brooks Ayers is standing by his story that he has cancer, but admitted he faked a medical bill for treatment from the City of Hope hospital. I discuss the possible criminal charges and civil suits he could face because of his lie. Link to the full story HERE.
Where Brooks really got himself in trouble was by copying and pasting that fake hospital logo from a google image search onto the fake bill - that's a crime.
To prosecute Brooks, the DA would have to prove:
1) Brooks Ayers forged the City of Hope hospital seal on the medical bill - which could easily be proven since he confessed to making the fake bill when he released his statement, and by comparing his fake bill with a real patient's bill and showing his has a trademark on it, along with the other inconsistencies (address, name, etc.)
2) When Brooks forged the seal, he intended to defraud, meaning he intended to deceive E News for the purpose of gaining a material benefit for himself - this could be proven because he created this phony hospital bill, then used it, only to benefit himself. He did it to manufacture a compelling storyline to ensure he stayed on RHOC for another season, to generate good press for himself and try to make viewers like him and believe him, to punish the other housewives and prove they were lying - all of these are benefits to him, especially in reality TV where your public persona is your stock-in-trade and controversy usually means cash!
If producers hand over the forged bill to the DA, the DA could file the case as a misdemeanor or a felony, so he could face 1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000, or if its a felony, a maximum of 3 years.