Loverly Delusion

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception

This Is What It\”™s Like To Fall In Love With A Woman Who Doesn\”™t Exist
by Patrick Smith
BuzzFeed
May 24, 2015

Leah Palmer was a high-flying fashionista with a jet-setting lifestyle and a host of admirers on social media. But her entire existence was a fraud \”“ a multiyear hoax that depended on stealing someone else\”™s life. BuzzFeed News tells the extraordinary story.

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Images from Leah Palmer\”™s Instagram account, @LeahPalmerFashion. Instagram

Leah Palmer was a hard girl to pin down. She worked in fashion and had a jet-setting lifestyle that took her around the world. She would often enthusiastically arrange to meet her friends and male admirers, only to pull out at the last minute. She\”™d get ill at the worst moments, or have family crises.

\”Whenever we had arranged to meet, there was always an excuse,\” says Justin, a semiprofessional athlete who developed a friendship \”“ and then a relationship \”“ with Leah. (Justin is not his real name; he spoke to BuzzFeed News under condition of anonymity.)

Images from Leah Palmer\”™s Instagram account, @LeahPalmerFashion. Instagram
\”Given her apparent career in fashion, she was supposedly away a lot with work,\” he says. \”She pulled at the heartstrings a little, claiming the death of her brother, and various other family tragedies, throughout the time we were in contact. So I often gave her the benefit of the doubt when it came to meeting up.\”
The pair started flirting in July 2012 and tweeted each other several times a day. They spoke regularly on the phone and would use Skype \”“ but never via a video call, because Leah\”™s camera was invariably broken. Leah would occasionally put her mother Scarlett on the phone to speak to Justin.

He knew, he tells BuzzFeed News, that something didn\”™t add up. \”She always seemed to have answers and was able to cover her tracks rather well \”“ speaking to friends, having an international dial tone when away, being very knowledgeable about her industry, posting things on social media. But obviously the fact that you could never tie her down to a time and place to meet would sound alarm bells.\”

Read the whole story here.