On tonight’s episode of Catfish, Max Joseph and Nev Schulman decide to conduct a bit of an investigation. The official plot description of tonight’s show reads:
Nev and Max try to track down Shelly Chartier in their investigation of the celebrity catfishing of Paris Roxanne and Chris Andersen.
So, who is Shelly Chartier? According to documents read through on Catfish, Chartier was a bit of a hermit, who cared for her mother Delia, as she suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. Living in Canada, she used the internet as a way to escape, but it wasn’t as innocent as it sounds.
ABC News reported that in 2011, aspiring model Paris Dunn was just 17 years old when she thought she had caught the interest of pro-basketball player Chris “Birdman” Andersen. After weeks of exchanging naked photos and messages, Dunn was ready to fly out to see Andersen, with the encouragement of another person online, who was named Tom Taylor. Taylor claimed to be a friend of Andersen. ABC reports that things went sour when Taylor threatened to have Dunn “raped, and murdered, and thrown on the side of the street.” Dunn ended up telling her mother what was going on and they called the police.
Soon, Andersen was threatened by someone claiming to be Dunn’s mother and police ended up searching his home as Dunn was only 17 years old at the time that they had gotten together. The nude photos of Dunn on Andersen’s computer could be considered child pornography since she was a minor.
When the police went over all the relevant data, they discovered that much of Dunn and Andersen’s corresponding occured through fake online accounts, which were linked to Shelly Chartier. And, apparently, this wasn’t the first time that Chartier had taken on other people’s identities. ABC News reports that she even pretended to be reality star Brody Jenner.
After Chartier was arrested, she met a man named Rob Marku through xBox Live and the two ended up getting married. Chartier was sentenced to 18 months in prison, but ended up serving 12 months. Chartier, who was released from prison on October 22, 2016, says that while in jail, she was able to deal better with her social anxiety.
So, what let Chartier to get involved in extortion and catfishing? According to the Daily Mail, Chartier didn’t leave her home much for 11 years and she dropped out of school in sixth grade. She reportedly “lived in filth and never went to the doctor or dentist, causing her to lose most of her teeth.”
Today, Chartier is still on probation.