Exclusive: 'Catfish's' Angela Wesselman Speaks Out


But her involvement in the documentary has come at a high personal price. Wesselman must live with the movie's stigma and, perhaps worse, explain it to her family. One day, she will have to apologize to her daughter Abby for looping her into her twisted fantasy world.

"She has a hard time with it. ... She gets angry about it at times," Wesselman said. "Someday, she's going to know how this really came down. I do worry about how it's going to affect her for the rest of her life."

Then, there's Wesselman's estranged 21-year-old daughter Megan, who served as the inspiration for the character.

"I haven't seen her recently," Wesselman said. "I've spoken to her just briefly ... to let her know what was going on ... and she's not happy."

The Real Megan: The Real Victim?

Another person with a bone to pick with Wesselman is Aimee Gonzalez, a 30-year-old photographer at Bella Divine Photography, a model and a mother of two, whose image was hijacked by Wesselman. She was floored to discover her photos had been used in Megan's Facebook profile.

The filmmakers brought Gonzalez and her husband Andrew to New York under the guise of doing a documentary about photography, and revealed that her identity, her husband's and even her little sister's were stolen as part of Wesselman's charade.

"I couldn't believe that somebody would do that," Gonzalez said. "[Wesselman] sent me an apology letter ... and I never responded to it."

But Wesselman said Gonzalez should be grateful for her moment in the spotlight.

"It sounds weird to say, but it's given her an opportunity she wouldn't have had before," Wesselman said. "She's doing the things that I wanted to do, the things I can't do. I can't go to New York, I couldn't go to Sundance. ... I can't be that person ... and she is ... so I guess it's sort of that jealousy and it's not her fault."

After Catfish: Putting Her Life Back Together

After the cameras stopped rolling and the truth came out, Wesselman said she continued to send Schulman e-mails attached to fake identities.

"I just couldn't let it go," she said, adding that she attempted suicide as a way out.

"It took months of counseling afterwards to really point out how far I had immersed myself into that ... and that I couldn't get out of it on my own," she said. "And I had to get help to stop it."

Now, her husband and friends monitor all of her e-mails and time online. She insists that she's not engaged in any fake online relationships.

"It would literally kill me to do this again," she said.

Wesselman said she's replaced her virtual relationships with the real ones that don't dissolve in the Ethernet.

"I'm more stable because of the boys coming and bringing light to the problems," she said. "I've been able to focus more on our family ... on our relationship ... on making things right in the home ... and to me that's a benefit."

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