The California woman who said she injected her 8-year-old daughter with botox is once again making headlines, saying the entire story was fabricated.
A week after California Child Protective Services reportedly took the girl out of her home, Sheena Upton told TMZ that she made up the story in return for compensation. Her daughter has been returned to her under supervised custody, according to the Associated Press.
ABC News has learned that child protective services is still actively investigating the case.
Upton's story shocked the world when it first appeared in the U.K. paper the Sun in March. She told the story again last week on "Good Morning America."
Upton, who used the alias Kerry Campbell, said she injected botox into her daughter's face to get rid of her wrinkles and to give her a leg up to participate in beauty pageants. Upton said her daughter, Britney, had complained about wrinkles and her daughter explained how she first noticed wrinkles when she looked at her face in the mirror and "just didn't like it."
"I just, like, don't think wrinkles are nice on little girls," the 8-year-old said in the May 12 "GMA" report. Britney said she got four needles worth of botox injections into her face to do away with the lines.
The mother and daughter's account caused an uproar online, in the medical community and among child advocates, and prompted California's child protective services to launch an investigation into Upton. Upton changed her story after the outcry, detailing to TMZ Thursday that the entire story was fake and her role was "scripted."
"They told me to hold a syringe, like a plastic syringe, no medical syringe, and act like I was just holding [it] up," Upton told TMZ. "Later on is when I heard that they used it as botox and honestly I don't even know what botox is."
Posing as Kerry Campbell, Upton says, she played a role for compensation. She said she was paid $200 by the U.K. agency Claire Stephens Ltd. for doing the story that appeared in the Sun.
"I was just doing an acting job. I wasn't doing anything. I would never harm my daughter and I would never do anything like that," she told TMZ. "I was really pushed into. I really feel like I was kind of manipulated."
Nevertheless the freelance journalist from the British agency Claire Stevens Ltd., who first brought the story to the British media, said the original story is real. Alley Einstein said she witnessed Upton injecting her daughter with a substance that appeared to be botox in February.
"I saw her physically inject her daughter. She did it twice. They were very small amounts of what appeared to be botox," Einstein told ABCNews Thursday. "The daughter was in pain but she rubbed on a gel which people use for tattooing to take away the pain. The daughter seemed to think this was a regular thing that they did."
Einstein said she took photos of Upton administering the injections. A number of the photos, which ABC News licensed from the agency, show Upton holding a needle up to Britney's skin as the she appeared to wince.
Einstein also said that when she first met the mom, she knew her as Kerry Campbell, not Sheena Upton.
"I asked for her ID, and she showed me some ID Britney Campbell, Kerry Campbell and she showed me a British birth certificate, which I am now told that you can get near a park near L.A. for a pittance of money," Einstein said.
A close family friend of Upton, Michelle Cespuglio, who accompanied the pair to the "GMA" interview, told ABC News Thursday that she also witnessed the injections.
"I was there for everything," she said in a phone interview. "We were all there, we all saw it. Sheena can say whatever the hell she wants."
Since the publication of her declaration on TMZ.com, Upton has declined to grant a new interview to ABC News.
A Test for Botox?
Upton also alleged in the declaration posted on TMZ.com that a dermatologist and licensed doctor at UCLA Medical Center examined her daughter Wednesday, concluding, that "the results indicated that she has not ever received treatments including botox or other such injections."
ABC News confirmed that Britney did see a doctor who looked for any physical signs of a botox procedure. The results of those tests have not been made public.
The effects of botulinum toxin, known as botox, typically last between three and four months, according to experts, during which time the muscle groups that were injected could be tested with a nerve stimulator to see if they contract. If there is no contraction or diminished contraction, then the muscle has likely been treated with botox within the last three months.
In the ABC News interview, Upton claimed the last injection was about three months ago. Given that time frame, experts say, it is difficult to conclusively determine whether botox had been administered.
"It is extremely unlikely that you would see any effect from the botox at this point in time. Her muscle movement would be back completely and there is certainly no blood test that could determine if she had botox before," Dr. Ava Shamban, a dermatologist, told ABC News.
The Food and Drug Administration has not approved the use of botox on children for cosmetic purposes. While the drug is generally safe, dermatologists worry about the potential for both emotional and physical damage of administering botox to children.