Alleged Cancer Hoaxster Ashley Kirilow's Father 'Ashamed'

Mike Kirilow said he tried to convince his daughter to 'come clean' on fraud.

ByABC News via logo
August 8, 2010, 2:35 PM

Aug. 8, 2010— -- The father of a Canadian woman who allegedly swindled people out of thousands of dollars by pretending she was dying of cancer said it made him "sick to [his] stomach" when he learned of her fraud.

Mike Kirilow told Bill Weir in an exclusive interview on "Good Morning America" today that his 23-year-old daughter Ashley Kirilow admitted her hoax to him in a telephone conversation in April after she posted a message on her Facebook page saying it would be her last because she was dying.

"We had a conversation that lasted approximately 20 minutes, and in subsequent days we had several more conversations. And then I asked her -- well, I didn't ask her -- I actually said, 'You don't have cancer, do you,'" Kirilow said.

"There was silence on the phone, then she said, 'No,'" he said. "I asked her about her losing her hair, her eyebrows and her eyelashes. She told me that she shaved her head, shaved her eyebrows and plucked her eyelashes, to look like she was suffering from the reactions from chemotherapy."

Ashley Kirilow, who was living in Toronto, turned herself in to police on Friday, and on Saturday was arraigned on three charges of theft with a value of under $5,000. She has not entered a plea and is scheduled for a court hearing on Monday.

The young woman admitted the hoax in an interview with the Toronto Star and said she did it because she "was trying to be noticed."

"I didn't want to feel like I'm nothing anymore. It went wrong, it spread like crazy," she told the newspaper.

Kirilow began telling friends and family she was stricken with terminal cancer after undergoing successful surgery for a benign tumor in January 2009. She even shaved her hair and eyebrows, allegedly to give the appearance that she was undergoing chemotherapy.

"She always wore a bandana on her head," said Jan Care, a volunteer and the mother of one of the young woman's friends. "She just felt very drawn, pale, starved."

"I remember taking her to hang out with my family, and my cousin offered her a smoke. And she goes, 'No, I'm dying from cancer you idiot,'" said Matt Vardy, a friend of Kirilow.