'Balloon Boy's' family discusses life 10 years after incident

A decade after Richard Heene called 911 to report his son floating inside of a balloon above Denver, he spoke about how his family has grown closer since the incident, which he asserts wasn't a hoax.
6:39 | 10/30/19

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Transcript for 'Balloon Boy's' family discusses life 10 years after incident
Reporter: You may not remember 16-year-old falcon hini, but you'll certainly remember his story. We're going to turn to Colorado and that balloon flight. They tracked it two hours. Balloon boy, anybody ever throw that at you these days? Yeah, a lot. Reporter: But you're laughing about it. The it happens a lot? Yeah. Reporter: What's your reaction it? Just like, ah. Reporter: Falcon says he doesn't remember much about the incident that earned him that nickname, but his dad certainly does. Surely you know this is not some little it story that was going to go away, you know that, right? Afterwards, you know, after the fact. It just never dawned on me, talking to pierce. I mean, actually, we didn't have a TV hooked up. So I had no idea what's going on. Reporter: Ten years ago, millions were glued to their TVs, watching as this giant balloon drifted across the Colorado sky. The search is under way for a 6-year-old boy who may or may not the have climbed into a homemade helium balloon. Reporter: It captivated cable audiences, with wall to wall coverage. The incident an emergency, falcon's life was in danger. His father, Richard, an inventor, who built the balloon himself, sounding frantic on this 911 call. Are you sure he's in that? Yeah, we, we looked everywhere, and my son just said he verified. It wasn't supposed to take off. Three, two, one! Reporter: The family had been recording the saucer seen here in this home video just moments before that 911 call. The Colorado National Guard was put on alert. Helicopters at the ready. Flights around the area diverted. After nearly two hours, that flying saucer started losing its lift. Five, four, three, they're trying to grab the balloon on the ground. He just touched the ground. Reporter: It dropped into a field some 50 miles from the hinis' home. I'm going to say this kid is going to be okay. It's been a safe landing. Reporter: But, as it turned out, falcon was never in the balloon to begin with. Instead, he'd been hiding in the attic at home. Later that evening, the hinis talked to CNN. And when falcon was asked why he hid, the little boy said this. We did this for a show. What do you mean we did this for the show? Um, I have no idea. Reporter: That interview sparked speculation over whether the whole thing was an act. Authorities began calling it a hoax. At the time, saying the hinis who had reportedly been shopping a reality show and had already been on "Wife swap" staged the shot to gauge fame. They insisted it was not staged. But eventually pled guilty related charges and served minimal jail time. Mayumi did confess but says only out of fear. Reporter: Did you think you could lose your kids in all this? Yes, I did. Reporter: You thought somebody would actually take your boys away from you after all this? I thought I'm going to be deported. Then I won't see my husband or kids. I won't be able to see them. So my focus was to hold the family together. Reporter: The family now lives in Florida. Richard still maintains that it wasn't a hoax and says he was a victim of character assassination. How, after you stack all of that stuff, throw in the interview that was on CNN with wolf Blitzer, you throw all that together with the background you have. Why wouldn't people go -- This is another hit piece. This is another hit piece. Reporter: Here? Yeah! Reporter: What is it going to take to change public opinion that you know is still out there. Mm-hm. Reporter: About what happened ten years ago. What would be nice is if the media could go, Richard's got a point, but it's so biassed, okay. The media continues on with the same narrative. Reporter: And all these years later? Do you feel a sense, still, that you need to clear your name? Oh, most definitely. Reporter: Still, ten years later? Yeah. Reporter: How is that important to you? I've lost a lot of opportunities. People contacted me about things I invented and the deal went south because they find out who I am. The thing that gets me is the media never tells my side of the story. Reporter: He says it's been a learning experience for his family. How has it impacted you all. Oh, man, it's had a very positive effect. Very positive. I closed off our family to the outside world. And I just said, you know, we're going to go to home schooling. We're going to go do activities together, and I'm going to be the guy that spends time with them. Reporter: It sounds like you're saying the incident made you a tighter-knit family. Yes, we are definitely tighter knit family. Reporter: Since the incident, the hini boys have started a their heavy metal talents on display in this 2014 music video for a song aptly titled "No We don't want to associate ourselves with that. We just want to rock out. Reporter: Do you have any current TV or reality show opportunities in the works? No. Reporter: Would you take an opportunity? A reality show, any TV opportunity? Or would you rather get out of the spotlight at this point, given what the spotlight has done to you Yeah, I don't want to be in the spotlight. I'm sitting here with you with a light in my face because of people need to know this right here, this truth. But now my boys, they love playin' music. They love performing. It's a real passion with them. So if any opportunities come down the pike, I hope it's for them. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm tj Holmes, in archer, Florida.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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