Mid-South mother says she’s telling the truth despite accusations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FOX13 introduced you to Jessica Sumlin earlier this week.

The Whitehaven mother said she was laid off from her job five days before Christmas.

Hundreds of people reached out saying they wanted to help her.

Related: Community comes together to help mother of 11 who is close to eviction

Social media blew up over the story with some accusing Jessica Sumlin of making the whole story up.

She said she is telling the truth.

“A lot of people got a lot of negative things to say but where was people when I was in the dark when me and my kids was walking back to appointments when I was in school,” she said. Sumlin showed FOX13 pay stubs from her seasonal job from November and December of last year verifying she did work.

The mother was also accused of lying about working for Taco Bell, others said she was fired from the fast food restaurant.

She said she worked there for 12 years and left because of a high risk pregnancy.

FOX13 reached out to the fast food chain. They told us they could not comment about whether or not she worked there. However, Sumlin showed FOX13 a W2 form from Taco Bell from 2016.

The mother is also accused of being dishonest about her high risk pregnancy. She showed us documentation from when she says her child was in Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Sumlin is also accused of lying about how much her electricity bill was. She told us it was $1,000.

Some even called it a scam saying her lights never got turned off. Anonymous donors gave Memphis Light Gas and Water just enough money for her to get it turned back on. We put in a public records request to MLGW about the accusations. It could take 7-10 business days to get a response.

Shelby County Commissioner Tammi Sawyer called MLGW because she wanted to help cover some of the electricity bill. She told said MLGW confirmed the bill was more than $1,300 and Sumlin’s lights did get turned off.

This story just keeps unfolding. The GoFundMe account said it was created a day ago by Jessica Sumlin. It’s much different from what she told us Monday.

The story on the page said she moved in with her mother around Christmas because her house contained mold.

It said in part “I had a newborn and someone broke in and stole all my children’s things.” She said that was information she put on a GoFundMe page about a year ago claiming she didn’t know how to update it.

“I didn’t have a PayPal and cash app, I went online and tried to do one, they was telling me that I needed a credit card to even receive the money so a lot of people was like it’s not letting us send you the money so I figured I have an old GoFundMe page because people must had started looking me up because I had seen I had it started at $200 dollars in donations,” she explained.

People are also accusing Sumlin about her rent. According to the documentation we reviewed, it showed she has been behind for months. She owes more than $1,900.