An Oklahoma woman who made headlines across the country last week when she explained how she allegedly helped “rescue” ten Afghan girls on a robotics team may have been telling a tall tale.
Allyson Reneau from Oklahoma City has since been told by the team to cut it out and tone down her claims of involvement with the team’s departure from Afghanistan in a cease-and-desist letter sent last week.
The letter was called a “fair and final warning” to Reneau from the team’s attorney, Kimberley Motley, to “stop any and all false statements in relation to the Afghan Girls Robotics Team.”
“Recycling old pictures with the Afghan Girls Robotics Team, many of whom are minors, as validation that you had anything to do with their immensely stressful and dangerous escape not only impacts the safety of the girls but it also significantly affects the safety of the members of the team who still remain in Afghanistan,” Motley wrote, according to a report by The Washington Post.
Motley, who represents the team’s parent organization Digital Citizen Fund, explained that the government of Qatar worked directly with the organization to assist the team in escaping the country and “confirmed that they have no idea who you are and that you were not involved in any material way with the girls leaving Afghanistan.”
Five of the girls arrived in Mexico on Tuesday while others went to Qatar, Reuters reported. Mexico is reportedly processing refugee applications for Afghan citizens that have fled the country during the Taliban takeover.
“We have repeatedly communicated to you to stop spreading false information,” Motley wrote in the scathing letter to Reneau, “and yet you continue.”
Motley continued by citing a misleading interview with CNN where she inferred that she played a significant role in the girls’ escape and had explained she worked with a former roommate to hurriedly get the paperwork ready to help them get out safely.
She told NBC News she was “overwhelmed with the need to help our American citizens” and explained the hectic situation trying to extract the girls from Kabul as a “sea of chaos with 8 million people and a city halfway around the world.”
The Wall Street Journal even ran with an editorial that praised her efforts, citing an Instagram photo she posted of herself with some of the girls on the team and claimed President Joe Biden should “put her in charge” of assisting those trying to flee Afghanistan.
Another report indicated that a Qatari Foreign Ministry official also disavowed Reneau’s involvement with the girls’ escape. Department spokesman Ibrahim Alhashmi explained that he worked directly with the founder of the Digital Citizen Fund who asked a Qatari official “to evacuate the Afghan robotics team to Doha, citing fear for their lives and future.”
In a subsequent interview with Fox News, she admitted that she “never actually left Oklahoma City.”
Reneau came to her own defense on Facebook, calling the Washington Post story “slanderous and untrue.”
“I can produce HUNDREDS of texts, emails and phone calls that shows the collaborative efforts between myself, Roya (mentioned in the article) the US Embassy in Qatar, and also with Senator Inhofe,” she claimed. “I am not sure of their motive for this disparagement, but I AM NOT phased or deterred in my ongoing efforts to rescue as many women and children as I can – in this rapidly deteriorating situation in Kabul.”
“This has been a team effort as I have stated in every interview. I am not a one-man show and have made that clear from the beginning,” she added.
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