It all started in November 2020. After being diagnosed with the degenerative Huntington's Disease, Carrie Jade Williams decided to put her feelings about it into an essay, titled 'My brain is in a battle it will lose'.
She could no longer write or hold a pen, so she apparently wrote the essay with the help of assisted technology. Her words were so moving, she won the Financial Times' Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize, becoming the next exciting literary talent to watch.
Carrie's story tugged at the hearts of many, and the woman in her 30s became an online voice for those living with a disability. In early 2022, she took that voice over to TikTok to share how Airbnb guests had been so triggered by disability aids in her home, they were suing her for £450,000.
"I know able-ism exists, and I've experienced it," she said through tears in a video.
It sounded like an unjust story that very much deserved the outcry it generated.
The only thing is, Carrie Jade Williams... doesn't exist. She is a complete work of fiction.
Video: Real Identity Behind Serial Fraudster With 40 Aliases. Post continues below.
Carrie Jade is really Samantha Cookes.
A new podcast, Carrie Jade Does Not Exist, hosted by Sue Perkins and journalist Katherine Denkinson, looks into the bizarre story of this woman's hoax, and how she took on six different identities over the years to scam vulnerable people and families. It was Katherine who uncovered the truth and revealed it in a Vice magazine exposé: Carrie was, in fact, serial fraudster Samantha Cookes.