For a good 24 hours, Jennifer Connell was vilified on social–and traditional–media as the worst aunt ever. Connell sued her young nephew Sean Tarala for $127,000 after the boy jumped into her arms causing her to fall down and break her wrist at his birthday party in Connecticut four years ago.
This morning Jennifer and Sean appeared together on the Today show to explain.
It was all a technicality, Connell said. “I was never comfortable” naming Sean in the lawsuit, she said. But that’s what Connecticut law calls for. She was trying to get the insurance company to pay her medical bills, but had to name an individual for the suit to move forward.
The story exploded on social media on Tuesday, as Jennifer and Sean were in court. By that afternoon, the judge had thrown out the suit, but by then the vilification was at full boil. “I was getting calls, ‘don’t look at the internet, don’t turn on the television,'” Connell told Savannah Guthrie.
“It was like walking into a film of another person’s life and I hadn’t been briefed,” said the Manhattan HR manager. We await the Lifetime movie. Here’s Guthrie’s interview: