Keaton Jones

‘She just wanted money’: MMA fighter questions mom who posted heartbreaking video of bullied son, while family says someone is impersonating her

Kimberly Jones, the mother who posted a heart-wrenching video of her son, Keaton, who said he’s been bullied relentlessly at his Tennessee middle school, is defending herself after an MMA fighter questioned her motives behind showing the video of her tearful son.

FOX News reports that Joe Schilling, a Bellator MMA fighter, was so touched by Keaton’s video that he reached out to the family, hoping to meet the middle schooler in person and fly him to Los Angeles to watch an MMA fight. Yet, the fighter claims he received a response from someone he thought to be Kimberly Jones, who apparently told him she was “not rich” and needed money.

“Go look at her ig watch her story posts she just running a money scam. Really really sad and disgusting. Tagging celebrities trying to get them to donate to her go fund me account smfh,” Schilling posted on Instagram.

“I feel pretty stupid right now,” Schilling continued. “I was pretty moved by Keaton Jones video so I reached out to his mom and was going to bring him out to LA for a Bellator event that’s coming up, big show, and and introduce him to fighters, be his friend, and she just wants money. She just wants me to share her GoFund me account.”

Yet, according to Jones’ daughter, Lakyn, the person Schilling was communicating with was not Jones, but instead someone who impersonated her.

“The Instagram KimberlyJones_38 is NOT my mom. She has a private Instagram and hasn’t talked to anyone. We haven’t received any money and don’t plan on it. The gofundme’s [sic] aren’t by any of us.,” Lakyn wrote on Twitter on Monday.

A recently-closed GoFundMe page, which had already raised close to $60,000, was reportedly created by someone who has no association with the family.

“I did not tell him that I would rather have donations instead of the help from celebrities,” Jones said in an Instagram message, according to FOX.

“I love my kids: Ya’ll people do not know me or my family,” Jones wrote publicly on her Instagram page on Monday. “Did y’all know that my son Keaton was spit on in school, picked on by teachers, that supposed to be there for him??? I’m guessing y’all didn’t because y’all wanna steady Judge me and say I’m using him for money that’s false.”

The incident caused an uproar among social media users. While Schilling eventually removed the video from his Instagram account, some still believed his story, but others were upset that he made the accusations in the first place, without having definite proof he was speaking to Jones herself.

Apparently, Jones also had photos of the Confederate battle flag on her Facebook page, which became so offensive to many people that she appeared on Good Morning America on Monday morning to explain the photos. She also spoke with CBS correspondent, Mark Strassmann, and said that not only were photos meant to be “ironic,” but that she was bullied herself in her hometown for not being racist.

“The only two photos — the only two photos on my entire planet that I am anywhere near a Confederate flag. It was ironic. It was funny,” Jones said.

“It didn’t have anything to do with racist intent?” Strassmann asked.

“No. No. Absolutely not. I’ve said I spent most of my life being bullied and judged because I wasn’t racist,” Jones said.

Keaton, who also spoke to Strassman, said that he had no idea the video would cause such a reaction, but it made him feel like his message could change the world.

“It made me feel like I had accomplished something real. Something that could actually change the world.”

The Tennessee Union County Board of Education acknowledged one bullying incident that occurred at Keaton’s middle school but reportedly claimed that the incident has been blown out of proportion.

[Feature Photo: Keaton Jones/Facebook]