Mari Poindexter, a Central Michigan University instructor, became famous last summer for being brutally attacked for being gay. Now, however, she admits that she made up the incident and has retracted her story.
In August, Poindexter attended a Toby Keith concert with her family. She claims that a man came up to her and began berating her with anti-gay slurs, yelling things like “you cross-dressing queen!” She then said that this man later beat her up in the parking lot of a nearby bar, and she had the black eye to prove it.
Mari’s story caught on and went viral online. Her university even issued a public statement supporting her and putting down the attack.
However, when the police got involved, Poindexter got scared and caught in her own lies. She stopped cooperating with police when they informed her that there was camera footage of the bar and its parking lot, and were hoping to find video of the attack. At that point, she began getting scared that her lies would surface and even threatened to hurt herself. A friend of hers called the police because she was frightened as to what Poindexter might do.
Once the truth came out, police said that Mari “made the story up about being assaulted by a male subject at the bar and punched herself in the eye because she wanted to raise awareness about the social hardships of people in the LGBTQ community.”
Poindexter’s lawyer, Dan O’Neil, says that part of the story is true. She was verbally harassed by a concert-goer, which angered and upset her deeply. “The assault included many homophobic remarks and was very mean spirited.” But he claims she made “the mistake of exaggerating the assault.”
Mari pled guilty to making a false police report. She will serve 6 months’ probation and pay a $225 fine.