We previously discussed the lesbian waitress in New Jersey, Dayna Morales, 22, who attracted international attention after being denied a tip by a family which allegedly wrote on the check that they did “not agree with your lifestyle.” The family later came forward with evidence suggesting that Morales had lied and that not only did she receive a tip from them but that they supported gay rights. Now, former friends are going public with allegations that Morales is a habitual liar. The irony is that, after the prior posting drew analogies to Stolen Valor cases, Morales is now accused of lying about her service with the U.S. Marine Corp. Morales has remained conspicuously silent despite numerous media appearances during the rise of the story.
Morales works as a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater and posted a photo on Facebook showing the bill with a line through the tip area. The photo of the receipt showed someone had written, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle.” However, the New Jersey couple came forward with their receipt showing no such words and a tip for $18. We previously discussed, if true, whether Morales could face criminal or civil liability.
Now, various sources are coming forward to allege Morales lied about a wide variety of other issues, including her military service. While some former friends have recounted stories of combat missions and an explosion that killed everyone in her unit except her, the Marines say that Morales was never stationed abroad, let alone in combat. Moreover, she was dishonorably discharged in May after being stationed in Newburgh, N.Y.
Another fellow employee claims that, while working at the Cheesecake Factory, she told coworkers that she had brain cancer and shaved her hair before it fell out from treatments. She received assistance from concerned workers at the restaurant before reportedly quitting.
Other friends recounted how she allegedly claimed that she was raped by her father who also killed her baby. Others from a day care center where she once worked said that Morales told co-workers that Superstorm Sandy virtually destroyed her home, including a boat that went through her living room. When they went out to the house of our concern, they said that they found nothing more than slight damage to a carpet near the front door.
Some of these former friends have gone on the record like Kristina Calamusa, who says that Morales claimed to her that she was “blown up by a land mine overseas.” Likewise, Julie Howat and Karolee Larkin, both 23, said that Morales told them about her serving in Afghanistan and surviving an explosion that killed everyone in her platoon. They say that the explosion left her as the unit’s sole survivor.
While Morales has remained silent, these sources are raising questions about the media’s rush on the story. However, the media was faced not only with her claims but the supporting position of the restaurant itself. It is difficult to do a background investigation on every source of a story when she is posting a receipt supporting her claims. The fact is that the media continues to rely on some basic assumptions of honesty or at least self-preservation in people who go public with such accounts. However, like the Tawana Brawley story, the controversy can take on a life of its own when combined with powerful social or racial elements.
Once again, I find the tie into the alleged lies about military service to be the most interesting aspects of this story. If true, we have often discussed how stolen valor claims are part of a larger life of fantasy by this relatively small group of people. We certainly saw that in subject of the Supreme Court case. Such people often weave lies that extend beyond claims of being decorated combat veterans. This case also shows how disclosure of such alleged lies brings a sufficient punishment for these people who become social pariahs.
If it is shown that Morales lied, do you think that she should be charged or sued for the misrepresentation?