The Heat's Birdman was a victim of a double catfish.
Before becoming a local icon and helping the Miami Heat win its second-consecutive NBA championship, Chris "Birdman" Andersen played for the Denver Nuggets. And it was while he was with the Nuggets that Andersen was caught up in speculation about having kiddie porn on his computer.
While with Denver in 2012, a Colorado Sheriff's Office Internet Crimes Against Children unit raided Birdman's home and seized his computer. Speculation about child pornography ran rampant throughout the media and social media.
The truth soon came out. Andersen was a victim of extortion. He never had kiddie porn on his computer, nor was he involved with it in any way. He was eventually exonerated. But now the details of what exactly happened have emerged, and it's all pretty nutty.
According to a Sports Illustrated report, a woman named Shelly Lynn Chartier has been saying she was Andersen online, trying to catfish people.
One of Chartier's victims was a California woman whose name has not been released.
According to his attorneys, the California woman and Andersen had sex, but it was Chartier who somehow got the two together. Chartier apparently got ahold of Andersen's phone, social media accounts, email, and bank records.
After the tryst, things began to unravel for the Birdman. From SI:
Posing as Andersen, the Canadian woman allegedly orchestrated the initial tryst between the player and the California woman. She then began communicating and corresponding with the woman from California. At one point, representing herself as Andersen, the imposter began making demands -- some of them, sources say, sexually explicit -- of the California woman.
The woman believed that it was Andersen making the demands and felt increasingly threatened. Eventually she went to the authorities. The sexually suggestive threats triggered the investigation of the Internet Crimes Against Children unit. When Douglas County Sheriff's office executed its search warrant on Andersen's home in Larkspur, Colorado, 40 miles south of Denver, police took his computer and other electronic equipment.
Basically, Chartier pulled off one very elaborate catfish that authorities are still trying to sort out.
And Andersen might not even be her only victim. Investigators believe there might be other victims out there -- athletes like Andersen -- who have been catfished by Chartier.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.