Family: East Tenn. woman plans to pay back donations after faking cancer

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SWEETWATER, Tenn. (WATE) – Family and friends of Ashley Lively are in shock after the sheriff’s department said they are investigating her for complaints that she raised money by faking cancer.

Detective Travis Jones who is working on the case said Lively admitted she made it all up.

“She did admit to us she did not have cancer. Never has. She’s willing to pay everyone back,” Detective Jones said.

The truth came to light when someone contacted the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office wondering how a supposedly sick Ashley had gone on vacation to Florida. Now, both the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Loudon County Sheriff’s office are involved in the investigation. Charges against Lively are still pending, however, she is being investigated for more than $8,000 in theft. Det. Jones said their investigation goes back to January.

Margaret Shubert, Lively’s aunt, said that at 3:00 p.m. Thursday Lively sent a text to the family saying the cancer was fake. She said she had the names of everyone who donated and planned to pay them back. Shubert said her family is “just as shocked and tore up as everyone else”.

Detective Jones says Lively’s family, friends and husband are not part of the investigation.

Staff at Hair Therapy Spa in Athens still can’t believe Lively is being investigated. In January they said they gave a whole day of free spa treatments to Lively, her mom, and grandmother.

“Shocked. There’s no other words for it. How do you go before all these people who donate their time, money, pray for you non-stop, knowing all along you’re lying to them?” said Misty Martin, who works at the spa and donated her time that day.

Those who selflessly gave to the cause are still in disbelief.

“We still want to think God performed a miracle. God healed her body of cancer. That’s what we want to believe,” Martin said.

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