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E.S. Skipper

E.S. Skipper by Lily G. Blunt

Many of you will know by now that E. S. Skipper, also known as Emmett S. Skipper and Dylan Wilson, has been exposed as part of a ‘catfish’ scheme. As far as I know, Natalie Leith was working on her own to deceive people on the Internet, mainly through fanfiction.net and Facebook. She used pictures of her family and friends to provide fake identities for various characters and with them built up a large network of friends and acquaintances in the m/m writing community.

In November 2013, I met ‘Dylan’ through two Facebook groups and offered to beta/edit the fanfiction stories he wrote under the name of Emmett’s Submissive. We became close friends and spent many hours each day chatting or working together on his stories via gdocs. I became an administrator on his Emmett’s Submissive Facebook page and helped gain him many additional followers and friends.

He seemed keen to publish, so I suggested he write a submission for Wayward Ink Publishing’s Bollocks anthology. We worked together on his plot and I helped edit it, as did many others before it was published. I produced a video for the story, helped promote his author name of E.S. Skipper and set up a blog for him in April 2014.

I gradually became suspicious of the drama in his life. Inconsistencies in his stories, along with things I thought were downright lies, led me to investigate who this person really was. The evidence I found made me doubt his background and life. I collated evidence along with several other people who voiced similar concerns.

We came to the conclusion that his persona was fake and the possible identity behind his profile was Natalie Leith. We also realized the other profiles connected to Emmett S. Skipper (i.e. Alex Samuels, Josh Cameron, Trent Skipper, Seth Leith, Chris Burns, possibly others) were all part of the scam conducted by the same person.

Although we believed we were right in our assumptions, we didn’t have enough evidence to voice our concerns publicly. We discovered a similar situation had occurred in 2011, again with Natalie Leith being the common denominator. This episode was also marked with drama, brain tumor and suicide stories.

By now, many of our friends and other people had been deceived into thinking E.S. Skipper/Dylan Wilson was a new and talented gay male author. He made many friendships using the different profiles, including one that was destined to lead to a marriage proposal.

We were not the only ones who became suspicious and other people conducted their own investigations, some drawing the same conclusion as us.

A small group of us joined together last week and managed to track down the real life Facebook accounts which contained photographs that proved ‘Dylan’ and ‘Josh’ were fakes. This was the final proof. We composed a letter and sent it to certain people involved, and as a result, the situation became public.

There has been outright condemnation of this woman and rightly so. She beguiled her way into many people’s hearts. The revelation of the truth behind this character has left many people shocked and in grief. They have lost someone who they considered was a supportive and caring friend.

Two other people I know also thought they were in a relationship with one of the fake personas and have been hurt in ways we can only imagine. No remorse has been shown and the motive for such deception is still unclear.

As much as ‘Dylan’ was seen as a young and flamboyant author, he also had a malicious side. Many people were witness to his nastiness. Natalie’s method was to divide friendships by telling lies. I was labelled a ‘bully’, ‘a jealous author’ and ‘evil’ to others. My name and character were slandered. Others have also been on the receiving end of this spite. One person was accused of causing the suicide of another author, when in fact that author was one of Natalie’s fanfiction profiles, Romancing the Boys.

Many of the people who helped E.S. Skipper ended up at the vicious end of her tongue when they either outlived their usefulness, suggested a change she didn’t like or started questioning events in Dylan’s drama-filled life. I’m guessing the slander and lies will have cost many of those in the firing line money in revenue.

Emmett S. Skipper’s Facebook profile and pages have now been removed. Alex Samuel and Trent Skipper’s profiles have been deleted. Emmett’s Submissive’s stories have been removed, but the profile remains on fanfiction. AuthorBoi’s stories and profile are still viewable, and Josh, Seth and Chris still have Facebook profiles intact at the time of writing.

Many authors use pen names, which is perfectly acceptable. Not everyone wants their true identity broadcast to the world. What is not acceptable is building up a web of lies and creating personas with the intention of deceiving and hurting others.

As well as receiving gifts, E.S. Skipper was given free advice and support, free editing and formatting, free book promotion, a free video, a free book cover, as well as taking up the valuable time and energy of many to help improve his writing. Had this person been honest from the start, she would have been welcomed into the m/m writing community and may have had a successful writing career.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men's feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page. There never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing! Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories via Amazon and later published short stories with Torquere Press, Wayward Ink Publishing, and Pride Publishing.

28 responses »

  1. Pingback: E.S. Skipper | E. S. Skipper

  2. WOW … “shock” does not even BEGIN to express how I feel about this. I’m glad that it was all uncovered before more people were pulled in.

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  3. An absolutely brilliant post bringing to the public notice a despicable person whose deception has hurt yourself and many a good person. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  4. Thanks you for putting this out there. So many were hurt, dumbfounded, and deceived by this person. There isn’t a hell deep enough

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  5. I was in the process of making bookmarks for giveaways..am glad she was found out..I however feel so sad for those who were directly affected x

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  6. bevsutherland

    Sorry he/she hurt you and others so badly Lily, I am aware of what’s gone on and have just suggested on Goodreads that the refunds we can get back from Amazon should go towards helping some of the people who’ve been ripped off. What do you think??

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  7. Great post, Lily.

    You know, I thought I’d left these juvenile shenanigans behind in fandom.

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  8. What she also did is take other people’s generosity and talent and pass it off as her own. You all helped her along and she knew that holding onto your coattails and those of the others she betrayed would get her further than she could get alone. She is callous, unfeeling and heartless. we can only wonder at how pathetic her life is that she would find her actions acceptable. My heart goes out to you Lily, and all those involved, especially Max.

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  9. The sad thing for me is that she used people who were trying to help her. That and that fact that after reading the sample chapters up at Amazon, thinking that she wasn’t that good. Overabundance of telling,stilted dialogue, etc. It is a testament to her ability to charm and cajole that she was able to make people give her things.It’s just too bad she used her power for evil, instead of good.

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  10. Wow, a couple of names I know as friends. How sad a person do you have to be to feel this is the way to be a person. The m/m community is an amazing group of kind hearted people who are more than willing to help new authors. All you ever have to do is ask.

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  11. I learned of this whole thing today when Max made the announcement on his Facebook-wall. I don’t know any of you, but I’ve read some of you author’s books, I follow many of you on Facebook or other places and I love how amazing m/m-community is. A tight knit circle that cares for their own. I can’t believe that this person used the generosity so despiteful for personal profit and hurt so many people on her way. I truly hope that she eventually will get what she deserves …

    Hugs to everyone
    Birte

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  12. This is such a grand betrayal of epic proportions! I’m so sorry for all that were caught up in her web and hurt in the process. The psychological mentality that would make someone behave in that manner is so foreign to me. My heart goes out to all involved. Don’t let the bad seeds deter you all from the good apples in our fandom! ❤ Lots of love and well wishes!

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  13. louiselyons013

    Excellent detailed post, Lily. I’m so glad you and I and others are finally able to talk about this publicly. Hugs, xx

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  14. It grieves me that someone as generous and helpful as yourself was so taken advantage of by such an unscrupulous woman.

    Here’s hoping that what goes around, comes around.

    You have my support always.

    Hugs,
    Lily

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  15. I learned about this yesterday on Max’ FB site. And I can say I’m still stunned speechless.
    I can’t get my head around the horrendous lies.
    This post showed me that it was even far worse than I knew.
    I’m sorry for all who got betrayed and hurt in one way or the other. Hugs to you all.

    And as a reader I have to say I LOVE the way this community is connected and a tight knit circle. I am grateful that we readers can “talk” and get to know authors of our favourite books. I don’t want to lose this possibilities, it’s really precious to me.

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  16. I only recently started following “Emmett” on Facebook, but definitely felt there was a lot of “drama” there. When I told my husband what had happened, he said she is absolutely a sociopath. You said she did it before, and she WILL try it again. The question is: Hasn’t she perpetrated a fraud here to the extent of committing a real, “arrest” able crime? After all, she benefitted financially through massive false representation. In some countries, she would have cuffs on her by now.

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  17. Though it was a shocking blow, thank you and all those involved for bringing this out in the open. You and many others gave generously of your time and resources to help this person without thought of asking for anything in return because you are happy to help. I’m thankful for this community rallying behind those who now need support. I’m grateful for the support I have seen friends show one another in the wake of this deceit. It also warms my heart that some friendships that were torn apart by this person are now mending.

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  18. Hate to tell you this. But you have the wrong person. The person who did this steals identities.

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  19. I know people use the internet to hide who they are sometimes and for good reasons. But not everyone has this disgusting evil in them to create a plethora of stories and to really go out of their way to lie about their whole lives.
    I don’t understand why this person had to fool everyone. Especially someone so wonderful as Max. This fraud could have just said, Hey, I’m actually female but interested in writing–blahblah. I don’t understand how this person had it in her to lie to everyone. And to make joke of everyone’s emotions. It’s disgusting. I’m so glad I was too distracted with other stories give hers a try. I’m just so so sad and so so sorry to everyone who got so deeply involved with this trash. I’m so sad for all parties involved. Especially Max. Just so so sad….

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  20. only one word for this despicable woman—sociopath

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  21. Surely obtaining money/favours with intrinsic financial worth by false pretences is a criminal offence in New Zealand? I wonder what the NZ legal organisation would think about one of their own in such a scam?

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  22. What a well written post. Laying out all the facts without resorting to general nastiness. The person behind this is just vile. To have deliberately set out to deceive people in this way is truly nasty and my heart is with every single person who has been hurt xx

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  23. This is a nasty, awful person. One happy to play with others emotions and use them in their own manipulative games. Sorry you got caught up in their web of lies

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  24. Pingback: Catfishing | harperrush

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