Last month, Nashville Instagrammer Tiffany Mitchell posted photographs of herself lying by the side of the road. She wrote that they were taken following a motorbike accident.
But after an initial wave of sympathy from her (then) 211,000 followers, the doubtful comments began to trickle in. And then the floodgates truly opened when Buzzfeed ran a story about it this week.
Given the traumatic nature of a road accident, the photographs were just so… beautiful. But there also appeared to be discrepancies.
She appeared to have more than one helmet. Where was the blood? Why did she name-check her tattoo artist in her post (she said her flowers may need a “touch-up”) and – even more crucially – why was there a prominently branded bottle of water in the forefront of one of the shots?
Tiffany Mitchell has now been accused of making the whole thing up as a publicity stunt. She claims to be receiving death threats as the backlash intensifies.
Her friend Lindsey Grace Whiddon was the photographer who was with her that day.
“Looking back at the photos, I can see why they seem so staged and, if I hadn’t been there myself, I might also have a hard time believing they weren’t,” she told me.
“I can tell you on my own personal and professional integrity that not only were they un-staged, Tiffany had no idea they were being taken until hours later.”
Tiffany later removed the post, and uploaded a video defending herself.
I asked her if she wanted to talk to the BBC. She was emotional, her sentences peppered with words like “vulnerability”, “openness”, “true” and “healing”.
She told me her boyfriend, James Cloninger, was killed in a motorbike accident in 2016. Some of her Instagram posts refer to their relationship, and her grief.
His death was covered by the local press at the time.