‘I scammed my way into Cambridge’ says controversial American influencer

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Ms Calloway said: “I lied on my application. I forged my transcript when I got in.”

She told the publication that she received a place to study History of Art on her third attempt after receiving rejections from Oxford, Yale, and Harvard and dropping out of New York University. She said: “I couldn’t live the rest of my life with an NYU email address.”

Ms Calloway added: “I take up a lot of space online and I’m not that famous. And that’s what I’m most proud of.

“I want to be famous. I want to be rich. […] I want to live comfortably. What actually pulls in the likes and what actually keeps a community quiet and calm is just faking it to a certain degree.”

Following her mainstream media success, Ms Calloway signed a $500,000 (£403,775) with publishers Flatiron for a memoir that was never published.

Ms Calloway was reportedly first exposed as a scammer when her former best friend Natalie Beach wrote an article which claimed she had purchased her followers and had not been the sole author of her Instagram captions.

In the interview, Ms Calloway denied Ms Beach’s claims that she had been writing Ms Calloway’s posts, but she did admit she had helped her ghost-write her draft book proposal.

Ms Calloway also revealed that she paid $4.99 (£4.03) in for 4,000 followers in 2013 when she left New York University.

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After spending some time at Cambridge University and not writing the memoir, she was forced to pay back the advance to Flatiron.

To help fund this, she launched a “creativity workshop” in 2018 with tickets priced at $165 (£133) with those who attended promised handwritten letters, care packages, and flower crowns.

Ms Calloway received criticism for these workshops, with one undercover reporter saying the workshop had taught her a lot about scamming and nothing about creativity.

Months later, a condemning Twitter threat by writer Kayleigh Donaldson forced Ms Calloway to cancel her tour of the US, UK, and Europe.

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The ensuing scandal meant Ms Calloway had to reinvent herself. She is now a writer who has deleted all of her previous Instagram posts and written a memoir.

Responding to her statement, a spokesperson for St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, said: “We cannot comment on individual students, however, we take statements like this very seriously.”

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