Sophie Long had been captured by her father in a video where she refuses to go back to her mother's home. The harrowing video went viral.
Trigger Warning: Child Abuse
Texan girl, Sophie Long, 9, found herself in the middle of a bitter battle between her parents Michael Long, 41, and Kelly Long, 34 when the couple divorced in 2015, but their battle for the custody of their three children is ongoing. In September, Michael launched the campaign #StandwithSophie after sharing a video of his daughter refusing to go back to her mother, Kelly.
Michael said that Sophie accused Kelly's fiance "Mr. Jake" and his friends of abusing her. Michael was then awarded full custody of Sophie and her brothers Jack, 7, and Lucas, 6, on September 9, according to Daily Mail. It was revealed by Michael that his daughter sent him coded notes to tell him that she felt unsafe at her mother's home. She used the words "daisies" or "dandelions" for danger to tell him about her situation, according to Daily Mail.
Her father wanted to protect her but the long custody battle had drained his finances. He set up a GoFundMe page to help gather the money to continue fighting for his daughter. However, there's been a turn of events with the crowdfunding page being frozen.
Dear @realDonaldTrump, As a Father to a Daughter, I’m sure you can appreciate my dilemma. I need your help Sir. Will you help me #standwithsophie? #savethechildren pic.twitter.com/gcax4tsRbO— Michael Long (@standwithsophie) September 9, 2020
A law firm in Texas, Routzon Law Firm, has claimed that the page is based on false allegations. They said that Michael had been fabricating the claims of abuse, as per LawandCrime.com.
"The biological mother, according to Sophie, is a part of the sexual abuse and is encouraging it. We have gone through 30 thousand dollars since June and the fight somehow isn’t over. We have been dealing with CPS, Law Enforcement, Lawyers, DFPS, Forensic interviews, and several doctors that are helping with Sophie’s recent medical issues in her private areas and as a result of the assault by her mother and grandmother in this video," Kourtney Chalmers, Sophie's stepmom and Michael's wife, had written on the GoFundMe page, which has been taken down after raising more than $200,000.
The law firm said in a statement that the campaign "intentionally misleads the public with false claims and has sparked dangerous calls for violence."
Sophie’s birthday party was a blast! Karaoke, unicorn rides, face painting, and great company! 🙏🏼💜💫 #sophiesarmy #standwithsophie pic.twitter.com/7Xf1wgs0O9— Michael Long (@standwithsophie) September 19, 2020
"Kelly Long has not yet spoken out publicly regarding the case. As a concerned mother, her foremost priority is to protect the safety and dignity of all three of her children, including Sophie. However, extensive evidence and documents provided by medical professionals, Child Protective Services, and the Frisco Police Department of Texas show that these claims against Kelly Long are entirely unfounded," said the statement obtained by LawandCrime.
I sigh a deep breath of relief tonight knowing that all four of my children are safe and sound in our care and protection. Thank God! ☝🏼🙏🏼💙💫 #standwithsophie #sophiesarmy #14thamendment #lifeliberty #breakthecycle pic.twitter.com/ZZS8rpvrbg— Michael Long (@standwithsophie) September 10, 2020
New doubts have been cast on Michael's intentions and Kelly's family has had to report him to the authorities. Kelly's family spokesperson said, "We have alerted the authorities and attorneys are doing everything they can to warn the public about the false nature of these claims. Michael Long’s personal vendetta against his ex-wife has now escalated to dangerous levels. We are unfortunately dealing with a very volatile and increasingly dangerous situation. Michael Long will seemingly stop at nothing to destroy his ex-wife, even if it wreaks massive psychological damage on his family and involves stealing money from the public through false claims."
Sent by a subscriber: a former Admin who worked tirelessly for Michael Long, Stand with Sophie’s dad, said he lied about Sophie being raped in a hotel or increase donations. She also says he’s being sued by former admins and the main stream media pic.twitter.com/8BIXgyyZsu— Without a Crystal Ball (@woacbofficial) September 12, 2020
The campaign has garnered immense attention that included some people taking the law into their own hands. "This entire situation has been heartbreaking, terrifying and beyond comprehension. I am just putting one foot in front of the other and will do everything I can to protect, shield and help all three of my children somehow process the trauma they are experiencing. I can’t wait to hold my babies in my arms again," Kelly told MEA Worldwide in a statement.
Sophie received an early birthday present. 🎉🎁🎈She’s wanted one of these fluffy Scottish Fold cats ever since she found out that Taylor had one. Ends up, they’re right at the top of the charts for best emotional support cats. 🤔 #sophiesarmy #ScottishFold #namesophiescat pic.twitter.com/wPg5rlJc6n— Michael Long (@standwithsophie) September 15, 2020
The intense scrutiny in the case forced the Frisco Police Department to share a rare statement about Sophie's wellbeing as well. "While the Frisco Police Department will not usually offer further comment on cases that are this sensitive in nature, we would like the public to know that the child, in this case, is safe and staying at a safe location," they said.
UPDATE: Information Alert pic.twitter.com/By1Rik6f2T— Frisco Police (@FriscoPD) August 31, 2020
Kelly and her children had to go into hiding after armed individuals, who had learned about the story, found her home address, claimed the Routzon Law Firm. The story is still developing.