(Photo: Screen Grab via YouTube/CNN)
Former Cleveland dishwasher Charles Ramsey, who shot to fame in May for his role in saving three women and a young girl from kidnapper Ariel Castro's house, says he's now broke and homeless because of the fame but he doesn't want to give up the limelight.
"I don't have an address, I don't live anywhere. I go from house to house, to friend to friend, to family member to family member," said Ramsey in a Daily Mail report on Monday, which claims he's made $50,000 from public donations and appearance fees in the last two months.
"I'm borrowing money from my relatives. I don't even answer my phone no more because he keeps calling. I don't have the money. Stop calling," he deadpanned.
"What I've been doing for the past four weeks is wearing out my welcome with everybody who knows me. Some places I don't think I'm allowed to go back, I don't know why, I don't do nothing," he said.
On May 6, Ramsey gave an animated account to news media of how he helped Amanda Berry, 27, her 6-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, escape from Castro's house where they had been held captive as sex slaves for almost 10 years.
Since then, he has been hailed as a hero and claims he had to walk away from his dishwashing job and move out of the house next door to Ariel Castro's into a hotel because of all the attention he was getting according to the Daily Mail.
But during his ascent to stardom, however, a Spanish-speaking Dominican man, Angel Cordero, revealed to news media that he was the one who pulled open the door for Amanda Berry after she banged on it, and not Ramsey.
On Monday, Aurora Marti, a 75-year-old woman who doesn't speak English and lives directly in front of Castro's house, backed up Cordero's claim while noting that she was the first person to offer assistance to Berry.
The woman explained that she was outdoors telling a neighbor to take her medicine when she heard cries for help.
When she went over to the house to investigate and saw Berry, she said in Spanish: "You can't be Amanda Berry - she's dead."
Marti said because of her arthritis she was unable to open the door for Berry so she asked Cordero to help.
She said Ramsey showed up after Berry was free and she didn't hug him like he claimed.
"Charles did nothing to help Amanda. It was me and two other people, Angel Cordero and Altagracia Tejera. I couldn't open the front door of her house because I've got arthritis." Marti said through an interpreter.
But because none of them spoke English, their stories were never told and Ramsey claimed the limelight.
Marti also said when Cordero started telling the truth about what happened, Ramsey "told him to shut up and made a threat against him."
"Charles has been living it up, he's been drinking and smoking. He bought a new BMW and came by a few weeks ago at night telling my son that he was going to be rich. He made a T-shirt with his face on it that he was selling for $25. I told my neighbor to buy one so I could burn it," she said.
In a Channel 3 News report on Tuesday, however, Ramsey colorfully dismissed the report as "full of lies."
"It's bulls**t," said Ramsey. "That's the politically correct word for it." He said he had earned about $18,000 since his sudden rise to fame and he used about $8,000 from that amount to purchase a used BMW.
"What I've made are lots of friends," he said, "and I'm borrowing money from lots of friends."
Despite his troubles, however, when asked by the Daily Mail if he would go back to the life he had before, he replied: "Go back to the life you had before, would you go back to not being famous? Yes or no? Of course not, no you wouldn't go back. As far as me being the fame and what not, being on television of course I wouldn't give that up. We only got one shot at life unless you know something I don't."