'Friends' of the teen model who exposed the truth behind her "perfect Instagram life" have said the stunt was a hoax to boost her profile.
Essena O'Neill, who deleted her Twitter accounts, 2,000 Instagram images and re-captioned the rest to tell the true story behind the "candid" images, has now quit social media altogether.
The Australian teen said she wanted to expose the reality of famous Instagram youths who are paid by companies to model clothing and products.
The 19-year-old has now released a series of videos asking viewers to financially support her as she can no longer afford "my own real life".
Posting on her new website LetsBeGameChangers, O'Neill admits: "I can’t afford rent right now.
"It’s like I’m just embarrassed to admit that I need help ... if you like my videos or like any of my posts or you like this website, if this is of value to you, then yeah, please support me because I can’t afford my own real life.
"It’s like I’m embarrassed to say, ‘Hey I’d rather you support what I’m doing by you paying what you think it’s worth to you. It’s like that’s embarrassing or wrong, but promoting endless products, getting cheap views on YouTube ... or using my looks for money, that that’s OK? But actually just making a new thing ... if you think that’s cool, support me."
But O'Neill, who had more than half a million Instagram followers and around 250,000 YouTube subscribers, has been accused of pulling the wool over her followers' eyes - by two Los Angeles-based twins.
Nina and Randa Nelson say the Australian teen is a "fake".
"She has more Instagram followers ever because of this publicity stunt," they added.
The former model has addressed the claims by the twins, but refuses to discuss their "private problems".
O'Neill, who lives on Australia's Sunshine Coast, also implored the media to focus on the real issues behind her decision to quit social media.
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