Woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann says she suffered emotional breakdown after fleeing Poland due to death threats

25 March 2023, 13:27 | Updated: 6 April 2023, 12:17

Julia Wendell (L) hit the headlines after claiming to be Madeleine McCann (inset)
Julia Wendell (L) hit the headlines after claiming to be Madeleine McCann (inset). Picture: Social media
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A woman who claims to be Madeleine McCann has revealed she suffered an emotional breakdown after fleeing Poland for America due to death threats.

Julia Wendell said her breakdown was brought on after she watched a movie depicting child abuse, which she says brought back traumatic memories from her childhood.

"I had the biggest breakdown of my life," Julia, 21, told RadarOnline.

"After watching the entire movie I went to my bedroom and started to cry wondering why my family didn’t help me, why they destroyed my life," she said.

Read More: Woman who says she is Madeleine McCann demands medical record from Polish doctor she claims drugged her as a child

"I think for the first time I started to ask myself, why my family who raised me, why they tried to destroy me...I always tried to understand it, OK, it’s your family, ok, they want to help you, they want to do everything to help you, but it’s not the truth."

Ms Wendell was taken in by self-proclaimed medium and private investigator Dr. Fia Johansson in Los Angeles after receiving death threats online.

The 21-year-old Polish woman hit the headlines after saying online she could be Madeleine McCann, who was last seen on a family holiday in 2007.

It comes after Dr Johansson said in an Instagram live that she has been in contact with Ms Wendell's family back in Poland.

She said: "The more I investigate about Julia’s life in Poland, the more deeply I felt sorry for Julia and I felt sorry for Julia’s mum as a human being."

Dr Johansson said Julia's mother had been in contact with a UK-based social media page to try to dismantle her daughter's claims.

Read More: Woman who believes she is Madeleine McCann 'will get answers by the end of the week'

She added: "To me it was like wow, the mother saying to everyone that I am concerned and worried about my daughter, and then all of a sudden, instead of communicating with the spokesperson, or the investigator, or the person named Fia that’s helping the daughter, choosing to go to some fan-page, UK-based, and saying all those things."

Read More: 'You can't hide anymore': Private detective challenges family of woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann

Ms Wendell is currently waiting for the result of a forensic DNA test results to determine if she is Madeleine, though it has already been determined by a facial recognition software company that this is "practically impossible".

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