Rachel Johnson 6pm - 9pm
Woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann denies stealing birth certificate and photos from her family
29 March 2023, 21:13 | Updated: 6 April 2023, 12:19
The Polish woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann denies her parents’ claims she stole her birth certificate and childhood photos to cover her tracks and hide that she is not the missing girl.
Julia Wendell, 21, spoke out on a US talk show after her parents accused her of fuelling a web of "lies and manipulation."
In a written statement aired during Dr Phil’s show, Julia's parents said it was “obvious that Julia isn’t Maddie.”
It added: “For us as a family it is obvious Julia is our daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and step niece. We have memories, we have pictures.
“Julia also has these photos because she took them from the family home with the birth certificate, as well as numerous hospital discharges.”
Julia, who first made the claim last month on social media wracking up one million followers on her now deactivated Instagram account, has previously said she has never seen a photo of her mother pregnant and that she has very few childhood memories.
She told Dr Phil her mom would always change the subject whenever she questioned her about her ancestry or birth and the first six pages of her health book - which is given to every child in Poland - was blank.
“I believe I am Madeleine McCann,” she said.
Private investigator and medium Dr Fia Johansson who is helping Julia and took her to California after she received death threats in Poland told Dr Phil her team had driven to the hospital where the woman’s mother said she gave birth to her but failed to find any evidence.
“We didn’t find anything and they said ‘we don’t have any here’. So we went to another hospital they said the same thing; ‘we don’t have any here’. So we go to the third one and they said ‘we don’t have any’,” Dr Johansson said.
Since airing her claims on social media earlier this year, Faustyna has tried to prove her case by pointing out physical similarities between herself and Madeleine — including a brown smudge that appears on each girl’s right eye.
But facial recognition software said it was '90% certain' that Julia was not Madeleine.
Wendell is currently awaiting DNA results to confirm her true identity.
Asked what she would do if the results prove she isn’t Madeleine, Wendell said she wouldn’t want any contact with her Polish family.
“If she is my mother, I don’t want to have contact with her that’s all, but I believe she isn’t my mother,” she said.
Madeleine vanished on a family holiday to Portugal in 2007 aged three.