File this under “only in college football”
The Texas Longhorns’ underwhelming football season took an unexpected turn Monday night.
A Houston-based photographer named Tom Campbell tweeted he had heard from a “reliable source” that a pet monkey belonging to Texas special teams coach Jeff Banks had bitten a child on Halloween.
Usually a rumor as patently absurd as this one coming from someone with no history of breaking college football news and no clear reporting background wouldn’t be worthy of attention. (Campbell does hold a journalism degree from Texas A&M and has had photographs published by mainstream outlets, but he isn’t a college football reporter.) Except Banks’s girlfriend decided she should hop on Twitter and confirm elements of the story in an attempt to clear his name.
You see, the monkey doesn’t belong to Banks. It belongs to his girlfriend, Danielle Thomas. The animal is a white-faced capuchin named Gia with her own Instagram page, who used to perform alongside Thomas when she was a pole dancer known as the Pole Assassin (who was featured on The Jerry Springer Show).
After Campbell’s tweet had started going viral, Thomas rushed to defend herself. She explained that she had set up a haunted house in her yard for Halloween and one of the kids ventured beyond the course of the display and to the area where the monkey is housed. Thomas also confirmed that she was told a child had been bitten but described the bite as “small” (sic throughout):
“I had a haunted house on one side gated off/ he had no permission to go pass the gate i had no idea he went in my back yard,” she tweeted before deleting her Twitter account. “neither did i know anything about a bite ! Until a doctor of neighborhood told me the treat a small bite. No parent have contacted me about it !”
“A 11 /12 year old child should know better then to enter someone yard without permission and old enough to also follow the rules,” she added. “The rules were when u get to the gate turn around and come back out for candy every other parent and child did so !”
“People lie so much it's ridiculous ! Stop believing everything u hear ! And more of what u see ! SMH !” another tweet read.
The icing on the cake was a video Thomas posted walking through her backyard explaining the route the child took to the monkey’s cage and how it was impossible for the child to be bitten without sticking their arm in the cage.
If Thomas’s aim was to clear Banks’s name, it might have worked. There’s no indication that Banks was involved in the situation at all. Still, it’s a tricky situation for a guy who was recently linked to the Washington State coaching job to find himself in.
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