The woman who sued her 12-year-old nephew for $127,000 says it is all a big misunderstanding – and the boy is backing her up.
Sean Tarala, 12, and his aunt, Jennifer Connell appeared on the Today show on Thursday morning.
He said: “She would never do anything to hurt the family or myself. She loves us.”
Connell, 54, sued the boy over an injury she received during his eighth birthday party at his home in Westport, Connecticut. When the boy jumped into her arms to hug her, she fell and broke her wrist.
Connell, a human resources manager who lives in a walkup in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, lost the case earlier this week after the jury took 25 minutes to reach their decision.
She found herself in a firestorm of condemnation, particularly when it emerged that her nephew was motherless. His mom, Lisa, passed away suddenly last year.
The aunt described the media scrutiny.
She told Savannah Guthrie: “It was a complete shock to me how I walked into court that morning and walked out all over social media and it just spun and spun and I was getting calls, ‘Don’t look at the internet. Don’t turn on the television.’
"It was sort of heartbreaking and really painful. It was like walking into a film of someone else’s life and I hadn’t been briefed. I have been in shock since that has happened.”
The young boy added: “I felt like everybody is saying stuff they didn't know.”
Although the accident happened four years ago, Connell was wearing a wrist brace as she left court Tuesday. On the Today show, the brace appears to be gone.
She says suing the boy was "a technicality" to get homeowners insurance to pay her medical bills.
“Because Sean and I had this fall together, I was informed that Sean had to be named, I was never comfortable with that,” she said.
Connell says she and the boy are very close and that she recently took him shopping for a Halloween costume.
The boy concluded the interview saying: “I love her and she loves me.”