‘Runaway Bride’ Jennifer Wilbanks’ bizarre story told on Scandal Made Me Famous

Jennifer Wilbanks
Jennifer Wilbanks, who became known as the ‘Runaway Bride’ after fleeing to avoid getting married

Jennifer Wilbanks was so desperate to avoid getting married to her soon-to-be-husband that she fled more than 1,400 miles then pretended she’d been kidnapped and sexually assaulted.

Wilbanks was due to marry John Mason in April 2005 in a lavish wedding with 600 guests.

But to avoid it she left Duluth, Georgia, and fled to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Her sudden disappearance sparked a manhunt across the US with some speculating whether Mason had killed her.

Three days later — after a $100,000 reward was put up by relatives in a bid to find her — she finally rang Mason, as well as 911, and lied that she had been taken hostage by a Hispanic man and a Caucasian woman while out for a run.

Her lies unravelled when she was questioned by the FBI, and she officially called off her engagement the following month.

She was subsequently charged with providing false information to law enforcement, but settled on a plea bargain which saw her sentenced to 120 hours of community service and two years probation.

She also earlier agreed to pay the city of Duluth more than $13,000 to cover the bill they had run up searching for her.

In September 2006 she sued her ex-fiance for $500,000, which she said was to reimburse her for her share of her home he bought with the proceeds of a book deal which he negotiated while she was under medication.

He countersued over emotional distress after her runway escapades, and in December that year they both dropped their lawsuits.

Wilbanks declared bankruptcy in June 2010. In March 2008 her former fiance Mason got married to another woman, while in June 2010 she revealed she had started dating a twice-divorced landscaper called Greg Hutson.

Watch the preview for the Scandal Made Me Famous episode below:

Scandal Made Me Famous: The Runaway Bride airs tonight at 9pm ET/PT on ReelzChannel.

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