The family of a Polish woman who triggered an international media frenzy this week after claiming she is the Madeleine McCann has released a statement sensationally denying her wild claim.
Julia Faustyna (who has also been referred to as Julia Wandelt and Julia Wendell online) gained global attention when she launched an Instagram account and posted pictures comparing herself to the girl who vanished in 2007 at the age of three, while on holiday with her parents.
After allegedly discovering similarities between the McCann case and her own personal experience, she claims to believe they are the same person.
However, her family said that it's "obvious that Julia isn't Maddie" in a statement posted by a missing person organisation in Poland.
"It is obvious to us as a family that Julia is our daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and stepdaughter," they wrote.
The family continued by saying they have Julia's birth certificate and several hospital discharge documents, as well as many pictures of her during childhood, which prove she is in fact their relative and discredit any association to Maddie.
Julia's traumatic childhood caused longterm impacts
Julia reportedly cannot remember a lot from her childhood as she was a victim of severe sexual abuse by a German paedophile and was diagnosed with post-traumatic amnesia.
She shared in a Facebook post that she had received treatment throughout her youth despite her family barely speaking about her traumatic past. She claimed her mother pulled her from therapy after she began to ask questions about Madeleine McCann.
However, her family recount a different story and state Julia has refused the treatment they have desperately tried to provide for her.
"Numerous therapies, medications, psychologists and psychiatrists" were provided for Julia, the family said. "She was not left alone".
"She refuses treatment, does not take medication regularly. She also did not take advantage of the possibility of treatment at a very good centre in Poland, which agreed to accept her," they continued.
Family share their beliefs on Julia's motives
After commenting on her mental health in their statement, Julia's family hinted why they believe the 21-year-old decided to share her beliefs so publicly, claiming "she always wanted to be popular".
"Julia once wanted to be a singer, a model," they wrote, noting she now has one million followers after linking herself to Madeleine McCann.
The family shared that an investigation is underway by the Polish police and will not be giving any interviews or pictures to the media.
"We are devastated by the current situation," they said.
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