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Bride fakes terminal cancer to fund dream wedding

Kristine Tarbert
·Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·2-min read

A woman reportedly faked terminal cancer in order to conn people out of thousands of dollars to pay for her dream wedding in the UK.

Toni Standen shaved her head and claimed she was given a terminal cancer diagnosis, prompting her friends to launch a fundraising page to help Toni and her partner James to have the “wedding they deserve”.

toni and partner james
Friends wanted Toni and partner James to have the “wedding they deserve”. Photo: Mirrorpix/Australscope

The Mirror reports the 29-year-old pocketed over £8,000 ($15K AUD) after giving newspaper interviews where she said: “It’s gone to my brain, my bones – it’s everywhere.”

Guests grew suspicious after a video recording from Toni’s father (who actually died from cancer before the wedding) was played, but only moments afterwards she was “cracking jokes” during her speech.

“She could have won an Oscar, her acting was that good. She fooled us all. We were all completely sucked in,” one of her friends told the publication.

“She told me she was dying and I fell for it.”

fake cancer
Toni regularly posted about her 'cancer' on social media. Photo: Mirrorpix/Australscope

Toni’s elaborate lie was finally exposed when she claimed to also have coronavirus, and her friends became suspicious, with two deciding to finally question her.

“We rang her for a three-way conversation and recorded it. We asked her straight: ‘Have you really got cancer?” one of the friends explained.

“She started crying and admitted it was all lies. We ended the call and phoned the police straight away.”

toni Standen fake cancer wedding
She received over $15K in donations for her wedding. Photo: Mirrorpix/Australscope

Currently unemployed, Toni pleaded guilty last week to fraud by false representation between February 2019 and April 2020 and faces jail time.

District judge Nicholas Sanders said she committed a “horrible breach of trust”.

A judge can order Toni to repay the donations.

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