Palm Springs business owners are on alert, warning of a possible scam to bring back the "Forever Marilyn Statue" to Palm Springs.
On Facebook, a photo circulated with a post asking people not to donate to a man who has been seen at public events with a sign, that says donate to bring the "Forever Marilyn" statue back to Palm Springs for good.
We contacted Barron Gillespie, the man reportedly in charge of the donation drive, to ask him about his fundraising efforts. Gillespie says "he wants to create momentum and raise the one million dollars it could cost to bring the statue back for good." He told us he raised minimal funds from crowds and people, but would not comment on how much money he has raised. Gillespie also told us he's not keeping the money for himself, but plans to donate it to the Palm Springs Resorts non-profit efforts once he reaches his goal. He says it is not his intention to be a scam.
The Palm Springs Resorts group says they are aware of Gillespie, but are not in any sort of agreement with him. "We've heard about the situation but have never really been in direct contact with this individual," says Nadine Koehler. "I think I'd be cautious. We have had no contact with him. We are not aware of any of the money he's raised. PS Resorts is not in a position to be raising money at this time."
Meanwhile, the group is in negotiations with the sculpture foundation and is the primary team trying to bring "Forever Marilyn" back. They also say they are not in a place to accept donations just yet.
We also contacted Palm Springs Police who say there is no active investigation looking into the donations at this time.