HOUSTON – A Houston socialite who came under fire after she harassed a family trying to conduct a photo shoot for their daughter's first birthday has issued a formal apology.
Franci Neely, the ex-wife of the owner of the Houston Astros, Jim Crane, posted a video to Youtube in which she apologized for her behavior.
"A week ago I let my emotions overtake my better self, and I apologize from the bottom of my heart, " Neely said. "To my family, friends, neighbors and fellow Houstonians, I ask for forgiveness and understanding. I love Houston and ask that we come together to heal, and I extend my hand in friendship."
That was the extent of the 26-second video posted to the video sharing platform on Saturday.
Isaiah Allen and his wife, Kelyn Allen, were excited about their daughter Anja’s first birthday and wanted to capture the moment with a photo shoot at Broadacres near the Museum District.
Initially, they had planned on taking pictures at Hermann Park, but it was too busy, so their photographer suggested Broadacres, which happened to be the spot where the Allens had their engagement pictures taken, and they did not have a problem there in the past.
However, about 30 minutes into the shoot, things went south.
A barefooted Neely approached the Allen family and started to shout things like, "You’re trampling the grass that we pay for. You need to leave" and "You’re on private property. You need to get your stuff out now," the Allens said. The Allens said Neely even yelled at the photographer saying, "You brought these people into our neighborhood, look what you’ve done."
Isaiah Allen began to record the incident, and in the video, you can see Neely shouting and getting close to the family, while her dog was not on a leash.
At one point, Neely walked up to Isaiah Allen and swatted the camera.
Neely eventually left, but not before causing the Allen's daughter to burst into tears and effectively ruining what was supposed to be a memorable moment.
“These were our first professional shots we have taken of the baby since she’s been born,” said Kelyn Allen, “It was something that was supposed to be very special for us, and I hate the fact that, when I look at these pictures, this is what I have to remember.”
The Allens filed a police report and plan to press charges. They said they did not know Neely and were surprised by her behavior.
“We did not know who she was, we just thought she was a crazy lady who had nothing else better to do on a Saturday afternoon," said Isaiah Allen. “It doesn’t matter who you are, the golden rule is you should treat others how you want to treat you.”