Family plans to sue woman after photo shoot confrontation
HOUSTON – The family at the center of a viral video of a woman yelling at them to leave her neighborhood is planning to sue the Houston socialite.
Three weeks ago, Kelyn and her husband, Isaiah, hired a photographer to take pictures of their daughter, Anja, for her first birthday.
According to the Allen family, their photographer suggested taking pictures in the Broadacres neighborhood because of its popular backdrop of lush trees.
During the photo shoot a woman, who was later identified as Houston socialite Francine Neely, is seeing yelling at the family to leave and appears to swat Isaiah's phone.
The family pressed charges, but said nothing has happened.
"We found out recently that charges were not accepted for assault, which it was a little disappointing to us because it was very clearly assault," Kelyn said. "So we are pursuing having that re-reviewed, and we are going to be filing a civil lawsuit."
The family said if Neely had made an attempt to reach out to them to apologize, they would have dropped it, but feel that no one is holding her accountable.
"It's important for people to understand that they're not above the law," Kelyn said. "I don't think that things like that should be swept under the rug."
"I'm pretty traumatized by it still to this day. I know my family is as well," Isaiah said. "Whenever we talk about it, we replay it back in our mind. We relieve those emotions that happened."
A week after the incident, Neely recorded an apology video saying she was sorry to her family, friends, neighbors and to Houston. The Allen family said they didn’t accept the apology because they were not addressed in the video.
"It's interesting that she apologized to people who were not involved in the situation at all and completely ignored the family that she offended," Kelyn said. "That totally ignored us, ignored what we went through, ignored what our child endured, ignored the fact that she ruined what was supposed to be special for us. I want to tell you as a mother, as a woman, if she had reached out to us and apologized to us, apologized to my husband for assaulting him, in front of his family, apologize for humiliating us and making our child cry, if she would have done that, I would have been less inclined to move forward."
The family said they celebrated their daughter's first birthday last Saturday at home without any problems.
KPRC Channel 2 News attempted to reach Neely at her home, but no one answered.
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