Bullied Bus Monitor Can Now Retire; Her Good Samaritan Turns to Helping Himself

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Update 5:04 p.m.:   Max Sidorov just can't make up his mind about whether not he wants residual money and attention after raising more than $300,000 for the bullied bus monitor Karen Klein

As Buzzfeed's John Hermann reports, that independent fundraising page set up for Sidorov has since been deleted. And Sidorov has also taken down the post where he linked to his fundraising page and book link, and added this new update on Karen's donation page:

Original: Since we reported on bullied bus monitor Karen Klein's exposure to the best and worst of humanity yesterday afternoon, people have donated more than $150,000 in her honor--a number we expect to only grow thanks to Klein's morning show rounds today. But it now looks like her white knight is trying to cash on Klein's viral fame.

Max Sidorov a.k.a. Reddit user heavyballsareheavy a.k.a the good Ukrainian Samaritan who set up the donation fund for the bullied Klein now has his own donation page with about $1,300 in the bank at the moment. He didn't start the appeal himself, but he's certainly embraced his own pledge drive by (with shades of those Invisible Children Kony kids) promoting a diet book he wrote.  There's just something that doesn't sit well with promoting your own cause off of the "goodwill" you were doing: 

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We're not sure if Klein's feel-good (after feeling terrible) story, which hit the morning show circuit today, will benefit Sidorov's own fund, but we do know that it's working out nicely for Klein. Sidorov has promised to give Klein the money and Klein's benefactors have spoken about the transparency and transfer on the funds

To give you a picture of Klein's popularity, it's difficult to give you an accurate number of the amount of money people have donated to Karen Klein's fund because it's growing faster than we can type:$175,281 ... $176,395... $176,485.

While Klein's feel-bad-feel-good story started as a viral Internet story on Reddit yesterday, it blossomed throughout the day, and caught fire with major news outlets. she made appearances on Today and Fox and Friends this morning (videos below). Her interview with Lauer, isn't probably anything to write home about. It's not the smoothest conversation, it's peppered with stops and starts, but she acknowledged the many Facebook messages and outpouring of support, and talks about how her bullies have teased her before. She also had a message for her bullies' parents: "I'm sorry that your sons acted the way they did. I'm sure they don't act that way at home. But you never know what they're gonna do when they're out of the house. The should have been taught to respect their elders."

On Fox and Friends, Klein revealed she hadn't gotten an apology from the students or their parents yet (really!?), and offered up her thanks (she said it was too difficult to respond to everyone on Facebook) to her supporters: 

So what now? Well since those morning shows (Lauer says the funds were over $100,000, Fox and Friends cited it at $120,000), she's raised roughly another $60,000 --$183,278 to be exact.  And the creator of her donation page, Max Sidorov, assured her benefactors that she'll be receiving the money in full, though it looks as though there's still a little less than a month left for that fund to grow--July 20 is the payout date. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.