An actual reporter who writes for a real publication did some thorough journalistic investigating into the Zola Story and found out which parts of it were true. In a piece for The Washington Post, Caitlin Dewey talked to some of the parties involved, in addition to police officers and friends, to get the real-life scoop on that fated weekend in Florida. She discovered that that most of Zola's original telling of the story was true, with a few key exceptions. Here's a summary of her findings:
- Z's real name is Akporode Uwedjojevwe, and he goes by "Rudy Uwedjo." This is his mugshot:
- Jess claims that she never prostituted herself, but was only dancing (although her Backpage listing was unearthed).
- Jess denies that Z took all of the money they made over the weekend for himself.
- No shooting took place. There was a violent customer, like Zola claimed, but Rudy just called the police on him.
- Jarrett never tried to commit suicide, although his relationship with Jess was fraught.
- Rudy wasn't arrested for murder, but charged with "sexual assault, battery, two counts of trafficking, and two counts of attempted pandering with threat of physical force."
- Rudy had forced other women into prostitution, and once raped someone when they refused.
- Jess defends Rudy and thinks he's innocent.
- This is Jarrett's Twitter account, where he's given his version of the events.
Expect another piece in a day or two with more discoveries, refutations, fake Twitter accounts, etc.