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Woman defends integrity after being accused of theft at cousin's wedding. AITA? Updated 3X

Woman defends integrity after being accused of theft at cousin's wedding. AITA? Updated 3X

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"AITA for cutting off my cousin and her mom after they accused me indirectly of stealing at her wedding?"

annoyedcousinthrow

I'm in a tough spot and could really use some outside perspective on this situation. So, my cousin Emma and I have never been particularly close, but we've always been civil. When she got engaged in December 2022, I sent her a thoughtful present, which she thanked me for repeatedly.

Fast forward to February, and Emma invited me to her wedding in April 2024. Living abroad and starting a new job, I made it clear that I needed advance notice to attend, and thankfully, I managed to make it.

Emma asked me to be part of her wedding entry, and despite our not being very close, I agreed, hoping it would help us build a better relationship. However, just a week before the wedding, I found out she'd been talking negatively about me and my career as a project manager. It stung, but I didn't want to cause drama before her big day, so I kept quiet.

During the wedding weekend, I helped Emma get dressed for her Hindu ceremony, and her mom told me to leave the jewelry as she would handle it later. So, I only packed away the bangles.

The entry went smoothly, and I attended the reception without any complaints. However, after the wedding, I chose not to leave a gift, intending to address the hurtful comments privately after the festivities.

Days later, Emma asked me about the missing jewelry, and I told her I hadn't touched it beyond what her mom instructed. Later that day, I saw Emma posting on Facebook about missing jewelry and implying that someone in the family might have taken it.

I felt uneasy, especially since her mom and I were the only family members helping her get dressed. Then things escalated when her sister made comments on the post saying, "we didn't like her anyway".

Her mom reached out to me, asking about the bangles, which made me feel like they were singling me out. Even my grandmother called, further cementing that they may have discussed me as a suspect.

Finally, another cousin messaged me saying the jewelry was found boxed up in a car. But Emma refuses to retract her accusations online because she's embarrassed. Feeling betrayed, I chose to cut Emma and her mom out of my life. I deleted them from my socials and blocked their numbers.

Now, my grandma is upset, saying I was unfair for not explaining myself. So, Reddit, am I the jerk for cutting them off without explanation? Should I have handled the situation differently?Thanks for your insights.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's initial post:

Chance_Chart_7065

NTA. Sounds like exactly the kind of people to go NC with. Personally, I would shame them on their social media and then block, but that’s just me Also, the talking negatively about your job? Sounds like jealousy to me. Keep them out of your life.

Mindless_Gap8026

NTA. I’d go on social media with Heard you found the missing jewelry in your car or wherever it is found. When were you going to let people on social media know since you were very public with your allegations.

dontbsuchalilbitchbb

“Heard you found your ‘missing’ jewelry in your own car of all places, so crazy! I also heard you were too ashamed of your wildly off base accusations to apologize, just wondered if you’d at least clear it up on social media? You know, since you were so public about your accusations, it seems like you should rescind them publicly as well.”

Then block her so she can’t delete the comment off of her page, and it remains there for everyone else to see :)

churchofdan

NTA. Unless they publicly apologize the way the way they publicly accused you, they can kick rocks. Besides, they're all badmouthing you behind your back anyway. Sounds like life is better without them.

The_Crown_And_Anchor

Grandmother, when a person makes mistakes, they must own up to them. When a family member makes a mistake and accuses another family member of something they did not due, they disrespect this family by not making it right when they are proven wrong.

Cousin and her mother thought me a thief. And then, they chose to make this family look bad by airing out their suspicions online instead of coming to the family and talking things out like family should.

So with respect, please direct your disappointment to cousin and her mom for the disrespectful manner in which they have treated me and this family. And understand something, until they apologize to me in person and with conviction, I will have nothing to do with them. NTA.

Two days later, the OP returned with an update.

"I read through the majority of messages received and I agree, I should have confronted it."

annoyedcousinthrow

Last night, I called grandma and Emma on three way, asking about the jewelry that was CONVENIENTLY FOUND in a car. Emma said "that wasn't for me to find out as she only told her mother and grandma."

Obviously that was a lie because Jessica heard and passed it to me. She also lives abroad and isn't close to Emma. Grandma then said, "well, it's material and it's found. We don't have a long time here, let's all get along."

I responded, "no thank you, I needed a PUBLIC apology because I blindly believed Emma and I had a good relationship. I even heard she made comments about my job, which I wanted to address AFTER the wedding."

Emma confirmed the comments about talking trash (re: my job and her sister's comment) but is sticking to her guns about the jewelry. I mentioned to her I was posting on Facebook about the jewelry and will attach screenshots to it.

And that I wanted nothing further to do with Emma since she was not remorseful and is proud of disliking me for whatever reason. Lesson learned. Thanks everyone!

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's first update:

pfundie

"Emma does not have very many friends, she's one of those very religious and conservative girls - does not drink, smoke, party, have multiple partner (been with the same person for 10 years), has good grades, etc. According to other cousins', she's very much about the optics and very judgmental."

The problem with adopting those kinds of identities is that they're completely fake, imposed over who you really are underneath, and no matter how hard you try, you're ultimately just pretending to be like that.

That situation lends itself naturally to developing a mindset where only the outward appearance of things matter, and building the reflexive habit of pretending that you haven't done anything wrong even when you clearly have.

She's "sinning" constantly because it's impossible not to, but her entire self-image is dependent on nobody knowing about that so that she can pretend to perfectly conform to what she thinks she's supposed to be.

The OP responded here:

annoyedcousinthrow

This was a great read actually. Thank you for this input.

YouSayWotNow

NTA. Given that she accused you publicly, it's beyond awful that she refused to retract it publicly when she was proved wrong and the bangles were found. Disgusting too to have talked about you behind your back.

It's not like you asked to be in her wedding party, she asked you, so why did she even ask if only to talk trash about you to others? Don't blame you for cutting her out of your life going forward. What a horrible accusation after you spent money and time attending her wedding from overseas!

The OP again responded here:

annoyedcousinthrow

That's my thing, why are you EMBARRASSED? You were emboldened to post about it and clearly discuss it offline w/ my name in it ...which is how it got back to me. Emma does not have very many friends, she's one of those very religious and conservative girls - does not drink, smoke, party, have multiple partner (been with the same person for 10 years), has good grades, etc.

According to other cousins', she's very much about the optics and very judgmental. Life will be perfectly fine without her and I am looking forward to responses on my post clearing my name.

Foreign-Yesterday-89

You must update us about that. Good on you for standing up for yourself. It’s bull that the victim is supposed to think of family & back down. But never the bully! NTA, now go & bust some heads!!

The next day, the OP returned with the requested update.

"*FINAL UPDATE* AITA for cutting off my cousin and her mom after they accused me indirectly of stealing at her wedding?"

annoyedcousinthrow

After consulting with an attorney friend and compiling all relevant evidence including screenshots and messages, we took the step of sending a legal letter to my cousin.

Additionally, I made a post on Facebook, tagging family members, family friends who attended the event, the priest who officiated, and even her neighbors (yup, my petty ass went the extra mile) to bring awareness of the situation.

🔊 *Important Announcement Regarding Emma's Wedding*

Hello everyone in the Brown family,

I hope this message finds you well. I feel compelled to address a matter that has been weighing on my mind since Emma's wedding last April.

Firstly, I want to express my gratitude to Emma for inviting me to be a part of her special day. It was an honor to participate, and I was genuinely touched by the opportunity.

However, recent events have left me deeply disheartened. It has come to my attention that there have been discussions, both prior to and following the wedding, where unkind remarks were made about me and my profession.

While this was hurtful, I chose to handle the situation delicately and intended to discuss it with Emma after the wedding to gain clarity. Despite the hurtful comments, I remained committed to supporting Emma on her wedding day.

I assisted her with changing outfits and took care of her belongings as requested. Regrettably, shortly after the wedding, I was unfairly implicated in the disappearance of some jewelry.

Subsequent discussions with Emma revealed that there were private conversations insinuating my involvement, which left me feeling unfairly targeted. It was only through the disclosure from a third party that the truth about the jewelry's whereabouts emerged.

I confronted Emma about these revelations, hoping for resolution and understanding. However, her response was dismissive, and she refused to acknowledge the hurtful nature of her actions. Instead, she chose to maintain hurtful social media posts, causing further distress.

In light of these events, I have made the decision to distance myself from Emma and her immediate family. My conscience is clear, and I refuse to tolerate such unjust treatment.

Furthermore, I want to assure you all that I am taking the necessary steps to clear my name. I am in contact with legal counsel to draft a letter and seek exoneration from these false accusations. I share this message not out of spite or animosity but to set the record straight and reclaim my integrity.

PS: The missing jewelry was found by her mother in the car. For those interested in the details, I've compiled all relevant screenshots and supporting information in a Google Drive. Feel free to click the link to access it.

THE END!

As of 8AM EST, Emma has STILL not rescinded those Facebook posts. Thank you everyone who supported, gave advice, and comforted me. Looking forward to going on my vacation tomorrow while Emma spends the next few days dealing with this.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's update:

Babaychumaylalji

I'm assuming Emma is older than u and u got the "respect your elders" crap. Look Emma screwed up and her behaviour is unacceptable. She needs to sort this and make this good with u. Otherwise eith family like that who needs enemies.

Also it's this BS about not confronting family on their BS allows them to try and get away with stealing ancestral land etc, stealing from vulnerable relatives,etc. If you are inclined try one last time with your grandma and ask her how she would feel if it had happened to her.

If she still can't see she is wrong then cut her off with the rest of them. Let her know that her inaction has destroyed your relationship and going forward u will be strangers. Again my best wishes to u for having a backbone and showing off how shiny it is. Indian families are legendary for this BS.

mamamama2499

That is AWESOME! Please update, if anyone comments or if Emma gets off her high horse and apologizes.

The OP responded here:

annoyedcousinthrow

The likes have been rolling in, did get 2 DMs saying, "Emma was always a brat anyway, run while you can."

Crafty_Reflection594

That is awesome. Definitely follow through with the legal stuff. I would imagine she is going to call your bluff and leave up the post.

Two weeks later, the OP returned with one final update.

"LAST ONE CHAPTER IS CLOSED *FINAL UPDATE* AITA for cutting off my cousin and her mom after they accused me indirectly of stealing at her wedding?"

annoyedcousinthrow

As of this morning, Emma has pulled her Facebook posts. Grandma is saying that I was "unfair" to go public and she is disappointed in me. I explained to Grandma that after our three-way conversation, it was clear I was being accused.

It was NOT fair to be unjustly accused and not notify the public that the jewelry was found because Emma wanted to "save face." Emma's mom and sister have tried to reach out to me via friend requests. I want nothing to do with them until Emma issues an earnest public and private apology.

Since my last update regarding the Facebook post, multiple family members and family friends have reached out to me about what a crappy person Emma is. Some expressed disappointment in her actions to "protect her facade" and her treatment of me when I have been supportive and sincere to her on her big day.

I thought that was rather amusing. Since someone assumed I have continued to be "putting up with my grandma's nonsense." For the record, she was cut off after that conversation.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:

SLJ7

Good. I remember your original update about this. She deserves for people to think badly of her; sometimes that's the only thing that will change a person. She could have ended this long ago by just posting online to say the jewelry was found ... she didn't, so here we are.

The OP responded here:

annoyedcousinthrow

I never wanted to go that route, I wanted to be civil about things however she wanted to let people run with the idea what I stole the jewelry? no ma'am.

pepperbreaker

OP was flying "too close to the sun" and so they tried to bring OP down a peg or two, failed, and got mad they were exposed? Just say you're jealous and go. How pathetic.

peter095837

Sounds like Emma is grandma's favorite. Emma deserves to be made fun of for her attitude.

Vivid-Farm6291

Really what has Emma got going on in her life? She has her husband and her high and mighty attitude. So busy looking down on everyone she forgets no one wants to look up to her.

Emma her mother and sister are green hearted towards OP because she is out grabbing life and actually living and sounds like successfully. Grandma can go kick a rock as well.

I bet the rest of the family were not surprised to hear about Emma’s behaviour. Emma has already done the damage to herself so finally removing the facebook post was closing the gate after the horse had bolted.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit,Reddit,Reddit
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