With Facebook fans, YouTube viewers and Twitter followers in the tens of thousands, makeup artist Kandee Johnson has turned to the Internet to raise money to hire a lawyer to fight child endangerment charges.
Johnson, 31, was charged with a gross misdemeanor, accused of leaving her 12-year-old son unsupervised in November in a house one deputy described as “borderline unsanitary.”
Johnson was in Los Angeles and her son was at their Johnson Lane-area home alone “for one or more days,” according to the criminal complaint.
A neighbor called deputies, according to reports, because Johnson's son and a 12-year-old friend used cans of hairspray and matches to make flame-throwers to ignite cardboard boxes they were tossing over a fence.
Johnson appeared before East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl on Monday and asked for a court-appointed attorney.
She said she earned $25,000 in 2009 and received no child support from the fathers of her three children. The two youngest children were at their father's house in Reno.
EnEarl denied the request because he said Johnson earned enough money to pay for counsel. He asked Johnson if three weeks would be long enough for her to hire a lawyer, and set a hearing Feb. 3.
Johnson, with several Web sites on My Space, Facebook, YouTube and Blogspot, used the outlets to defend herself and set up a PayPal account for donations to hire an attorney.
In an entry posted Friday, Johnson wrote, “The article that they (The Record-Courier) published, which is just filled with lies and false accusations, and all the evil comments people left, that don't have any clue what is really going on.
“I work so hard to take care of me and my kids ... I'll be up all night editing videos, sending e-mails, working all day long ... trying to work while I make snacks, play with my little people, clean the house!”
She said she “even gave up all my dreams of becoming an ‘actress'” so she could take care of her son.
“I am so angry that these people that have no clue about me are saying such ridiculous things ... they are so inaccurate ... and to think that this newspaper would print this, without it being fact is awful,” Johnson wrote on her blog, kandeethemakeupartist.blogspot.com.
In a telephone call to the newspaper Thursday, Johnson said a friend who was supposed to pick up her son had been delayed, and she thought he was across the street at a neighbor's house.
The original story posted Tuesday on the R-C Web site generated more than 100 comments from defenders and detractors.
Visitors to her page on Blogspot are directed to “help-kandee-get-an-attorney-fund” through PayPal. She also listed a Minden post office address for donations.
Johnson told her followers she intends to sell items on eBay to raise money.
“I just want to say thank you to all of you who donated money to help me get an attorney,” Johnson wrote. “You have no idea that each penny is like the biggest, sparkly blessing to me ... and feels like a million dollars!”
She did not indicate how much she has raised.
* I do not own this picture*