There’s nothing like a police investigation to start an apology tour, as wealthy Texas socialite Franci Neely is proving to us all.
Neely, the ex-wife of Houston Astros’ owner Jim Crane, faced backlash and criticism after she was captured on video screaming at a mixed-race family – and even striking one of their cameras – all because they dared to take photos on a public sidewalk for their 1-year-old’s birthday.
According to NBC, Houston police said its major assaults division is now investigating the incident, although they declined to name the woman involved as no charges have been filed in the case.
The incident started earlier this month on the sidewalk of a scenic route near Houston’s Museum District which is popular amongst photographers.
Kelyn Allen, the mother of the 1-year-old, said that Neely came out of her Jaguar convertible barefoot and started shouting at the family. She also had her dog with her, which Allen said was released unleashed at one point.
“In the midst of her shouting, I immediately and calmly asked her to restrain her dog as it made a beeline for the baby and it was coming dangerously close to my child,” Allen, who is Black, wrote in a Facebook post with the video of the incident. “I actually crouched next to the baby and put my hand out to try to shoo this strange dog away.”
According to NBC, Neely refused to collect her dog, apparently telling the family that “she can do whatever she wants.” Video shot by Allen shows her dragging some of the props used in the baby’s photoshoot to the grass.
“At this point, the lady stomps toward my baby and starts aggressively trying to remove the props placed around her, startling me,” she added in her post. “This did not deter her and she continued — my husband and the photographer quickly approached her to block her from doing this, and at this point, I started to shout at the lady about her aggression upsetting my child.”
Isaiah Allen, Kelyn’s husband, also took some footage from the incident. At one point, Neely appears to strike out at him, jostling the camera.
Isaiah Allen was the one who filed a complaint with the police, accusing the woman of physically assaulting him, and verbally harassing his family.
Once the socialite’s behavior went viral, she issued an apology in a statement, although she thought to offer “context” claiming that the family was not “respectful,” and adding that “It’s hard to remain composed when confronted by shouted threats of lawsuits and false, inflammatory accusations.”
On Saturday, however, she reiterated her apology in what was apparently supposed to be a more sincere manner, asking Houston to “come together and heal.”
“A week ago I let my emotions overtake my better self, and I apologize from the bottom of my heart,” Neely said in a YouTube video. “I love Houston and ask that we come together to heal, and I extend my hand in friendship.”