Who is Julia Wendell? The Polish woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann
Who is Julia Wendell? The Polish woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann despite her parents branding her claims as ‘lies and manipulation’
- Julia Wendell became internet sensation when she claimed she was Madeleine
- READ MORE: Dr Phil quizzes woman who believes she is Madeleine McCann
A Polish woman became an internet sensation when she claimed she was the missing Madeleine McCann – despite her own parents branding her claims as ‘lies and manipulation’.
Julia Wendell, 21, has even appeared on the US show Dr Phil where she said she started suspecting she was the missing British girl in June last year, without providing any proof to back up her claims.
Wendell says she has submitted DNA tests – the results of which have not come back yet – after claiming she was Madeleine.
She has provided no evidence to support her claims, with even her own parents from Poland saying Wendell has fabricated the claims and that ‘it’s obvious she isn’t’ Madeleine.
Madeleine, then 3, vanished during a family holiday to Praia da Luz in Portugal in 2007, which would now make her around 19, two years younger than Wendell is – yet another reason to dismiss her unsupported claims.
Here, MailOnline takes a look at who Julia Wendell is and her unfounded claims.
Julia Wendell, 21, has even appeared on the US show Dr Phil where she said she started suspecting she was the missing British girl in June last year, without providing any proof to back up her claims
Madeleine, then 3, (pictured) vanished during a family holiday to Praia da Luz in Portugal in 2007, which would now make her around 19, two years younger than Wendell is – yet another reason to dismiss her unsupported claims
Who is Julie Wendell?
Julie Wendell, 21, is an aspiring musician and model who has claimed on Instagram she is Madeleine McCann.
Wendell has not spoken much about her personal life, but she has claimed she had a boyfriend who ‘wants to leave me because of this case’.
She has also claimed that she has attended school sporadically.
Wendell claims she cannot remember large parts of her childhood and is not sure of her age as she has not seen her birth certificate – a claim strongly refuted by her Polish parents.
‘I don’t remember most of my childhood but my earliest memory is very strong and it’s about holidays in a hot place where there is a beach and white or very light coloured buildings with apartments,’ she said. ‘I don’t see my family in this memory.’
What are her claims?
Wendell has appeared on Dr Phil in the US and repeated her claims that she is Madeleine.
She claims she started suspecting she was the missing British girl in June last year, without providing any evidence to support her claims.
Wendell insisted: ‘I believe I am Madeleine McCann,’ as Dr Phil probed her about her non-existent evidence including no DNA proof.
Dr Phil showed Wendell side-by-side pictures of her and Madeleine, which the Polish woman had used to promote her theory on social media.
Wendell claimed that she had many similarities with missing Madeleine, and that the rare eye defect she allegedly shares with Madeleine had ‘faded’ after Dr Phil questioned her about it.
She said she also had a similar laugh and dimple to the missing girl.
Wendell (pictured) claims she started suspecting she was the missing British girl in June last year, without providing any evidence to support her claims
Wendell claims that her mother would always change the subject when Wendell brought up her birth and ‘didn’t want to show me any proof’.
She also claimed that neither photos of her early years or a birth certificate were ever shown to her, as well as that her Polish health pass used to track health related issues like vaccinations had six blank pages at the start. This has been denied by Wendell’s Polish parents.
Dr Phil said to her: ‘She [Wendell’s mother] says she went to the hospital and gave birth to you,’ to which the 21-year-old replied: ‘She said, yes.
‘When I asked her for DNA before this whole situation, when I asked her for some pictures from her pregnancy, some childhood pictures… she refused.’
She was asked why she did not send her DNA samples to the police – since her ancestry could be verified once and for all with the test.
Wendell claimed that she tried contacting the British and Polish embassies when she first thought she could be Madeleine but nobody would listen to her. She persists that she would take any test needed to prove her claims.
A private detective tied to Madeleine’s case has said Wendell’s claims ‘do not add up’.
‘Without knowing the details in depth, it does not add up to me,’ investigator Francisco Marco told the Spanish newspaper El Independiente. ‘I don’t think it’s her.’
Who is Dr Fia Johansson?
Wendell has been assisted by Dr Fia Johansson, a private investigator and psychic medium, in submitting DNA samples.
Dr Johansson, 40, who has relocated Wendell from Poland to the United States after she received death threats, has said: ‘If the results come back that she’s British or from that area then we are going to continue our investigation into Madeleine McCann and communicate with the detectives in Portugal.’
The psychic medium claimed Wendell was trafficked from Poland from another country by an international sex group, without providing evidence.
‘We are still conducting an investigation but Julia is definitely not the biological daughter of her parents in Poland,’ Dr Johansson claimed, citing no evidence.
Dr Johansson, born in Stockholm, Sweden, described herself as a doctor of psychology and human behaviour on Instagram.
Wendall (right) has been assisted by Dr Fia Johansson (left), a private investigator and psychic medium, in submitting DNA samples
What have Julie Wendell’s family said?
While Wendell has claimed that she is Madeleine and that she was never shown photos of herself in her early years or a birth certificate, her Polish parents have quickly refuted these claims – and provided evidence.
Her parents said in a statement: ‘For us as a family it is obvious that Julia is our daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and step niece. We have memories, we have pictures.
‘Julia also has these photos, because she took them from the family home with the birth certificate, as well as numerous hospital discharges.
We always tried to understand all situations that happened with Julia. Threats to our address from Julia, her lies and manipulations, activity on the internet… we’ve seen it all and we’ve tried to prevent it, explain it, we’ve asked her to stop.’
They added: We always tried to help her get back on her feet. Julia has been of age for several years. She moved out of the house.
‘She refuses treatment, does not take medication regularly. She also did not take advantage of the possibility of treatment at a very good centre in Poland, which agreed to accept her.’
They explained that they had offered to provide Wendell with therapists, medicine and support over the years, adding: ‘Julia once wanted to be a singer, a model. She always wanted to be popular. What’s happening now is she [has] 1 million followers.
‘The internet won’t forget, and it’s obvious that Julia isn’t Maddie. We are devastated at this current situation.’
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