Heene associate sheds new light on Colorado balloon adventure - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Heene associate sheds new light on Colorado balloon adventure

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. - A man caught up in last week's high-flying balloon drama in Colorado says he had nothing to do with the alleged hoax.

The former associate of Richard Heene has gone public with background on the 'wannabe' reality star and his desire for fame.

Robert Thomas said he worked for Heene for two months and they developed plans to generate a large media controversy in hopes of gaining attention and selling a show.

Thomas said Heene was obsessed with becoming a star.

"I'll say he was very interested in becoming famous, that is why I parted ways with him," said Thomas. "I had nothing to do with this hoax or the perception of it.

Thomas said when he saw the news of the balloon floating over Colorado, he thought to himself "of course it's Richard Heene, he is the only person who could possibly do something like this."

Charges are expected to be filed next week which could result in jail time for Heene and his wife and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

In addition, they could be asked to pay restitution for the search and rescue effort; a high price for fame.

Child Protective Services is investigating the welfare of the children.

The three boys, between 6 and 10-years-old are currently with their parents.

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