You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Woman ordered to pay PETA hundreds of thousands after she faked death of movie star chimp

Toronto Sun logo Toronto Sun 2023-03-30 Postmedia News
Tonka the chimpanzee. © Provided by Toronto Sun Tonka the chimpanzee.

A Missouri woman has been ordered to pay PETA over $200,000 U.S. in legal fees after she faked the death of a chimpanzee that starred in a movie.

Tonia Haddix must pay the $225,000 because of her lie that Tonka, who starred in the 1997 movie “Buddy,” had died, according to the New York Post. She also said the monkey was cremated.

The false death claim, relayed under oath, resulted in PETA needing to bill for hundreds of attorney work hours that cost thousands of dollars, the group successfully argued, according to reports.

At the centre of the case are several chimps, including Tonka, who was in “Buddy,” which starred actor Alan Cumming,

Years ago, PETA accused a primate facility where Haddix worked of improperly caring for the chimps housed there, and in 2020, Haddix agreed to let four monkeys go to a sanctuary while holding onto three, including Tonka, through a consent decree the paper reported.

Haddix denied any allegations of poor care.

Haddix told police Tonka had died from heart failure. H er husband swore on a court affidavit that he cremated the body, according to the newspaper.

The truth came out after PETA discovered a recorded phone call between Haddix and a documentary filmmaker that Tonka was alive and living out of her finished basement.

The chimp had a big screen television and iPad to watch YouTube until an outdoor enclosure was built for him, she had told the Post-Dispatch.


More From Toronto Sun

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon