American woman praised for helping to rescue Afghan Girls Robotics Team accused of overplaying role

www.nbcnews.com
5 min read
fairly difficult
Allyson Reneau is being asked to stop representing any affiliation with the group of famed Afghan girls whose talents in building robots won them international acclaim.
An Oklahoma woman is being asked to stop claiming any affiliation with the group of Afghan high school girls whose talents developing and building robots have grabbed international headlines.

Allyson Reneau of Oklahoma City was accused in a cease-and-desist letter from the team of overstating her role in their harrowing departure out of Afghanistan last week.

The letter, sent Tuesday on behalf of the team and its parent organization, the Digital Citizen Fund, is described as a "fair and final warning" to Reneau to "stop any and all false statements in relation to the Afghan Girls Robotics Team," the team's attorney, Kimberley Motley, wrote.

"Recycling old pictures with the Afghan Girls Robotics Team, many of whom are minors, as validation that you had anything to do with their immensely stressful and dangerous escape not only impacts the safety of the girls but it also significantly affects the safety of the members of the team who still remain in Afghanistan," Motley said in the letter, which was first reported by The Washington Post and provided Friday to NBC News.

Motley wrote that the government of Qatar, which helped the girls flee Kabul in the wake of the chaos caused by the Taliban's rapid takeover of Afghanistan, "confirmed that they have no idea who you are and that you were not involved in any material way with the girls leaving Afghanistan."

Some team members were flown to Doha, Qatar's capital city, while five girls were transported this week to Mexico, Reuters reported.

Reneau, who has previously been in the media spotlight for being a mom of 11 biological children, initially spoke with NBC's Today.com for an Aug. 19 article in which she said she helped to rescue members of the robotics team.

"We have repeatedly communicated to you to stop spreading false information," Motley wrote to Reneau,…
Erik Ortiz, Charlene Gubash
Read full article