JADE Graveling had always looked up to her sister Natalie Rivers, although she had a worrying habit of telling lies.
But the 23-year-old never suspected her sister, 36, would turn con artist – stealing from a one-night stand then accusing him of rape when he had her arrested.
Natalie was jailed for her lies, but Jade says this was far from the first time her sister twisted the truth – telling strangers Jade had a brain tumour as a child and stealing from friends and family.
Speaking to Fabulous Digital Jade, from Norwich, Norfolk, tells her story…
Despite our 13-year age gap, Natalie and I always had fun together.
She’d moved out of our family home but would often take me on day trips or for dinner at McDonald’s.
When I was 10, Natalie split up with her long-term partner and moved back home with our mum Venitia, 54.
But I wondered where my caring, funny big sister had gone. Natalie now seemed to be moody and unpredictable.
Over the next few years, she lived a nomadic lifestyle. She never held down a job for long and would stay at ours from time to time — kipping on friends’ sofas in between.
One day, when I was 14, I noticed I had tons of Facebook messages from total strangers. Opening one, I recoiled in shock.
“I heard from Natalie you’ve got months to live, sending my deepest sympathies”, it read.
Frantically, I opened another. “Natalie said you’ve got a brain tumour, do you need any help fundraising?”
For a moment, I was paralysed with fear. Was I dying? Did Natalie know something about my health?
For a moment, I was paralysed with fear. Was I dying? Did Natalie know something about my health? Once I’d stopped hyperventilating, I rang her.
“Why have you told people I’m dying from a brain tumour?” I asked. “I haven’t,” she replied.
“Well, 20 people have asked me about it over Facebook,” I said.
I’d been told Natalie was raising money to take me to Disneyland.
“They must be lying,” she replied. “I didn’t say anything and you’re definitely not dying.”
That week, Natalie came over to explain. “My Facebook account got hacked,” she said.
I didn’t believe her. Besides, how could my own sister convince everyone, and me, I was dying?
Over the next two years — with raging teenage hormones — I started to play up.
I longed to be close again to Natalie but she’d drift in and out of my life.
By 16, I was a tearaway. All Mum had to do was ask about my day and I’d fly off the handle.
“I hate you!” I screamed at Mum during one row. “I can’t live here any more.”
I packed my bags and headed into town, hoping to bump into a friend.
Just by chance, I spotted Natalie coming out of a pub with her partner.
“Why are you out this late?” Natalie asked, concerned.
“I can’t live with Mum any more,” I told her and Natalie offered for me to stay with her.
For three weeks, I slept on their sofa. Natalie fed me pizzas and oven chips, making sure I was eating.
“I’ll speak to Mum,” she reassured me. “You’ve always got me.”
It felt amazing. For so long, Natalie had been distant. But when I’d needed her the most, she was right there.
Mum and I had counselling and eventually I agreed to move back home.
Even though Natalie couldn’t come into the therapist’s room, she accompanied me to every session and supported me.
A year later, I started sixth-form and developed a passion for photography. I had a part-time job in a café and saved every penny to buy equipment.
She’d stolen £3,000 of equipment – which meant I had to drop out of college
One Sunday night, I came home from a weekend away to find Natalie in the hallway.
“My pal’s here to pick me up, bye,” she blurted, leaving with a big duffle bag.
“Natalie stayed in your bed,” Mum said. “Hope that’s OK?”
That week, I had a job interview at a photography shop and a photography exam at college.
So I went to my room to check that my camera and equipment were charged. But the box, where I kept them, was empty.
I screamed the house down. “Everything’s gone,” I cried to Mum.
Putting two and two together, I called Natalie, but she’d blocked my number.
She’d stolen £3,000 of equipment and without it I couldn’t attend my interview or my exam. It meant I had to drop out of college. Natalie’s selfish theft hurt so much.
Over the years, we had various people turning up at the house, demanding money and goods Natalie had stolen.
Mum and Natalie had some contact, but I was still too angry to reach out to her.
Then one day last year, I was at work when my phone was inundated with Facebook notifications.
People were tagging me in a news article.
Reading it, my jaw dropped open. The article told how Natalie had stolen the life-savings of a man she had met online — then falsely accused him of rape.
I knew Natalie had questionable morals — but this was totally on another level.
I learned she’d gone out with a 58-year-old she’d met on the dating site Plenty Of Fish.
On the date, she feigned genuine feelings for him.
Her story fell apart, she callously claimed he had raped her
Her victim had been in the Army, so Natalie pretended she was too, remembering regiments and dates as part of her ploy to seduce him. It worked, and she’d spent the night at his.
He’d left her in the house the next day and returned to find her gone, along with £3,000.
When Natalie was arrested, she claimed the man was her sugar daddy, paying her £150 an hour to be his sugar baby.
But when her story fell apart, she callously claimed he had raped her.
The innocent man was questioned by police and had to wait four months before finding out no further action was to be taken.
I rushed home to tell Mum. “You’re not going to believe what Natalie’s done now,” I began.
Mum was appalled as I reeled off the details.
We read Natalie had been on trial at Norwich Crown Court and had been found guilty of theft.
Her victim told how the rape allegation had left him feeling depressed and physically sick. Natalie was sentenced to 20 months in prison.
“Such a malicious complaint you made undermines all those making genuine allegations,” said Judge Bacon.
We learnt that Natalie had multiple aliases on social media and in real life. On Facebook, she’d eight accounts, all with conflicting information.
In one profile, she was Natalie Rivers, an admin assistant for a Yorkshire-based husky dog charity. In another, she was Natalie Collins, an Army veteran.
She also had fake LinkedIn profiles, under the name Natalie Chamberlain, where she claimed she was an engineer who had been in the Army.
We also discovered Natalie had a previous conviction for impersonating a police officer.
Apparently, she’d gone to an innocent man’s employer and pretended the man was under investigation for a sexual assault.
I couldn’t help feeling sad for my sister. Now she was lying about having a daughter
Three months after all this, a woman knocked at our door.
“Hello, I’m from social services,” she said. “We’re looking for Natalie’s daughter.”
“Natalie doesn’t have a daughter,” I told her.
“But she told us she lives here,” she insisted. “Natalie said she’s trying to make her life better, for her little girl’s sake.”
“Feel free to look around,” I said, inviting her in. “There’s no child living here.”
I couldn’t help feeling sad for my sister. Now she was lying about having a daughter.
But most of all, I felt frustrated for my poor mum. She didn’t need any more grief after everything Natalie had put her through.
A few weeks later, I was happy to read a news article saying £2,630 had been recovered from Natalie and repaid to her victim.
I knew what it was like to have that sum of money stolen.
But I’m sure the damage of having his name dragged through the mud for a rape allegation won’t be so easily rectified.
I don’t think Natalie will ever change. A leopard never changes its spots.
If she can prove in the future that she’s a reformed character, then I’ll consider letting her back in my life.
But until then, I’ll keep my conniving sister at arm’s length.
MOST READ IN REAL LIFE
Natalie has now been released from jail. She told The Mirror: “Jade is a liar. I never did those things she said.”
Yesterday we spoke to a woman who joined forces with her evil boyfriend’s ex to get him jailed – after he knocked out her front tooth and strangled her until she passed out.
While this mum’s dodgy £240 fillers caused her lips to ‘explode’ and almost left her blind – she says it was more painful than childbirth.