Sherri Papini case: Man who dated mother accused of arranging kidnapping says she’s a ‘compulsive liar’
Sherri Papini was accused last week of lying about being kidnapped while jogging and tortured before she managed to free herself in 2016.
Now a man who claims to have dated Papini says he’s not at all surprised she’s in hot water. He also hopes to clear his name after his arrest.
“She’s a compulsive liar,” Shauhin Davari told Inside Edition. “She wouldn’t talk to you for three or four days, and then all of a sudden there would be a fantastic story about what happened.”
Davari says he dated Papini when she was 20 and he was only 15.
“In retrospect, of course, tons of red flags — that she was a counselor who was dating a 15-year-old,” Davari said.
Now 35, the college professor says Papini’s lies were endless – for example, he says she kept insisting she was a skilled surfer.
“I surfed all the time when I was 15, 16,” he said. “It’s something I really enjoyed doing. And she told me that she surfs too. There was always an excuse why she couldn’t go surfing. And she had to have her surfboard that was at home, but she had no photos.
Davari also says there was a mysterious medical condition.
“She was pretending to have heart disease at one point, and eventually not only me but a group of people figured out that wasn’t true,” Davari says.
So when Davari learned that Papini had been kidnapped in 2016, he was skeptical.
“I was like, there’s no way. She is fine. I promise you she’s fine. There is no way she was kidnapped,” he said.
Papini was arrested last Thursday and charged with faking the kidnapping that tore the United States apart nearly six years ago. Three weeks after being reported missing by her husband, she was found wandering, bruised and branded.
Papini claimed she was kidnapped by two Hispanic women who put her in a closet with a bucket of kitty litter to use as a toilet. She claimed they held her with a chain hanging around her waist.
But cops say Papini was actually hiding at an ex-boyfriend’s residence in Costa Mesa the entire time. To back up her kidnapping story, authorities say Papini asked the ex-boyfriend to punch her in the face, which he refused to do. Papini then deliberately banged his head against the tub and the bathroom floor.
Authorities say the ex-boyfriend told them Papini also asked him to tag her.
Davari says he is misidentified as the ex-boyfriend who allegedly hid Papini and wants to set the record straight.
“I want to prevent people from thinking that I’m the guy who hid her or helped her or had contact with her,” Davari said.
Papini is charged with making false statements to a federal law enforcement officer and engaging in mail fraud. She faces up to 25 years if convicted on both counts.