Aaryn Gries’ mother, prom date defend her: “Aaryn truly loves all people equally”

After being evicted last week and torn apart by Julie Chen, Aaryn Gries is still locked inside the Big Brother jury house, but people who know her in real life are defending her–and apologizing for her bigoted comments.

First, in a story that reads like it was fed by a publicist, Aaryn’s mother, Elizabeth Owens, told The Los Angeles Times in a written statement,

“While I love and continue to support my daughter Aaryn, words cannot describe my disappointment in some of her comments made on Big Brother. These inappropriate comments certainly do not represent the value system under which her father and I have raised her. Aaryn is a young 22-year-old college student that has spent 70 days living in a fish bowl and making mistakes for America to see.”

Her mother also wrote that “Aaryn truly loves all people equally” and that she wants “Americans to see the young woman that I know; Aaryn is kind, loving and generous, though certainly not perfect and without fault in this incidence.”

Owens also defended Aaryn, first with a truly awkward defense: “Aaryn’s first true love was Cuban American, and she has cousins of Japanese descent who she truly loves,” and that Aaryn went to prom with “one of her closest friends through high school,” who’s black. Yes, Aaryn’s mom went there.

But she also attacked CBS:

“It appears that it was beneficial for Big Brother to focus on the negative comments made by Aaryn to boost ratings. Again, I DO NOT condone those inappropriate comments, but I — and I am sure the entire Big Brother audience — would have appreciated the show’s producers also airing her complete statement acknowledging the mistakes she made and more of her apologies to the Houseguests while still ‘in the house.’

…I am disappointed that a woman of Julie Chen’s stature would choose to attack Aaryn and influence America to judge the fallacies she seems to have about Aaryn.”

Meanwhile, in an “exclusive” story with its usual incomprehensible writing and a horrific final sentence, never mind only five actual words that appear in quotation marks, TMZ reports that her 2009 high school prom date, Mike Miller, says Aaryn is not “prejudiced or hateful” but instead has a “smart-ass” sense of humor.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.