Heather Mack, the Chicago woman convicted of the brutal murder of her mother in Bali, Indonesia, has retracted a video confession released on YouTube earlier this week in which she claimed her ex-boyfriend — also convicted in the case — is innocent.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, Yulius Benyamin Seran, Mack’s Bali-based attorney, claims the contents of the three videos “are fake” and that his client was coerced into making them by Tommy Schaefer, whom Mack was dating at the time of the grisly slaying.
The footage, which showed Mack taking sole responsibility for killing 62-year-old Sheila von Wiese-Mack, was “recorded under pressure” at Bali’s Kerobokan Prison in June 2016, Seran says in the statement.
“Tommy’s an innocent man,” Mack claimed in the video, insisting that it was her “savage idea” to murder her mother while they vacationed in Bali in August 2014.
Her statements made headlines earlier this week, appearing to add yet another twist to Mack and Schaefer’s saga and undercutting her testimony during the couple’s 2015 murder trial. (She gave birth to Schaefer’s child in prison in March 2015.)
Mack’s attorney, however, insists the script for his client’s video “confession” was written entirely by Schaefer. “Heather Mack put a handwritten letter from Tommy in front of her to be read,” he says.
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The videos were “allegedly uploaded by other parties” to YouTube several days ago “to an account with the name of ‘Heather Mack’ ” in order to make it appear as though Mack had posted them, Seran says. It’s unclear if Schaefer has an attorney or representative who could respond to these claims.
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Mack’s defense attorney said Schaefer killed von Wiese-Mack with a metal fruit bowl following an argument over Heather’s pregnancy, while Mack hid in the bathroom of their hotel suite.
The couple faced possible execution by firing squad, but a panel of Indonesian judges found Mack guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced her to 10 years in prison. Schaefer received an 18-year sentence.