Survivor Alum Jonny Fairplay Arrested on Larceny Charges, Allegedly Stole from Grandmother

Jonny Fairplay appeared on season 7 of Survivor in 2003

Jonny Fairplay Survivor
Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty

Survivor alum Jonny Fairplay has been arrested on larceny charges for allegedly stealing from his grandmother.

Both Fairplay and his mother, Patsy Hall, were arrested in Danville, Virginia on Dec. 18, according to an arrest information report from the Danville Police Department.

Citing an arrest warrant, TMZ reports that Fairplay, born Jon Dalton, is being accused of stealing bar stools, a leather chair, an end table and a silver necklace valued at $5,000 from his grandmother, Jean Cook.

According to TMZ, the criminal complaint, which was filed by Fairplay's aunt, also accuses Hall of mentally abusing Cook and taking advantage of her dementia.

Fairplay declined to comment when reached by PEOPLE.

Monty Brinton/CBS

The former reality star is best known among Survivor fans for the elaborate "dead grandma" lie he used on his season in 2003, Survivor: Pearl Islands. During the episode in which loved ones visit, Fairplay arranged to have a friend pretend to tell him that his grandmother — the same one cited in his recent arrest — had died.

The lie earned him sympathy from his fellow players and a win in the subsequent reward challenge. In a confessional shortly after, he revealed to audiences that his grandma was not dead but likely "sitting home watching Jerry Springer right now."

Host Jeff Probst has since called the scheme the "greatest lie ever told on Survivor." During the season finale, Probst also said Fairplay's lie was "a move so low and so evil it definitely guaranteed Jon a spot in the Survivor villain hall of fame."

Fairplay recently opened up to Entertainment Weekly about his infamous strategy.

"The 'Dead Grandma' lie is still considered one of the greatest moves in the history of not just Survivor, but reality television as a whole," he said last month. "I wanted to bring an outside element to the game and create the first reality villain."

"There had been 'bad guys' prior to me on reality TV, but they never sought out that personification," he added. "They claimed bad editing or creative storytelling. I embraced the role and reveled in it."

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