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Richard Heene Tells Larry King That 'Balloon Boy' Saga Was Not A Hoax

First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 04:05 PM ET

Fresh off a 90-day jail sentence after pleading guilty to influencing a public official, Richard Heene--the infamous father in the 'Balloon Boy' saga--still insisted the event was not a hoax. Heene told King he only pleaded guilty to the charges to protect his wife, who would have been deported to her native Japan if found guilty: "I'm not disputing the fact that I did have to plead guilty and when I say have to, I had to do it to save my family and my wife. The threat of deportation was imminent," said Heene.

Rescue efforts related the event may end up costing taxpayers up to $62,000. Heene will begin serving his prison sentence on Monday, January 11.

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Filed by Ethan Axelrod  |