When a police officer from Los Angeles caught now-homeless opera singer Emily Zamourka singing for pocket change, he filmed the video that has since brought instant fame to the voice of the angel. Because the police officer’s video sparked a lot of interest in the singer, someone set up a GoFundMe page to help the 52-year-old get back on her feet after a string of bad luck, including health care issues, that forced her onto the streets.
However, it has now been declared that the GoFundMe page might have been a scam. Emily has not received a dollar of the tens of thousands of dollars of donations provided to her “campaign.” A friend of the singer named Paulina Zavatina spoke to Daily Mail about how Emily has gotten none of the donations yet. She is still homeless, singing for change on the streets of Los Angeles.
Although the main GoFundMe page has accumulated $80,500 and is still accepting donations, the former opera singer remains on the streets, destitute and alone. While she has not gotten any of the money yet – and probably never will – Paulina said that Emily’s viral fame helped her reconnect with her elderly mother, who died two days after being reunited with her long-lost daughter.
Paulina and Emily met while studying together in the Soviet Union. Both escaped the horrible regime for the freedom of America. She spoke to Emily following her recent fame for more than an hour. She is still homeless and hopeless.
“When I spoke to her, she was still living on the streets,” Paulina (above) told Daily Mail. “She hadn’t gotten any money people have collected for her. But she’d never ask for money, even knowing people are collecting for her.”
The only money that Emily has received recently was when she was hired to perform at an Italian festival in San Pedro in October.
“She is probably happy about people trying to help her, but she is very modest, and she is ashamed that she has gotten into this situation of being homeless.”
However, Emily doesn’t know how to accept charity, which makes it harder for her to pull herself out of homelessness.
“Like I told you before, she never counted on anyone,” said Paulina. “She was just striving to earn, work hard. She would do anything to avoid someone else paying for her.”
Michael Trujillo is the man behind the GoFundMe campaign. He told Daily Mail that “The money is still there waiting for Emily, and I communicate with GoFundMe several times a week to figure this out. They have been trying to figure out if she has her own bank account so the money can be wired to it – the last they heard she did not – but there are other factors here too.”
Paulina does not know if Emily will ever be able to lead a normal life.
“I very much hope that she’ll be fortunate enough to get out of this situation. I know that she will work hard if she would be given a chance and a starting point. I think that she needs a home, an instrument, and the rest will work out.”
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