The New Jersey waitress at the center of an anti-gay receipt hoax that helped her raise thousands of dollars has agreed to a mutual separation with her restaurant.
Asian Gallop Bistro, in Bridgewater, issued a statement on Dayna Morales’s termination Saturday through their Facebook page.
“However, in light of the investigation and recent events, both Ms. Morales and Gallop Asian Bistro have made a joint decision that Ms. Morales will no longer continue her employment at our restaurant,” the restaurant wrote, adding that “the results of that investigation are inconclusive as to exactly what happened between Ms. Morales and the customers that night.”
“The Gallop Asian Bistro has taken seriously the allegations made by Ms. Dayna Morales, and those made against her,” read the post. “Despite news reports to the contrary, this is not a simple, straight-forward matter and we have conducted our own internal investigation.” (RELATED: New Jersey hate receipt ‘liar,’ say friends)
Morales, a 22-year-old ex-Marine, claimed last month that she received an anti-gay message from a customer on a dinner receipt. The message read, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle & how you live your life.”
The receipt also showed that the family left no tip on a $93.55 tab.
Morales contacted “Have a Gay Day,” a nonprofit organization, and her story went viral through the reporting of various news outlets like the Huffington Post. People from across the country offered to send Morales money, and she set up a PayPal account. Overall, the waitress received several thousand dollars in donations.
But the accused family came forward a couple of weeks after the story was first reported, saying that they did not leave the message and actually left a 20 percent tip. (RELATED: Family: Lesbian waitress lied about anti-gay tip message)
From there, Morales’ story unraveled. Acquaintances and friends came forward to say that Morales has a history of lying. She’s lied about having cancer and about being the lone survivor in a bombing in Afghanistan, said her former friends. In fact, Morales was dishonorably discharged from the Marines for failing to show up to drills. She never saw combat.
Morales and managers at Asian Gallop Bistro also claimed that the funds would be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit that helps war veterans. That organization said that as of Wednesday it had not received donations from Morales or the restaurant. (RELATED: Waitress in anti-gay receipt dispute issuing refunds to donors)
The decision to let Morales go comes after donors to Morales’ PayPay account began receiving refunds on Friday.