The man credited with helping save three women from accused kidnapper Ariel Castro says the ensuing fame has ruined his life, even though he is set to earn $50,000 and has bought himself a BMW.
“I don’t have an address, I don’t live anywhere. I go from house to house, to friend to friend, to family member to family member,” Charles Ramsey said in an interview with the Daily Mail. “What I’ve been doing for the past four weeks is wearing out my welcome with everybody who knows me.”
Ramsey, 45, who worked as a dishwasher at the time the kidnapping story broke, says the real problem is that he can’t land a full-time job or housing because people are wary of the attention his presence would attract.
“Just give me a job,” he said.
Since the story broke in May, Ramsey said he’s used the money he has received to pay off debts and to buy a used BMW for $8,000. He’s received about$15,000 in speaking fees and several thousand dollars in corporate speaking engagement fees. He also launched a personal website, where he sells T-shirts bearing his image for $25, and digital downloads of the song “Dead Giveaway,” which uses clips from his 911 call and became a viral sensation.
'Charles has been absolutely marvelous to deal with,’ said speaking agent Bruce Merrin, who describes Ramsey as a “national hero” on his website.
And while he acknowledges buying the BMW, Ramsey says his new life is far from luxurious, pointing out that he is homeless and has spent several nights sleeping in the car.
“I got a car, most humans do,” he said.
Days after the story first broke, Ramsey says he moved out of his neighborhood and into a small hotel room outside Cleveland. Along the way, he claimed that no fewer than a dozen landlords have denied his rental applications because they fear unwanted attention from the man whose YouTube video has racked up more than 16,000,000 views.
Ramsey also tells the Daily Mail that fame has brought him other unwanted headaches as well. For example, he’s allegedly tried to shut down a counterfeit Facebook page and has unsuccessfully tried to stop a Chinese company from selling a video game that uses his image as a character.
“I’m borrowing money from my relatives. I don’t even answer my phone anymore because [my creditor] keeps calling,” Ramsey said.
Nonetheless, Ramsey tells the paper he wouldn’t trade in his notoriety, despite all of the problems it has caused for him.
“Would you go back to not being famous? Yes or no? Of course not, no you wouldn’t, so going back as far as me being famous, of course I’m not gonna give that up.”