took a lot of heat during the Big Brother
season for allegedly lying about or exaggerating her hardships and accomplishments in life, and now she's responding.
"If you want to question it, that's fine," Raven told Entertainment Tonight
following the live Season 19 finale of Big Brother
on Wednesday night. "Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but I just really wanted to be an open book."
Viewers often questioned Raven's ailments and personal history, so much so that the "Expose Raven Party" hashtag was created on social media for people to share local news stories and evidence about Raven's past. (Raven has since disabled the comments section on her Instagram account and made her Twitter page private).
Raven's main story on the show was that she suffers from a rare digestive disorder called Gastroparesis, which causes delayed stomach emptying, and so she has a pacemaker that is visible under her skin as well as a 12-inch scar.
Raven also allegedly underwent eight stomach surgeries in her life.
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"I do have a lot wrong with me and I didn't use it as a crutch," insisted Raven, a 23-year-old dance teacher from DeValls Bluff, AR.
"I just wanted to educate people and inspire people, like, 'I have all this wrong with me, but I'm on this show, and I'm able to do it.'"
Raven additionally claimed to her fellow houseguests on Big Brother
that she has a bum knee, an inverted spine, endometriosis, thyroid issues, and arthritis, to name a few.
"A lot of people are like, 'You don't look sick.' I've had that even before I went on the show... Well, you can't see it. There's something wrong with me on the inside. I do have a lot wrong with me," Raven explained.
Many Big Brother
fans also don't believe that Raven's mother is a member of Mensa, nor that she once got struck by lightning.
"To clear this up -- I said in the house, my mom could
be a part of Mensa," Raven clarified to ET
"She went to law school. Unfortunately, she got sick and was not able to graduate. She could join Mensa tomorrow. She's a very intelligent woman and I'm proud to be her daughter."
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However, a YouTube clip
featuring a conversation between Raven and Paul Abrahamian
in the Big Brother
house shows Raven telling her pal, "My mom is very smart. My momma's in Mensa. Me too."
When Paul asked Raven in the clip what her GPA was upon graduating, Raven replied, "Dance. But I did study business too."
Raven also told Paul that she previously trained for the Olympics and told her showmance partner Matt Clines
that she stopped growing at age 13. Paul actually called Raven a "compulsive liar" on the show -- a statement Christmas Abbott
whole-heartedly agreed with.
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"I'm a sick woman," Raven told ET
. "I do have terminal illnesses. I don't let it stop me, I don't let it bring me down."
When Matt spoke to ET
after the Big Brother
finale wrapped, he stood up for his love interest.
"I believe everything Raven said in the house," Matt confirmed.
"Maybe viewers did question it, but if she was making that stuff up, that's a heck of a good story, because that is very unique. So, yeah, maybe some of it wasn't true -- and I'm assuming she'll let me know if it wasn't -- but I mean, I did see the scar and the pacemaker, so I'm assuming at least part of that to be true."
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