An Instagram influencer who went viral as the so-called ‘Gatsby of Cambridge’ claims she faked her application to the prestigious university to gain a place.
American Caroline Calloway, 31, rocketed to online fame in 2015 through her social media pictures of life at the University of Cambridge.
It sparked a £400,000 book deal, the result of which – entitled Scammer – is about to be released.
But she has this week suggested her place at St Edmund’s College was gained through false pretences.
She confessed: ‘I lied on my application. I forged my transcript when I got in.’
It is the latest in a series of scandals to engulf the former social media darling.
Ms Calloway was accused of buying followers for her Instagram page to get the book deal, which at one point appeared to have been abandoned.
Then she was likened to notorious Fyre Festival conman Billy McFarland after expensive workshops she hosted fell short of expectations.
American Caroline Calloway, 31, rocketed to fame through her Instagram posts on social media
The social media influencer would put up images online of her life as a Cambridge student
The pictures of the her life were liked by thousands of followers before the scandal started up
Now Ms Calloway’s new admission about her university place, which appears as a small part of a Vanity Fair interview, has thrown the college into disarray.
While it was not immediately available for comment to MailOnline it told university paper Varsity it was looking into Ms Calloway’s claim.
A spokesman said: ‘We cannot comment on individual students, however we take statements like this very seriously.’
New York-born Cambridge University student Caroline Calloway gained a huge Instagram following with her picturesque photos and wistful captions which supported a blog she began writing in 2012.
‘I feel like I’m in Harry Potter, turning up for dinner in the grand hall in my robes and having beautiful three course meals,’ she told MailOnline when she was a student.
It was claimed that the captions for her Instagram posts had been penned by one of her friends
American Caroline Calloway, 31, rocketed to online fame in 2015 through social media pages
Drama: Instagram influencer Caroline Calloway was accused of buying followers to create a fan base for herself to sell her unwritten memoir
Calloway’s popularity sparked a £400,000 book deal, the result of which – entitled Scammer – is about to be released
‘I’m still getting used to which way to lean when they serve you. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had to Google etiquette. Not because I necessarily want to change to be British but more because I don’t want to horribly embarrass myself or be rude to the host. It’s been a steep learning curve but so much fun. The British just have so many forks but I love all the history.’
In 2015, her large Instagram following helped her secure a book deal worth six figures, with a working title And We Were Like.
However, two years later Calloway announced on social media that the book was no longer in the works as she branded its premise ‘sexist’.
Instead of publishing, she sold the first seven chapters on Etsy, admitting she was in debt of $100,000 to her publisher from the advance she had already been paid.
As Calloway’s downturn continued, 2019 brought a series of ‘creative workshops’ which cost $165 per session, but were widely considered a disaster as they promised things that never materialised including orchid crowns.
New York-born Cambridge University student Caroline Calloway gained a huge Instagram following with her picturesque photos and wistful captions which supported a blog she began writing in 2012
New York-born Cambridge University student Caroline Calloway gained a huge Instagram following with her picturesque photos
The following year, the Guardian reported Calloway had refunded disappointed customers.
By October 2019 the demise of her reputation accelerated after a former friend Natalie Beach published an opinion piece in The Cut claiming she was responsible for the influencer’s success, and had been the person behind her famous Instagram captions.
She alleged Calloway’s claim that she became Instagram famous from a snapshot of macarons is a massive lie.
According to Natalie, Calloway told her that she took out ‘ads designed to look like posts to promote her account’ and ‘bought tens of thousands of followers’ to build a fan base to sell her unwritten memoir.
Although Calloway defended herself in TV interviews and through her Instagram account, the controversy ultimately caused her to retreat from social media and delete her Instagram posts.
However, before wiping her account clean, she revealed in a lengthy post that she had made up most of the money she owed to her publisher through an OnlyFans account.
After going dark on Instagram for several years, she revived her account four weeks ago to reveal the cover of her new book, Scammer.
She captioned the photo of the book: ‘Babe wake up the new manic pixie dream book is dropping mid-May.’