Chioma Toplis, the Nollywood actress, has dismissed claims that her colleagues in the movie industry neglected Leo Mezie while he was alive.
Mezie, who had been battling a kidney condition for years, died on Saturday while recovering from surgery. He was 46.
Shortly after he passed on, several of his colleagues in the film industry came under attack for allegedly neglecting him during his battle with kidney disease.
But in a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday, Toplis took a swipe at those pushing such narrative.
According to her, several Nollywood figures as well as concerned individuals donated to the actor when he became sick.
“Leo cried Wolf when there was no wolf, when the real wolf came nobody came. This is for people saying that Nollywood didn’t help Leo when he was alive/ill. Or blaming Nollywood for his death. In 2016, money was contributed to his surgery including the huge some that Apostle gave him,” she wrote.
“He came to London with his then-wife for the surgery. I and another actress who was in London contacted him so we could visit him in the hospital but he did not allow us to come see him.
“Months later he came back and didn’t look like someone that had such major surgery. He organised a huge thanksgiving service at the Apostle’s church where he said that he miraculously healed.
“That his failed kidneys were revived in London and the doctors there said that he didn’t need surgery. People questioned who then diagnosed him and booked the surgery of which money was donated?”
Toplis claimed people got discouraged from helping the actor when they realised that “he was enjoying the money he was making out of his illness”.
“He continued living his normal life. News broke through actress Chioma Okoye’s foundation that he was ill again and needed donations. Money was contributed to an extent before he asked the foundation to give him the money. The quarrel started between him and the foundation,” she added.
“They said it was not in their agreement, that they don’t give or contribute to individual accounts. At this point, a lot of people lost interest. Even the AGN president Emeka came into that matter then to make sure it was resolved. A lot of actors posted and solicited for funds for him too.
“So, all these comment-seyy people (keyboard warriors) talking down on the Actors guild I believe they were not aware of the story of Leo and his health or they just want to give a dog a bad name to kill it.
“Like I said a lot of people lost interest in his case even the Apostle that helped him the most. The plain truth is that he was enjoying the money he was making out of his illness. His wife left him and relocated to the US when she got a visa.
“His family and extended family took over and helped him with dialysis, and raised the N17m for the transplant which was done about a week ago.”
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