Identity theft sucks. But it sucks even worse when your pretty face is stolen by a known prostitute who's wanted by the cops. That's the crappy storyline for former reality TV personality and Bad Girls Club Miami star Tasha Malek this week.
Malek, who turned in her bad girl ways for a career as a medical supply sales executive, was shocked when her sister called her Monday night, asking if she was ok -- because her mug was all over the Vegas news. Turns out, Malek was mistakenly identified as Tineesha Lashun Howard, wanted by police in connection with a murder.
Last week, aspiring rapper Kenneth Cherry (aka Kenny Clutch) was shot and killed on Las Vegas Boulevard. 26-year-old Ammar Harris was the prime suspect, and at the time of the shooting, he reportedly had a woman riding along with him in his Range Rover -- one Tineesha Lashun Howard.
So, as the Vegas police were cruising Harris' scintillating social media presence, they found photos of him and a brunette. They grabbed the pics, pegged the girl as Howard, and flashed 'em all over creation.
But it wasn't Howard; it was Malek. Malek, perhaps best known for her part in the "bitch, why you mad" catfight above, had previously met Harris in Miami, and the suspected murderer had photos of the two on his page.
Whoops. All brunettes look alike though, right? Especially if you're a professional crime fighter whose career is based on life and death details. NBD.
After Malek's sister called her with the news, she jumped online.
"I Googled Vegas news and the pic of Ammar comes up. I know him so l I was like, oh my gosh this is crazy. So I ended up clicking the link and my face pops up, claiming I'm a prostitute, a person of interest in a triple homicide. It was very devastating to see my face linked to such horrible crime," Malek said.
It took the cops a half hour to realize their error. By then, the world had seen Malek's face - and totally recognized her as a bad girl.
"The next morning I woke up to 60 missed calls from family and friends calling me and making sure I'm ok. I turn on the news and it's all over every news channel," Malek said.
"They very subtly and very quietly removed the photos from their website after I provided them with ample evidence that was 100% accurate. This person was sitting with me in my office, she has no knowledge of what's going on. They without any real thought started putting all these photos online," said Michael Greico, Malek's lawyer.
"It doesn't look good for anyone, especially with me being a professional. It's really hard to have to say, listen, it wasn't me. I have to explain to everybody. It could hurt me in the future to get new business. It's something I'm very worried about," Malek added.
"I was on a reality TV show so everybody recognized my face. People on the Las Vegas police website were like, "That's Tasha from Bad Girls."
Now, Malek and Grieco are working on damage control and contemplating legal recourse.
She may have been a bad girl, but not THIS bad, after all.