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Last week, a young Detroit woman by the name of Aziah Wells logged onto Twitter to tell a story that has now gone viral. Read and commented on by power players Missy Elliott, Ava DuVernay, Solange Knowles, Erykah Badu, and more, Aziah – better known as Zola – became an instant internet sensation after detailing her tale of stripping and near-prostitution, as well as a kidnapping, murder, and attempted suicide.

And of course, the craziest parts of the story all went down in Florida. But was the whole story true? The Washington Post dug deep into Zola’s account and found that most of it could be verified. In fact, the only part that seems to be up for questioning is the murder, as there was no such event recorded by police on the weekend in question.

If you missed Zola’s account, get the play-by-play here and catch up. She randomly meets a new acquaintance named Jessica Swiatkowski, and agrees to go to Florida and strip with her to make some quick cash. But when the money is slow, things take a turn for the worse. Jessica’s roommate Z, who traveled with them to Tampa, turns out to actually be Jessica’s pimp and a series of unsettling events quickly follow.

As far as which parts are true, The Washington Post writes:

After interviews with the story’s main subjects and police who have investigated the case, however, The Post was able to verify large portions of Wells’s tale. Wells may be called upon to retell her story again, in fact: “Z,” the pimp from Wells’s saga, is on trial in January on charges ranging from sexual assault to trafficking.

Z, born Akporode Uwedjojevwe and nicknamed Rudy, was the pimp traveling with Zola, her sketchy acquaintance Jessica, and Jessica’s boyfriend Jarrett Scott. Not surprisingly, Rudy has been arrested and charged on six counts, all related, in some way, to the sex trade.

Rudy wasn’t arrested for murder, however, as Zola’s story claims. Instead, Uwedjojevwe is being charged on six counts, all related in some way to the sex trade: sexual assault, battery, two counts of trafficking, and two counts of attempted pandering with threat of physical force. This last charge essentially means that — days after Rudy made Wells a nonconsensual Backpage ad — someone else has accused him of compelling her to engage in prostitution.

To add to the craziness, Zola isn’t the only third-party to almost get caught up in a prostitution scandal by following Jessica and Rudy around in Florida.


Head over to the Washington Post for more tea and receipts after you read Zola’s unbelievable story, then leave your thoughts below.

SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter, Getty

The Real Story Behind Zola’s Epic Twitter Tale  was originally published on