US woman allegedly made 'deep fake' videos showing daughter's cheerleading rivals smoking, drinking and naked to get them kicked off team

Warning: This article has content that may disturb some people.

A US woman has been exposed for her "disgusting" actions after attempting to get her daughter's cheerleading teammates booted from the squad by allegedly making doctored explicit videos of them.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last week 50-year-old Raffaela Spone made heavily edited videos of her daughter's teammates - showing them smoking, drinking, and naked.

According to the newspaper, citing the local District Attorney's office, Spone showed the "deep fake" videos to the coaches of the cheerleading team, and also anonymously sent them to the girls, even telling one of the teenagers "you should kill yourself".

In response, a parent contacted police last year and Spone was arrested earlier this month.

"I don't know what would push her to this point," said George Ratel, the dad of one of the daughters involved. 

Raffaela Spone.
Raffaela Spone. Photo credit: Hilltown Township police

"As a dad, I was pretty upset about it. It's an image put out there of my daughter that is simply not true," he told The Inquirer.

Many Twitter users have spoken in solidarity with the victims, describing Spone's actions as "really disgusting" while others believe deep fakes are becoming a "serious problem".

Spone, charged with cyber harassment of a child, will make her first court appearance on March 30.

There have been growing concerns about the damage sophisticated fake videos can cause. Deepfakes involve the use of artificial intelligence to create a simulated video that is almost indistinguishable from the real thing. 

The US state of California banned the technology in 2019.