TikTok star Reesa Teesa opens up on marriage gone awry

Good Morning America
4 Mar 202408:40

Summary

TLDRIn an ABC News exclusive, Robin interviews Teresa Johnson, who became a sensation on TikTok by sharing her story of marrying and divorcing a man she labels a pathological liar, nicknamed 'Legion'. Teresa's videos, which amassed over 400 million views, narrate her whirlwind pandemic romance filled with promises, deception, and heartbreak. Despite initially relishing the financial stability Legion offered, Teresa soon uncovered a web of lies, including his criminal past. The saga highlights Teresa's journey of self-reflection and healing, emphasizing the importance of truth and accountability in relationships. Despite the ordeal, Teresa remains hopeful about love and plans to fulfill her dream of visiting London.

Takeaways

  • 😮 Teresa Johnson's TikTok series detailing her marriage and subsequent divorce from a man she calls 'Legion' went viral, amassing over 400 million views.
  • 🚩 Throughout their whirlwind romance, Johnson ignored multiple 'red flags' about Legion's truthfulness, driven by her desire for love and marriage.
  • 💸 Legion allegedly made false promises of buying Johnson luxurious items like a car, house, and a trip to London, but never followed through.
  • 💔 The most painful moment for Johnson was when Legion pretended to be his own assistant and didn't take her to the hospital when she miscarried their child.
  • 🕵️‍♀️ After their marriage, Johnson discovered that Legion had a criminal record for impersonating a police officer and an open warrant for violating probation.
  • 🤥 Legion has refuted Johnson's claims, denying financial lies and alleging that their relationship ended due to Johnson's affair.
  • 👩‍⚖️ Johnson acknowledges her accountability in ignoring the red flags and her desire to be loved and married, but has sought therapy for healing.
  • ✈️ Despite the heartbreak, Johnson plans to take herself on her long-awaited trip to London later this year.
  • 🙋‍♀️ Johnson's honesty and accountability in sharing her story have resonated with millions, striking a chord with those who have faced similar deceptions.
  • 🌟 The viral series highlights the importance of verifying information and not ignoring red flags in relationships, even when driven by understandable human desires.

Q & A

  • What is the main subject of Teresa Johnson's TikTok series?

    -The main subject is Teresa Johnson's experience of falling in love, marrying, and then divorcing a man she describes as a pathological liar.

  • How many views has Teresa Johnson's TikTok series garnered?

    -The series has garnered more than 400 million views.

  • Why did Teresa Johnson choose to share her story on social media?

    -She was initially nervous but decided to share her story believing that it could help someone else.

  • How did Teresa Johnson and 'Legion' first meet?

    -They met on Facebook dating and also matched on Hinge under two different names.

  • What significant actions did 'Legion' take during his relationship with Teresa?

    -'Legion' took over paying Teresa's household bills, made promises of buying luxury items, and even put an offer on a house despite allegedly having no money.

  • What were the 'United Nations of red flags' that Teresa Johnson ignored?

    -She ignored multiple warning signs and discrepancies in 'Legion's' stories and behavior because she did not want to be alone, did not want to appear foolish, and was eager to get married.

  • What was the most painful point of deception for Teresa?

    -The most painful deception was when 'Legion' pretended to be his own executive assistant and failed to take her to the hospital when she lost their child.

  • What legal issues did 'Legion' have?

    -He had a criminal record, had pled guilty to impersonating a police officer in 2017, and had an open warrant for violating probation.

  • How has Teresa Johnson's life changed after her experience with 'Legion'?

    -She has become less excited and more cautious in life, feeling a significant shift from her former self due to the traumatic experiences.

  • What does Teresa Johnson attribute to her healing process after the divorce?

    -Recording the series was cathartic, but she emphasizes that therapy has been key in her journey of healing, self-reflection, and learning to love herself more.

  • How did 'Legion' respond to Teresa Johnson's claims?

    -He declined to respond to several outreach attempts but refuted the claims on social media, denying financial woes and alleging that Teresa had an affair.

Outlines

00:00

📱 Viral Saga of Love, Deception, and Heartbreak

ABC News features an exclusive interview with Teresa Johnson, who became viral on TikTok for sharing her story of marrying and divorcing a man she labels a pathological liar, known in her series as 'Legion'. Teresa's story, which has amassed over 400 million views, unfolds her whirlwind pandemic romance filled with love, heartbreak, and deception. She recounts how they met on dating sites, the red flags she ignored, and the false promises he made, including financial stability and lavish gifts. Despite the lies, Teresa shared her story to help others, emphasizing the importance of verification in relationships. Her narrative extends to the elaborate web of lies she uncovered post-marriage, leading to their divorce within six months.

05:02

💔 Journey Through Deception to Self-Discovery

The continuation of Teresa Johnson's story delves into the emotional aftermath of her marriage to 'Legion'. Teresa discovered his criminal past and the extent of his deception, including pretending to be his own executive assistant. The emotional toll of the miscarriage and the eventual divorce led Teresa to a profound self-reflection and healing process. Despite the pain, she still believes in love and marriage. Teresa emphasizes accountability and self-love, which resonated with millions, and shares her plans to fulfill her dream of visiting London independently. Her story strikes a chord with many, highlighting the importance of honesty and accountability in overcoming personal trials.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡Viral TikTok Series

A viral TikTok series refers to content that rapidly gains popularity and spreads across the TikTok platform, often resulting in millions of views, shares, and comments. In the context of the video, Teresa Johnson's series about her experience with a pathological liar, dubbed 'Legion,' became incredibly viral, amassing over 400 million views. This illustrates the power of social media to broadcast personal stories to a wide audience, creating a shared experience among viewers who resonate with the narrative.

💡Pathological Liar

A pathological liar is someone who lies compulsively and habitually, often for no apparent reason. In the video, the man Teresa married, referred to as 'Legion,' is described as a pathological liar. This condition is central to the story, as it details how his continuous lying impacted their relationship, leading to its eventual downfall. The concept underscores the challenges and emotional turmoil faced by those in close relationships with pathological liars.

💡Pandemic Romance

Pandemic romance refers to relationships that started or developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time characterized by lockdowns and social distancing measures. The video mentions Teresa's 'whirlwind pandemic romance' with 'Legion,' highlighting the unique circumstances under which their relationship blossomed. This context is significant because the pandemic created unusual living situations, such as deciding to quarantine together early in their relationship, which intensified their connection in a short period.

💡Red Flags

Red flags in the context of relationships refer to warning signs or indicators that something might be wrong. In the video, Teresa mentions ignoring what she calls 'the United Nations of red flags' during her relationship with 'Legion.' These included his lies about his financial status and past, as well as his erratic behavior. This term illustrates the hindsight recognition of warning signs that were overlooked in the hope of the relationship being true and lasting.

💡Accountability

Accountability in this context refers to Teresa's willingness to acknowledge her own part in the relationship's dynamics and the series of decisions that led to its eventual end. She discusses being accountable for overlooking red flags and making excuses for 'Legion's' behavior. This theme is crucial as it shows personal growth and the importance of self-reflection in healing from toxic relationships.

💡Catharsis

Catharsis refers to the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions. Teresa found recording her TikTok series to be cathartic, helping her process and articulate her feelings about her tumultuous relationship. This concept is essential in understanding how sharing one's story publicly can serve as a form of therapy, helping both the storyteller and the audience heal through shared experiences.

💡Impersonating a Police Officer

Impersonating a police officer is a criminal offense involving pretending to be a law enforcement official. In the video, it's revealed that 'Legion' had a criminal record, including a guilty plea for this charge. This fact serves as a significant revelation in Teresa's journey of uncovering the truth about who she married, illustrating the depth of his deception and the legal ramifications of his actions.

💡Healing and Self-reflection

Healing and self-reflection refer to the processes of recovering from emotional trauma and taking time to understand oneself better. Teresa emphasizes these as key aspects of moving forward after her divorce from 'Legion.' This theme highlights the importance of self-care and introspection following the end of a relationship, especially one marked by deceit and manipulation.

💡Social Media Impact

The impact of social media is demonstrated by the widespread attention Teresa's story received on TikTok. This term reflects the role of platforms like TikTok in facilitating the sharing of personal stories with a global audience, leading to a communal discussion of shared experiences and offering support to those in similar situations.

💡Divorce

Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. In the video, Teresa's decision to divorce 'Legion' after discovering the extent of his lies and criminal behavior marks a pivotal moment in her story. It symbolizes the end of a traumatic chapter and the beginning of her journey towards healing and self-discovery. This term contextualizes the legal and emotional processes involved in ending a marriage, especially one fraught with deception.

Highlights

Teresa Johnson's story of falling in love, marrying, and then divorcing a man she says turned out to be a pathological liar has over 400 million views on TikTok.

Teresa Johnson, known as Risa Tissa on social media, details her whirlwind pandemic romance that she says was filled with love, heartbreak, and alleged deception in a 50-part TikTok series.

Teresa and the man she calls 'Legion' met on Facebook dating and Hinge, which was one of the red flags.

Within two weeks, they decided to quarantine together in Teresa's Atlanta home during the pandemic lockdown.

Legion claimed to have substantial savings from his time playing arena football and took over paying Teresa's household bills.

Legion made promises to buy Teresa things like a luxury car, a house, and a trip to London, but most of them never materialized.

Teresa ignored red flags because she didn't want to be alone, didn't want to look stupid for the relationship ending quickly, and felt that time was running out for her to get married.

Teresa got pregnant but unfortunately suffered a miscarriage, which should have been the end of the relationship but instead made her hold on to Legion even more.

After getting married, Teresa started uncovering an elaborate web of lies from Legion, including that he had a criminal record for impersonating a police officer.

The most painful part for Teresa was when Legion pretended to be his own executive assistant and didn't take her to the hospital when she lost their child.

After just 6 months of marriage, Teresa and Legion divorced, and she felt a huge weight lifted off her.

Teresa believes her story has resonated with so many people because she is being accountable and honest about where she messed up.

Despite the pain, Teresa still believes in love and marriage but says being married to the wrong person is a completely different type of hell.

Teresa says therapy has been key in her journey of healing, self-reflection, and learning to love herself more.

Legion has refuted Teresa's claims, denying financial lies and saying the relationship ended because Teresa allegedly had an affair. He maintains that her story is only being posted now because he's in another relationship.

Transcripts

00:00

now to an ABC News exclusive an

00:02

interview with the woman behind it in

00:03

incredibly viral Tik Tok video series

00:06

that Robin you had a chance to sit down

00:07

with her boy does she have a story to

00:09

tell Michael Teresa Johnson's story of

00:11

falling in love marrying and then

00:13

divorcing a man she says turned out to

00:15

be a pathological liar has over 400

00:18

million views we're not naming the man

00:21

involved we're using the nickname she

00:22

gave him in the videos

00:26

Legion with just one question she had

00:29

the internet HED

00:31

who did I marry in her 50p part Tik Tock

00:35

series Teresa Johnson now widely known

00:38

on social media as Risa Tissa details

00:41

her Whirlwind pandemic romance that she

00:43

says was filled with love heartbreak and

00:46

alleged deception I'm going to tell the

00:49

story of how I met dated married and

00:54

divorce a real pathological liar the

00:58

viral Saga has garnered more than 400

01:01

million views and Counting were you

01:02

nervous at all about sharing yes I was

01:05

nervous but ultimately I decided if

01:08

you're going to tell this story tell the

01:10

whole story I also really truly believe

01:13

the story will help somebody it cost you

01:16

nothing to

01:19

verify but it very well may cost you

01:21

everything to not verify the narrative

01:24

spread out over an8 hourong Tik Tok

01:27

playlist part one how'd yall meet so we

01:30

actually met on Facebook dating and we

01:32

also matched on hinge um I did not

01:36

realize that he was on both um under two

01:40

different names there are a lot of

01:43

things in this story that were red flags

01:46

this was probably one of them but we

01:47

thought it was hilarious that we matched

01:49

on two different sites this was a guy

01:52

who I really after having multiple

01:54

conversations with felt like wow you

01:57

know where have you been within two

02:00

weeks she says the couple decided to

02:01

quarantine together in her Atlanta home

02:04

it was more of a very temporary he's

02:07

coming to stay for the lockdown the

02:09

lockdown just never ended Teresa says

02:11

Legion told her he had substantial

02:13

savings from his time playing arena

02:15

football and quickly took over paying

02:18

her household bills part of the reason

02:20

that you stayed was there anything to do

02:22

with the fact that he said he had money

02:24

or you thought that he had money I

02:27

definitely was not with him for the

02:30

money but I will admit that there came a

02:33

point he was paying all the bills and he

02:36

was being as he called a provider and I

02:38

had never in my life experienced that

02:40

before I really felt like oh thank you

02:43

Jesus like I can just exhale yes that

02:46

felt good Teresa also says he made

02:49

promises to buy her things including a

02:51

luxury car a house and a trip to London

02:55

what were you thinking when he was

02:56

making all of these these promises and

02:58

were and when they weren't happening

03:00

we're touring houses I physically saw

03:03

him put an offer in on a house it is

03:07

unfathomable to see someone put an offer

03:09

in and they have no money so my mind was

03:13

kind of saying okay something isn't

03:15

right but you know what you saw the trip

03:17

to London he never actually booked it

03:20

anyone that knows me will tell you that

03:22

she's wanted to go to London since she

03:23

was a little kid so that one that was

03:28

difficult because

03:30

you're you're playing with me in the

03:32

series Teresa explains why she

03:34

continuously chose to overlook what she

03:36

calls the United Nations of red flags

03:39

there's something that you said I really

03:41

want to I want to get it here a quote

03:44

here number one I didn't I don't want to

03:46

be alone number two two I didn't want to

03:50

look

03:51

stupid um by having the relationship end

03:54

so quickly for everyone to be like we

03:56

told you something was up um

04:00

and number three I was ready to get

04:02

married I felt like time was running out

04:04

I ignored things because I really wanted

04:07

it to be my turn you get pregnant and

04:10

unfortunately you you lose the baby that

04:12

is where I say the relationship should

04:15

have ended instead the miscarriage

04:18

almost pushed me to hold on to him even

04:20

more Teresa claims after they got

04:21

married she started uncovering an

04:24

elaborate Web of Lies I got married

04:26

January

04:28

5th by January

04:32

31st I knew I was in trouble the

04:35

question isn't what all did he lie about

04:38

the question definitely became okay what

04:40

is actually true what can you prove

04:43

every I love you was a lie every I got

04:46

you was a lie that does something to you

04:51

mentally what was the most painful point

04:54

the part that still makes

04:57

me that I struggle with is you pretended

05:01

to be your own executive assistant when

05:04

I was texting you to say I'm in preop so

05:07

there was never an executive assistant

05:10

you were never in a meeting you just

05:12

simply did not take me to the hospital

05:15

when I lost our child Teresa says she

05:18

discovered he had a criminal record

05:20

documents revealing Legion pled guilty

05:22

to charges of impersonating a police

05:24

officer in 2017 and even had an open

05:27

warrant for violating probation after

05:29

just 6 months of marriage Teresa and

05:32

Legion divorced it was as

05:35

if a huge a year worth of weight came

05:39

off of me I broke down and I mean I

05:42

wailed I heard you say

05:45

that you're not who you were before all

05:49

this happened do you miss her I do I

05:55

do she got

05:57

excited I don't really get excited

05:59

anymore I am terrified to get excited

06:03

because I went through a whole year and

06:05

some change of getting excited only for

06:08

it to be stripped away I do still

06:10

believe in love I do still believe in

06:12

marriage I do still want that being

06:15

single is not always a great thing but

06:18

being married to the wrong person is a

06:21

completely different type of hell why do

06:23

you think this you your story has

06:26

resonated with so many people I do think

06:29

being

06:30

accountable people appreciate that

06:33

there's I have nothing wrong with asking

06:35

for Grace if I'm going to be honest and

06:37

say this is where I messed up I know I

06:40

messed up I'm going to be honest I

06:41

really had to kind of repent like I had

06:43

to really ask God to forgive me because

06:46

I believe that God did everything to

06:50

stop me and my hardhead itself was still

06:54

like that's not a red flag that's more

06:56

pink that was more pink m you know

07:00

Teresa says even though recording the

07:02

series was cathartic therapy has been

07:04

key it is still very much a journey of

07:07

healing

07:09

self-reflection and simply loving myself

07:12

way more than to put myself through that

07:14

or anything even like that ever

07:17

again

07:19

ever we reached out to Legion on several

07:22

occasions he declined to respond but he

07:24

took to social media refuted the claims

07:27

by Teresa including denying that he had

07:29

Financial Wes and saying the

07:30

relationship ended because Teresa

07:32

allegedly had an affair he maintains

07:35

that her story is only being posted now

07:37

because he's in another relationship

07:40

over 400 million views and Counting she

07:44

she has really struck a cord with women

07:46

and men who have shared similar stories

07:50

and part of it is her her accountability

07:53

yeah in all of this in honesty I wanted

07:56

to be loved I wanted to get married I

07:57

thought it was my time you can

07:58

understand all those thing yeah and you

08:00

know the thing is she's taking herself

08:02

to London she is she said she is taking

08:04

herself to London later this year I

08:06

thought you going pop out with a GMA

08:08

giveaway we going to

08:11

take I'll beave guess it's going to

08:13

happen in what do you mean you're going

08:15

to behave you already

08:18

misbehaving well hey there GMA fans

08:20

Robin Roberts here thanks for checking

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