On Your Side: Fame or Fraud?

By: Lynnsey Gardner
By: Lynnsey Gardner

September 12, 2006

News 12 is On Your Side with new information on a story we first brought you Sunday.

Our newsroom has been flooded with calls from parents wanting to know more about the John Robert Powers company.

Is it about child fame or fraud?

We've heard from the JRP school in Atlanta, and even Disney itself.

It all started with a half page ad in the Augusta Chronicle, which many of you, including eleven-year-old Krista Brantley, thought was misleading.

"Me and my friend saw the ad in the paper for JRP and we thought we were going to get to meet Brenda Song from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," Krista told News 12.

But at the "audition", attendees say there was no mention of the show and no mention of Disney.

News 12 checked it out and called Disney. They asked us to mail them a copy of the ad.

Instead of an audition, kids who showed up were offered expensive acting lessons costing as much as $3,000.

Some who signed contracts want their money back.

We called JRP for their reaction.

The Atlanta owner, Dale Howell, says he doesn't think the ad is misleading, but we found claims filed against other John Robert Powers franchises.

Howell told us, "Since we are a franchise, we cannot speak to the National website and problems in other states. We make everyone aware there are no guarantees in this business. We try to educate our clients so they have an edge."

We also spoke with one mom who says her son is a JRP success story.

Chris Mink has appeared on the show One Tree Hill and he's on the JRP Atlanta website as a local success story.

His mother, Theresa Mink, tells us, "JRP has provided what they said they would. Chris worked very hard with the tools provided by JRP to create his own success. However, I can definitely see where the ad was misleading."

JRP representatives will begin teaching acting and modeling classes this Saturday at the Marriott in Augusta.

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