New details involving the viral “Sharkeisha fight video” have emerged, with the victim claiming she was set up. Houston teen Sharmichael Manuel, 17, told KHOU she was astounded when her former friend punched her and believes the assailant and a group of girls set her up for the now-infamous fight video, which was posted last week on Instagram and can still be seen on World Star Hip Hop.
[Click here to see pictures of Manuel after the fight, courtesy of Rolling Out.]
The Cypress Creek High School senior said she was attacked on Nov. 19 after being led to an apartment complex under false pretenses. Manuel thought she was going there to pick up some of her belongings, but instead she was pummeled by Sharkeisha. The video has been viewed millions of times since it was posted to the Internet, and Manuel wishes it would stop.
Recorded with a cell phone, the video shows a 16-year-old girl the Internet now knows as “Sharkeisha” talking to Manuel when out of nowhere she slugs her in the face with a sucker punch that the victim said she never saw coming. Sharkeisha continues to wail on Manuel and even kicks her in the face before bystanders intervene.
“I was just in shock. I was like oh my God. Did she really do this? You’re supposed to be my close friend,” Manuel told KHOU. “We were talking in school earlier that day. She made it seem like there was nothing wrong with her.”
The fight broke out over a boy, Manuel told the news site, and after Sharkeisha finished her assault, a neighbor drove the battered teen home. Manuel was left with a black eye and a busted lip. She hasn’t returned to school since the assault because she has had trouble seeing out of her eye.
“It is hurting and crushing to me,” Manuel said. “I felt humiliated and embarrassed and hurt at the same time.”
But the physical pain isn’t Manuel's only trial. Sharkeisha has become an Internet star, with many praising her attack, and it’s just making things worse for the Houston teen.
“The video’s just going and going. They’re making jokes, and they’re taunting. They’re glorifying the girl Sharkeisha, but they’re taunting my daughter at the same time,” Manuel's mother, Olevia Henderson, told KHOU. “I was in the grocery store, and the girl was checking out my groceries. The baggers were just laughing and talking about it. I said, 'That’s my daughter in that video,' and their whole expression changed.”
The video mostly gained notoriety on Twitter, where users made “Sharkeisha” a nationwide trending topic and memes of the assault were shared incessantly. Rumors even began to circulate that Manuel, who wasn’t yet identified at that point, had committed suicide.
Henderson wants the video taken off the Internet, but she feels there is nothing she can do to stop it from spreading. She informed the school’s assistant principal about the fight but was told there was nothing that could be done since the assault didn’t take place on school grounds.
Henderson added, however, that a report was filed with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
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Check out the video of Manuel's interview below: