The Nigerian American woman captured the encounter in a now viral six-part YouTube series.
A series of videos of a white woman appearing to attack a Black customer and then having a breakdown at a Victoria’s Secret outlet in Short Hills Mall, New Jersey has gone viral. The white woman, Abigail Elphick, can be seen coming towards Ijeoma Ukenta, but after seeing that she was being recorded she curls up into a ball, cries and shouts, eventually "fainting" and falling to the ground. Ukenta can be heard saying " Oh my god" in utter disbelief. The woman has now been dubbed by the internet as the “Victoria’s Secret Karen.” She can be seen complaining about being recorded and chasing Ukenta around the store to force her to stop filming. In one of the videos, Elphick starts crying and screaming for security while sitting on the floor and can also be heard saying "Don't record me." Elphick is later seen shouting "Get away from me" and then running behind the Black woman.
So what started the altercation? According to Insider, Ukenta explains in later videos that everything began when she was looking at the store's offering of underwear when Elphick started browsing items too close to her that made her feel uncomfortable. So Ukenta told her to "back up." Elphick then went and complained to a store employee that Ukenta had threatened her. Ukenta, in turn, decided to record the incident. That's when things escalated to the confrontation caught in the first video and later, Elphick seemed to have multiple breakdowns.
Comic Sands reports that police arrived at the scene and Ukenta was told that since the officer was not a mall employee, he couldn't escort Elphick out of the mall. Ukenta went to the police station following the incident to retrieve the police report and file her own complaint. In subsequent videos, she shared, "So, I see everyone asking me for an update. I am at the police station. I have the police report, which is somewhat true, but really, really long. I'm happy I did record because even the officers stated that I only showed him the video of her laying on the floor when I showed him. Mind you, they took her statement first because, of course, she called the police. And she completely lied. She's trying to say I started videotaping her causing her to have a panic attack, at which time she followed me to try to get me to stop recording. So, I'm filing the complaint against the two officers that responded. I didn't feel protected. I'm also filing a complaint against the mall security. Victoria's Secret, in my opinion … like what do we expect them? Grab this woman?" The manager even sent somebody to walk down to get security because they were taking too long. So, I don't really have any issues with them … not as of yet. Now if they give us problems getting the video, then we'll talk about that. That'll be another story."
Associate and Customer safety is our top priority, and we are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all. pic.twitter.com/vREtLvC2o0— Victoria's Secret (@VictoriasSecret) July 13, 2021
Ukenta has since launched a GoFundMe to hire an attorney and so far has raised over $105,000. Speaking of her version of events she explained: I am a Black Muslimah Nigerian AM and I was treated like it was 1920 in Short Hills Mall. I was assaulted and harassed by a white woman and nothing was done by security nor the police. I'm looking to hire me an excellent attorney who can help me bring light to this wrong. All videos and updates on the situation are on my YouTube channel: Mama Africa Muslimah. I was kicked off a tiktok for posting what happened to me and they let someone else post and get millions and millions of views however they deleted 2 of my accounts. One that I have for my Garden which was my original account and another 1 that I created after they deleted my main account. I have been wronged Abigail Elphick (Karen in my videos,) Short Hills Mall security, Millburn Police Department, and most of all humanity.
Victoria's Secret Karen shouted “GET HER AWAY FROM ME” while chasing woman— Alicia Smith 💙🌊🌊 #FBR (@AliciaSmith987) July 13, 2021
What is really disgusting is other people & police trying to shoo away lady of color for comfort of white lady
Why? bcs Abigail Elphick appeared weak but Muslim Nigerian appeared as strong woman?