‘Survivor’ Star Johnny Fairplay Called Out for Profiting off Arrest by Selling Merchandise

Two-time Survivor player and notable villain Jon “Johnny Fairplay” Dalton first rose to prominence after he notoriously lied and claimed his grandmother died to receive sympathy from his other castmates. However, the competitor later admitted he knew she was alive and likely watching Jerry Springer at the time. Nearly 20 years after the memorable fib, Fairplay and his mother were arrested for allegedly stealing from said grandmother. Within days after posting bail, the wrestler began peddling merchandise that featured his mugshot.

'Survivor' star Jonny Fairplay at the CBS Studios
‘Survivor’ star Jonny Fairplay at the CBS Studios | Justin Kahn

Jonny Fairplay and infamous grandma lie from ‘Survivor’

Over 15 years ago, then 29-year-old art consultant Jon “Jonny Fairplay” Dalton first appeared on reality television competing on Survivor: Pearl Islands.

During the family visits, the California native cemented himself as one of the most recognizable villains from the series when he lied and claimed his grandmother died to receive sympathy, a story he came up with before arriving on the show.

RELATED: ‘Survivor’ Villain Jonny Fairplay Says He ‘Reveled’ in Dead Grandma Lie

Additionally, the reality star adopted a cutthroat approach and got into arguments with his castmates, turning him into a polarizing character that fans loved to hate.

While some fans thought he went too far, others felt the lie was ingenious and considered it one of the show’s most iconic moments. The popular villain returned for Micronesia but asked his other tribemates to vote him out to be with his then-pregnant girlfriend.

Jonny Fairplay arrested for allegedly stealing from grandmother

Following his time on Survivor, the notorious villain continued appearing on reality television shows such as Celebrity Fear Factor, Pawn Stars, and Dr. Phil. He also became a professional wrestler and launched the podcast Reality NSFW alongside Survivor: Caramoan star Matt Bischoff and author Zack Hacker.

In December 2020, the reality star and his mother, Patsy Hall, were taken into custody on a larceny count. According to the arrest warrant, filed by the wrestler’s aunt, Hall reportedly abused their mom, Fairplay’s grandmother, by taking advantage of her dementia.

RELATED: ‘Survivor’ Star Jonny Fairplay Arrested for Allegedly Stealing From Grandma He Involved in Infamous Lie

The aunt alleges the wrestler stole furniture, bar stools, an end table, leather chair, and a silver necklace reportedly worth up to $5,000 from his grandmother, Jean Cook, the woman he involved in his infamous lie.

Following the arrest, the reality star gave a statement to TMZ in which he claimed his and mother’s innocence.

Jonny Fairplay called out for profiting off arrest

Only a few days after the reports of his arrest surfaced, the wrestler posted a tweet promoting a new shirt that featured his mugshot and the phrase, “Free Jonny Fairplay.”

While several fans think him profiting off the arrest is funny and true to his form, it left a bad taste in others’ mouths. One Reddit user noted the reality star blocked them for calling him out on it.

RELATED: ‘Survivor’: This Castaway Still Refuses to Talk to Jonny Fairplay

His actual tweet also received backlash, which is likely why he deleted the post. However, the wrestler is still selling three different versions of the t-shirt on his website for $19.99.

Fairplay has yet to make another statement regarding his arrest.