December 18, 2007 06:48 AM by Jennifer_Brown
When Survivor’s “lunch lady” contestant, Denise Martin, announced on the live Survivor: China finale that she was not given back her job as a lunch lady from Douglas Public School District upon her return from China, and was instead demoted to a janitorial position, she elicited all kinds of sympathy. So much so that the host, Jeff Probst, gave her $50,000 on behalf of producer Mark Burnett to set her life back in order.
But, according to Douglas Public School District Superintendent Nancy Lane, Martin is a liar. Lane issued a public statement on Monday, claiming that Martin had applied for a full-time custodian position in March 2007, which included better benefits and a pay raise. When Martin returned from China, Lane says, she stepped right back into the janitorial job that she held before leaving.
If Lane’s accusations are true, Martin’s got some explaining to do. Says CBS, “…If [Martin's] statements were misleading or false, we hope that she will take immediate and public steps to clarify her remarks.” And CBS isn’t the only one wanting clarification from Martin. Lane calls the incident a “letdown” for the ultra-supportive community of Douglas, and says that in a recent conversation with Martin (who is still in California), Martin “did not explain why she said that to my satisfaction.”
Lane goes on to point out that Martin was granted three months of unpaid leave to appear on the show and claims that the community had bent over backwards to accommodate her.
Denise Martin took 4th place in this season’s Survivor: China.
Photo Courtesy: CBS