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'I'm not a bad person' | Fairfax 'squatter' tells her side in exclusive interview with WUSA9

The woman says she helped rescue the house from a mess and cheer up an older man who was lonely while he gave her and her daughter a place to live after her divorce.

Casey Nolen

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Published: 5:16 AM EDT April 28, 2022
Updated: 11:00 AM EDT April 28, 2022

After days of speculation about the identity of the person living in the basement of a viral Zillow listing, the woman has come forward to tell her side of the unusual story.

"That's not true what they're talking about me," Nelly told WUSA9. "I'm not a bad person."

And she's more than a social media mystery, says the woman who asked that her last name not be used in an attempt to maintain some privacy. 

Last week, her Fairfax, Va., home - that is not her house - went viral when it sold for more than $800,000 with the condition that it came with a person living in the basement who did not have a lease. 

"We have a really nice relationship," Nelly said about the arrangement with the now previous owner. The house, she says, is where she and her daughter formed a kind of second family.