Art gallery owner is facing the wrath of Pierce Brosnan fansNovember 19, 2023
Art gallery owner is facing the wrath of Pierce Brosnan fans after selling £15 tickets for bogus exhibition with James Bond star – but claims deep-fake scammer set her up
- Simone Simms sold tickets for a Pierce Brosnan exhibition at her gallery
- The actor denounced this on his social media and sent her a cease and desist
- The owner now claims she was scammed by a deep-fake of the actor
An art gallery owner is facing the wrath of Pierce Brosnan fans after selling £15 tickets for a bogus exhibition with the James Bond star – but she claims a deep-fake scammer set her up.
SMS Graphics and Art Gallery in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, found itself the target of fury from fans of Pierce Brosnan – and even received a cease and desist letter from the star’s lawyers.
Owner Simone Simms posted an ad claiming her gallery would be hosting the actors first-ever exhibition and a number of fans paid for tickets to the fake event.
Furious, they claimed they were scammed and demanded their money back. But Ms Simms says she fell victim to a scam herself.
Owner Simone Simms posted an ad claiming her gallery would be hosting Pierce Brosnan’s first-ever exhibition and a number of fans paid for tickets to the fake event. Pictured: Ms Simms and artist Neil Adcock
The 48-year-old said she posted the ad after months of communications with who she thought was Brosnan, but now believes was an AI-generated deepfake
But three days later, the real Pierce Brosnan released an official statement via his social media channels debunking the story, saying he would ‘never’ charge for a meet and greet
The gallery owner said she received what appears to be AI-generated voice messages and deep-fake video calls, with a person she believed to be Brosnan.
She said: ‘The truth is, I wanted to give you all a good exhibition with Pierce Brosnan.
‘The voice on the messages sounded exactly, distinctly like him. I have no intention of taking fans’ money fraudulently. We’re still trying to figure out what happened.
‘I apologise if I affected anyone or caused any ordeal but I didn’t know myself. I’ve been through an ordeal. I’ve lost a lot of money.
‘This was some elaborate, elaborate scam, maybe. I fell victim to what I thought was a real page. It looked real and it looked legit. I did my best to check.
‘Hopefully at the end I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. I hope that you find it in your heart to forgive me.
‘I’m a victim and my business is out there in the mud and I need help gaining back everything I worked so long for.’
An artist who displays art in the gallery, Neil Adcock, verified that he had been present at the time of a Zoom video call Ms Simms had with what was believed to be Brosnan
Brosnan, who starred as 007 in GoldenEye, Die Another Day, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough, originally pursued art after leaving school
Fans of the celebrity who were duped by the ad posted are calling for refunds for the tickets
Ms Simms opened the gallery on Station Street in Long Eaton in April this year.
In need of a boost and dreaming of exhibiting a celebrity’s artwork in her premises, she found a Facebook page which she believed to belong to Brosnan and contacted it via the email address listed on its page.
Communications between Ms Simms and the alleged impersonator continued for months via email, on Telegram and on Instagram before Ms Simms paid money for a meeting with Brosnan and for the shipping of the artwork to the UK.
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She was also asked to pay ‘customs charges’ to the person but refused.
Nottinghamshire Live heard a voice message sent to Ms Simms purporting to be Mr Brosnan.
An artist who displays art in the gallery, Neil Adcock, verified that he had been present at the time of a Zoom video call Ms Simms had with what was believed to be Brosnan.
Ms Simms says she believed she also had communications with Brosnan’s wife, his managers and his lawyers.
In October, the event went live and Ms Simms advertised it online. Tickets were available to purchase on ticket-selling platform Eventbrite.
Ms Simms says that 24 tickets were sold within the first couple of days. Tickets were advertised at £15, with a VIP experience available for £500.
Standard tickets for the same days Brosnan was allegedly going to be at the venue were listed at £150 for those who ‘wish to share the same venue as Mr Brosnan during this momentous occasion’.
But three days later, the real Pierce Brosnan released an official statement via his social media channels debunking the story, saying he would ‘never’ charge for a meet and greet.
He told his 2.1million Instagram followers that his lawyers had sent Ms Simms a cease and desist letter and that his art was not going to appear at the gallery.
He told his Instagram followers that his lawyers had sent Ms Simms a cease and desist letter and that his art was not going to appear at the gallery. Pictured: Pierce Brosnan with his art
The actor posts his art on his Instagram account
He posted: ‘I would never charge for a meet and greet.
‘I look forward to having an exhibition in the UK in the future and, when the time comes, you will hear from me.’
One fan who had bought a ticket said she had not had any information regarding a refund and could not contact Ms Simms. The SMS Art website had been taken down but is now back online.
The page claiming the Brosnan exhibit will be at the gallery is still up, although visitors cannot buy tickets.
It reads: ‘SMS Gallery, an avant-garde art institution situated in the heart of Long Eaton, Nottingham, is thrilled to announce its latest endeavour exclusive exhibition featuring the renowned Mr Pierce Brosnan.
‘This remarkable exhibition offers a unique opportunity to engage with the multifaceted artist and cultural icon, attendees can choose from various ticket options.’
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Ms Simms claims she remains in communication with the person, who is still trying to convince her that they are Pierce Brosnan.
She said: ‘I was hurt. I am hurt. In the last two weeks I’ve had the most humiliating, devastating time of my life.
‘I had invited a lot of respectable people (to the exhibition). I had to face them again.
‘People called me a scammer. Two of the artists who displayed their art in here have left because they said I’ve got a bad reputation now and have had bad publicity. I have lost a lot of people and a lot of money.
‘I’m not crazy. I’m just confused. They’re trying to drive me crazy. I don’t know what is happening. I am going off my nuts.’
Ms Simms says she has lost a total of nearly £3,000 but vows to pay back those who had purchased tickets.
She said the claims that she has been a victim of fraud are being investigated by her bank.
Brosnan, who starred as 007 in GoldenEye, Die Another Day, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough, originally pursued a career in art after leaving school, before becoming an actor.
He held his first solo art exhibition titled ‘So Many Dreams’ in Los Angeles in May.
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