Richard Heene Driven by Fame, Says Former Intern

Robert Thomas, the former intern of Richard Heene who helped reveal the "balloon boy" hoax, has been making the media rounds in the past several days. This morning he appeared on the Today show to explain how he knew the whole thing was a fraud intended to draw attention to Heene's plans for a reality show.

Thomas, who is a 25-year-old self-described entrepreneur, said the moment he knew that the Heenes' story seemed sketchy was when Falcon Heene told reporters that "we did it for the show."

"The first thing that came to my mind was, 'Who could possibly do this? It has to be Richard Heene,' " Thomas said.

Thomas recalled his time working with Richard, whom he contacted after seeing Heene's Science Detectives YouTube series, during which he was privy to Richard's plans for a reality series.

"Richard has his positives and negatives," Thomas said in his interview with Ann Curry. "He's a very creative individual, very hyperactive. Unfortunately I think he's a little driven by his fame."

The fame, Thomas said was originally stoked by the Heene family's appearances on the ABC show Wife Swap.

On Sunday, Gawker.com published the story where Thomas first described what raised red flags in his mind. For instance, he says the attic area where Falcon was found to be hiding after the big balloon touched ground is near-impossible to reach for a grown man -- let alone a 6-year-old boy. His conclusion: Falcon had to have been boosted into the loft space by an adult (presumably one of his parents).

Thomas sold his story to Gawker for an undisclosed amount:  According to Mediaite, the price tag was somewhere in the range of $5,000 to $8,000 -- and says his motivation for doing so was to expose what he believed to be an illegal act.

"I thought: Thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent searching for this child," Thomas said. "That's when I started to think about what I could do."

Do you think it's right for Robert Thomas to speak out against Richard? Chime in below!

Do you think it's right for Robert Thomas to speak out against Richard? Chime in below!

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