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Balloon boy father to go back on Larry King Live

10:47 PM, Jan 6, 2010   |    comments
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Richard Heene has taped an interview for CNN's Larry King Live that is set to air Friday.

On Oct. 15, Heene told authorities his 6-year-old son Falcon was trapped in a large helium balloon as it floated over part of northeastern Colorado. Falcon later appeared and claimed he was hiding above the garage the whole time.

Investigators later said the entire thing was a hoax and Heene was eventually sentenced to 90 days in jail for the incident.

Questions were initially raised when the family appeared Larry King Live on the night of Oct. 15 and Falcon told guest-host Wolf Blitzer he hid all afternoon "for the show." When Blitzer tried to ask about the comment later, Richard Heene diverted the question.

Now, Heene is maintaining to Larry King the incident was not a hoax meant for publicity.

Heene claims Falcon's words were misconstrued.

"I asked Falcon after that, I asked him - I said, 'Why did you say that? What are you talking about?' And he said a Japanese cameraman from some - old man, Johnny camera, asked him to show them how he got into the attic for his TV show. That's why Falcon answered that," Heene said.

In addition to jail time, Heene also received probation, community service and a hefty fine for the costs of the search and rescue efforts.

His wife, Mayumi Heene, was sentenced to 20 days in jail.

Richard Heene says he was forced to plead guilty to the charges.

"I'm not disputing the fact that I did have to plead guilty. And when I say have to - I had to do it to save my family and my wife," Heene said. "The threat of deportation was eminent."

Heene claims his wife could have been deported back to Japan because she is not formally a U.S. citizen.

During the interview, Heene also continued to deny it was a hoax.

"I knew he was in the craft," he told CNN's Larry King. "In my mind. There was no other place 'cause I visualized him. I yelled at him to - to not go in."

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