NEW YORK — The New Jersey waitress who said she was stiffed on a tip because she is gay is now returning donations sent to her by people across the country.
Dayna Morales, a server at the Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J., said last month she was donating more than $3,000 to Wounded Warriors, a support charity for post-9/11 wounded veterans, after tips began pouring in from around the country on news that she received an offensive note scrawled on a customer’s check in lieu of a tip.
But after a New Jersey couple claimed that the story was a scam, and the Wounded Warrior Project said they had no record of receiving any donations from Morales, some of her supporters began reporting they have received emails from PayPal indicating “Dayna Morales just sent you a refund.”
WNBC-TV says it has confirmed at least four donations to Morales have been refunded, and that Morales’ PayPal account was opened the night she first reported the homophobic note on Facebook, before her story went viral.
Morales alleged that on Nov. 13 she received an offensive note scrawled on the customer’s check in lieu of a tip. The message said: “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.”
But the couple whose receipt Morales allegedly used, said their tipped her generously, and produced the matching customer copy printed the same time, on the same date, for the same amount, except with an $18 tip. They also produced a copy of a credit card bill supporting their claim they were charged for the meal plus the tip.
Update: On Saturday, the Gallop Asian Bistro announced that it and Morales had made “a joint decision” that she will no longer continue her employment at the restaurant.
Morales could not be reached for comment, and has not spoken to the media since being confronted with allegations that she fabricated the story.