Jason Russell, the man behind the “Kony 2012” viral video, was hospitalized after being found partly clothed and incoherent in public, San Diego police said.
Russell’s wife, Danica, and a New York public relations firm that has been promoting the film on Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, released statements saying he was suffering from emotional exhaustion, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Friday.
“Let us say up front that Jason has never had a substance abuse or drinking problem, and this episode wasn’t caused by either of those things,” Danica Russell said. “But yes, he did some irrational things brought on by extreme exhaustion and dehydration. On our end, the focus remains only on his health, and protecting our family. We’ll take care of Jason, you take care of the work. The message of the film remains the same: stop at nothing.”
Police department did not identify Russell as the man detained Thursday because he was not charged with a crime. But the Union-Tribune said a watch commander confirmed Friday it was Russell.
Russell is the founder of Invisible Children, based in San Diego, which has undertaken a campaign intended to publicize Kony’s use of child soldiers and sex slaves for the Lord’s Resistance Army.
“Kony 2012” has become an international sensation, with 80 million views since it was posted on YouTube March 5, but it has also been criticized for distortions, such as not stating clearly Kony has been driven from Uganda.