Whenever Carlee Russell is ready to speak about her kidnapping hoax, Joe Budden wants his band of podcast co-hosts to be the first to hear her out. In fact, the entertainer is open to shelling out a substantial amount to secure the nursing student’s first sit-down chat about the controversial ordeal.

In a recent episode of his hit show, co-host Melyssa Ford thought it would be fun to hypothetically outbid Candace Owens, who previously said she was willing to pay Russell’s $18,000 in restitution and legal fees in exchange for an interview. “I love this idea. I love this idea. I’m down with the dirty poding, and I would like that exclusive interview from shorty. I have questions that Candace probably won’t get to,” said Budden.

Ford suggested that Russell’s $18,000 bill be paid in addition to paying her $5,000 for the exclusive. Budden was on board with the proposition. “I like where you going here: $5,000 on top, first-class flight here and back, maybe a night out at Mermaids (a gentleman’s club) or somewhere… I’m down with this idea — $25,000 for Carlee to come up here and interview with us,” he said.

This summer, the Hoover, Alabama, woman sent social media and law enforcement into a two-day frenzy when she suddenly disappeared from the side of the highway on the night of July 13. Prior to her vanishing act, the 25-year-old called 911 and reported that she had seen a toddler walking along the dangerous roadway.

She went missing soon after the call, only to resurface on July 15 at her parents’ home. Despite initially claiming that she had been kidnapped, Russell would ultimately admit that she made up the entire story. In April, she was charged with two misdemeanors: false reporting to law enforcement and falsely reporting an incident.

A municipal judge found her guilty of both charges in early October. Her legal team appealed the verdict and requested a trial by jury in a move to avoid jail time. “We don’t think jail time for a first offender with a Class A misdemeanor is reasonable because that just doesn’t happen,” said her attorney, Richard Jaffe, to NPR. Last week, a tentative date for her to stand trial was set for March 18, 2024.