He went viral for driving with a suspended license. The matter is complicated.

Last week, Corey Harris became an internet meme after attending a court hearing regarding his suspended license via Zoom while driving. The clip, featuring a baffled judge and Harris sighing and saying, “Oh, my God,” quickly went viral.

But the case that made Harris famous online — which has been covered by the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN and Fox News, among others — is more complicated than it first seemed. As local ABC affiliate WXYZ first reported, the 44-year-old Michigander’s driver’s license suspension related to a child support case had already been lifted by a judge in 2022, according to court records.

However, to get his license back, Harris had to pay a fee, according to in the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office, which serves as the state’s motor vehicle regulator. Harris only paid the $125 fee required for reinstatement of the license on Monday, a spokesperson told The Post.

“You have to take this step to be reinstated — it’s like you have to write a check to make it valid,” said Jeffrey Randa, a Michigan-based attorney who focuses on license reinstatement. “Courts often drop the ball all over the place, so maybe no one would have told him that. But even if a judge orders the suspension lifted, it won’t take effect until you pay the reinstatement fee.

It’s clear whether Harris, who did not respond to The Post’s requests for comment, knew about the fees. He told WXYZ that the viral episode was “very embarrassing” and placed the blame on the Saginaw County Friend of the Court, who is responsible for assisting the court administrator on custody issues, parenting time and child support.

“They were supposed to have lifted it two years ago, but they didn’t,” he told the outlet, adding: “You always have to check behind these workers because they will say they will something and they don’t do it.

Dionne Webster-Cox, Harris’ attorney, told WXYZ Tuesday that her client is “a law-abiding citizen.”

“Now that we know what is happening, we are taking the necessary steps to correct the problem,” she told the station.

Harris has deleted her social media accounts since the video went viral, according to WXYZ. “I was attacked, I was followed, I was made fun of, I was ridiculed, I was disrespected,” he told the station.

The attention began last week, after video of Harris’ May 15 hearing in Washtenaw County 14A District Court began making the rounds on social media. Harris was charged in October with driving on a suspended license, a misdemeanor. Yet last month, Harris showed up to the virtual proceedings while driving — explaining to the shocked judge that he was “showing up at my doctor’s office.”

“I’m looking at his files. He doesn’t have a license,” Judge Cedric Simpson says in the clip. “He’s suspended and he’s just driving.”

“I don’t even know why he would do that,” Simpson said, before revoking Harris’ bond and ordering him to report to the Washtenaw County Jail by 6 p.m. that day.

Harris told WXYZ he “wasn’t thinking about the fact that I got a suspended license” when he showed up to court while driving. Instead, he added: “I was thinking of asking my wife for medical help. »

Still, the footage was shown in television segments and radio shows. Online, crowds of people scrutinized Harris and turned him into a meme. On May 30, Harris was dubbed “Donkey of the Day” on “The Breakfast Club,” a popular radio show hosted by Charlamagne Tha God.

Then, more details about his case began to emerge. On Friday, WXYZ published a story about how Harris’ 2022 license suspension was overturned by a Saginaw County judge. The outlet also reported that the Michigan Secretary of State’s office did not receive necessary authorization from the county’s friend of the court.

On Monday, Charlamagne Tha God retracted his “asshole” and apologized to Harris.

“I told you before on the radio, there are some jobs in which you can’t afford to make mistakes – okay, doctors, surgeons, police officers, and now we have to add office workers who work in court. list,” he said. “Because this man, Corey had to report to jail, was being embarrassed all over the internet. It’s a meme now. …I apologize.”

On Reddit, users who initially roasted Harris also changed their minds, with one writing: “Note to self: don’t rush to judgment and don’t make fun of other people’s misfortunes . »

Harris is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

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