Nov. 26, 2013 at 5:59 PM ET
A New Jersey waitress' claim that she was denied a tip because she is gay is being disputed by the couple she allegedly served.
Former Marine Dayna Morales, a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J., posted a photo on Facebook earlier this month of a receipt with the area for the tip crossed out and the words, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life” written in the margin. Her story became one of the most popular stories ever on TODAY.com, and the media storm sparked $3,000 in donations from strangers.
However, the family who Morales served told WNBC that they left an $18 tip, providing their copy of the check and a credit card statement. Both receipts have the same date and time stamp, but the totals are different, according to WNBC. The couple’s check indicates the bill totaled $111.55, not the $93.55 on Morales' receipt.
The couple told WNBC the derogatory message on the receipt posted by Morales is not something they would ever write and it's not in their handwriting. Morales is sticking with her story.
“That’s not my handwriting,’’ Morales told WNBC. “I don’t know. Again, I don’t know.”
Morales says she is donating most of the money she received to the Wounded Warrior Project. Gallop Asian Bistro said it has opened an internal investigation, and that Morales is not currently on the restaurant's staffing schedule. TODAY.com's requests for comment from Morales have not been returned.
"We are conducting an internal investigation right now and are trying to get to the truth," the bistro's manager Byron Lapola told TODAY.com.
The family, who said they have dined at Gallop many times before, said they have no intentions of going back.
Reaction to the update on TODAY's Facebook page was mixed, and some are reserving judgement.
"Without it being carbon copied, it is hard to say who is telling the truth,'' Kristie Boudreaux Arp wrote. "A comparison of signature and handwriting would have to be done. If the accused lied, they could have written the tip in after the fact. If the waitress lied, she could have reprinted the receipt, forged the signature for the reason of getting sympathy money from others. Until someone looks at everything thoroughly, no one should be 'taking sides.' There are too many dishonest people."