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The mystery woman who became the face of the most criticized website in America, designed for Obama's health care law, says she is the victim of cyber bullying and the object of harsh public criticism over 'Obamacare.'
The woman, who identified herself only as "Adriana" in an exclusive interview with ABC News, says she was never paid for appearing on the healthcare.gov website's home page.
Adriana, who is from Colombia, said in the interview broadcast Wednesday that reaction to the website amounted to "some form of bullying." She says she doesn't know "why people should hate me because it's just a photo."
""They have nothing else to do but hide behind the computer. They're cyber bullying," Adriana told ABC News. "I'm here to stand up for myself and defend myself and let people know the truth."
Adriana's photo has been removed from the website.
The website has been the subject of scorn by both Republicans and Democrats as technical problems have sharply restricted the number of people who have signed up for new program. As Congress held hearings on the issue, while Adriana's face was plastered all over websites, late night talk shows and nightly newscasts. Her face was also digitally altered and made into Internet memes.
"I mean, I don't know why people should hate me because it's just a photo. I didn't design the website. I didn't make it fail, so I don't think they should have any reasons to hate me," Adriana told ABC News.
Adriana's photo landed on the website after the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services offered her free family photographs in exchange for allowing the photos to be used on the website. She claims she was never paid for the use of her photo.
People have speculated about Adriana's immigration status since undocumented immigrants are not eligible for the health care program. Adriana said she is a permanent U.S. resident and has been married to a U.S. citizen for six-and-a-half years. Together, they live in Maryland with their 21-month-old son.
"I'm pure Colombian," she said to ABC News.
She said while it has been tough dealing with the criticism, she has tried to take it all in stride.
"They didn't ruin my life. I still have a job, I'm still married," Adriana said. "That didn't really crush me to the ground. I'm fine. Now I laugh about it."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.