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He made headlines because he drove despite having his license suspended. The case is complicated.

Last week, Corey Harris became an internet meme after he attended a court hearing about his license suspension via Zoom while driving. The clip, which shows a confused judge and Harris sighing and saying “Oh, my God,” quickly went viral.

But the case that made Harris famous on the internet – and was covered by the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN and Fox News, among others – is more complicated than it first appeared. As local ABC affiliate WXYZ first reported, the 44-year-old Michigan woman's driver's license suspension, which was related to a child support case, had already been overturned by a judge in 2022, court records show.

However, to get his driver’s license back, Harris had to pay a fee, to the Michigan Secretary of State's office, which serves as the state's motor vehicle regulatory agency. Harris only paid the $125 fee required to reinstate her license on Monday, a Post spokesman said.

“You have to take that step to be reinstated — it's like you have to sign a check to cash it,” said Jeffrey Randa, a Michigan-based attorney who specializes in driver's license reinstatement. “Courts often get everything mixed up, so maybe no one told him. But even if a judge orders the suspension to be lifted, it won't take effect until he pays the reinstatement fee.”

It's unclear whether Harris, who did not respond to The Post's request for comment, knew about the fees. He told WXYZ that the viral incident was “very embarrassing” and blamed the Saginaw County Friend of the Court, which is supposed to assist the court administrator with custody, visitation and child support issues.

“The restrictions should have been lifted two years ago, but that didn't happen,” he told the outlet, adding, “Always double-check these workers because they say they're going to do something and then they don't do it.”

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

“Now that we know what is going on, we are taking the necessary steps to resolve the issue,” she told the broadcaster.

According to WXYZ, Harris has deleted his social media accounts since the video went viral. “I've been attacked, I've been stalked, I've been laughed at, I've been ridiculed, I've been disrespected,” he told the station.

The wave of attention began last week after video of Harris' May 15 hearing in Washtenaw County 14A District Court circulated on social media. Harris was charged in October with driving without a license, a misdemeanor. But last month, Harris appeared in the virtual hearing while driving, telling the shocked judge he was “on his way to my doctor's office.”

“I look at his record. He doesn't have a driver's license,” Judge Cedric Simpson says in the clip. “His license is suspended and he's just driving.”

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

Harris told WXYZ he “wasn't thinking about my license being suspended” when he appeared in court behind the wheel. Instead, he added, “I was thinking about getting medical attention for my wife.”

Nevertheless, the footage was shown on television segments and radio shows. On the Internet, a horde of netizens took Harris under the microscope and made him a meme. On May 30, Harris was named “Donkey of the Day” on “The Breakfast Club,” a popular radio show hosted by Charlamagne Tha God.

Then more details about his case came to light. On Friday, WXYZ published an article about how a Saginaw County judge ordered Harris' driver's license suspension to be lifted in 2022. The outlet also reported that the Michigan Secretary of State's office did not receive the necessary approval from the county's Friend of the Court.

On Monday, Charlamagne Tha God retracted his statement and apologized to Harris.

“I've told all of you here on the radio before that there are certain professions where you can't afford to make mistakes — OK, doctors, surgeons, police officers, and now we have to add the clerks who work in court to the list,” he said. “Because this man, Corey, went to jail, got exposed all over the internet. He's a meme now. … I apologize.”

On Reddit, users who initially mocked Harris also changed their minds. One wrote: “Note to self: Don't be too quick to judge or make fun of other people's misfortune.”

Harris is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.