Category: Hoaxes

Nicolas Cage vampire story travels in time, ages not one bit

Nicolas Cage is not and has never been a time-traveling vampire, he said Thursday on "Late Night With David Letterman," when the host presented him with photographic "evidence" of the aforementioned scenario.

But it appears the "Nic is a time-traveling vampire" story is a bit more undead than Cage himself: It was born last September when an EBay seller posted a Civil War-era photo with the title "Nicolas Cage Is a Vampire/Photo From 1870/ Tennessee" and a starting bid of $1 million.

"My theory is that he allows himself to age to a certain point, maybe 70, 80 or so, then the actor 'Nicolas Cage' will 'die,' " antiques seller Jack Mord of Seattle joked to the Daily Mail back in September. "But in reality, the undead vampire 'Nicolas Cage' will have rejuvenated himself and appeared in some other part of the world, young again, and ready to start all over."

As logical -- ahem -- as that theory might sound, Cage shot it down fairly quickly Thursday, noting that a picture was in fact involved, and "you can't take pictures of vampires."


Also, he said, "I don't drink blood, and the last time I looked in the mirror, I had a reflection, so I'm just not going to go with this vampire theory. I'm not going to do it."

Next interview, we hope Letterman addresses the whole "Man Inside the Nicolas Cage Costume" issue, as broached by the Onion News Network, below.


Nobody wants Nicolas Cage's 'frat house bordello' mansion

Lindsay Lohan on the David Letterman show? 'We made a mistake'

Nicolas Cage out on $11,000 bail after arrest in New Orleans' French Quarter

— Christie D'Zurilla


'Jon Bon Jovi is dead' hoaxer: 'I just kind of took the liberty'

Jon Bon Jovi is not dead, no matter what Jeffrey Goho tweeted.

Jon Bon Jovi was dead, did you hear? If you did, you experienced the hoax that Pennsylvania musician Jeffrey Goho has admitted he started.

Goho told the Asbury Park Press on Tuesday he'd been peeved that Bon Jovi appeared to be spending his time everywhere but behind a microphone. So what better way to encourage a guy to leave the restaurant business and the movie business alone than by tweeting that he's, you know, dead.

"Long story short, I was talking to my band members on their down time, and we got so worked up in the conversation, I just kind of took the liberty and started [the rumor], because I was so irritated," Goho told the Asbury Park Press.

He started the rumor in mid-December on a friend's Twitter account, he said, or on a fake account, depending on whom you believe. And, gosh, who expected all that retweeting (the story of the hoax was popping for days here at latimes.com -- and along the way, one wee blog even picked up The Times' Michael Jackson death story and changed some words around to make it about Bon Jovi, according to our L.A. Now pals).

Bon Jovi himself poked repeated fun at the rumor at a Dec. 19 concert in New Jersey, referring to it several times and pretending to take frantic phone calls from friends who'd heard the news, the Star-Ledger reported. That after posting a "proof of life"-style photo in which he declared, "Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey."

"I never really thought it would get out of Pennsylvania," said Goho, who at age 30 is apparently unclear about how the Internet doesn't pay much attention to state lines. Surprisingly (not), he said he was "slammed" with hate tweets within 24 hours of posting the made-up-news-that-wasn't-news.

But after some reflection, he said, he realized Bon Jovi was, through his non-musical business endeavors,  actually doing good things that provided more venues where guys like him and his Minutia bandmates could play.

"I was quite wrong," Goho said.

We think Bill Cosby would agree wholeheartedly. Not to mention all these people who reportedly died last December.


Jon Bon Jovi dead? This Internet hoax just won't die

Taylor Lautner 'out & proud' gay People cover is a complete fake

Morgan Freeman dead? No, he's not -- and CNN is looking into how they tweeted about it

-- Christie D'Zurilla


Taylor Lautner 'out & proud' gay People cover is a fake

Taylor Lautner's "out & proud" People cover is a fakeTaylor Lautner has not come out as a gay man, despite an "out & proud" magazine cover making the post-Christmas rounds. Um, not that there's anything wrong with that.

The "exclusive" People cover, left, is a fake, a People rep confirmed to rumor-debunking celeb website Gossip Cop on Monday. Exclusively.

The clues are pretty obvious, even if you're not an expert at spotting Photoshop work. People publishes on Mondays; Jan. 7, the date on the alleged cover, is a Saturday. Also, People's special double issues happen twice a year, once in summer and once at year's end.

PHOTOS: Fans flock as 'Twilight' stars leave imprints outside Grauman's Chinese

The secondary stories on the right -- one of them, you guessed it, an exclusive! -- are lifted from a May 2006 cover of the mag, Gossip Cop noted. We're buying that one even without looking in our hoarder's pile of People magazines: Brad and Angelina were rumored to be spending this Christmas in Costa Rica, not Africa, and Carnie Wilson hasn't looked like that in a while.

One high-profile person who fell for the alleged cover? Russell Simmons, who tweeted "Proud of Taylor Lautner for his bravery and his courage" before nuking that message and replacing it with "Disappointed that people would joke about someone coming out about their sexuality. Let Taylor Lautner be whoever he wants to be." (And we suppose that we should let Simmons, famed Occupy Wall Street supporter, be wherever he wants to be, which this holiday season is apparently famed 1-percenter destination St. Barths.)

One story about Lautner that is true? His wax figure is expected to join Robert Pattinson's at Madame Tussauds in London this January, the museum announced earlier this month. And though it won't be an exclusive photo opportunity, we can't wait to see the pics.


'Abduction': Taylor Lautner gets a leading-man premiere [Video]

'Breaking Dawn' stars leave their handprints, footprints in Hollywood

Sara Gilbert of 'The Talk' has a new girlfriend, and wishes she'd told you herself

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Twitter

Amy Winehouse wasn't adopting 10-year-old girl, rep says

Amy Winehouse wasn't adopting a girl from St. Lucia

Amy Winehouse may indeed have crossed paths with Dannika Augustine in St. Lucia, but, contrary to reports out Sunday, a rep said she was not in the process of adopting the 10-year-old girl.

Winehouse apparently hooked up with Dannika in 2009 through the girl's grandmother, who runs a beach bar on the Caribbean island where the singer spent a lot of time in the last few years of her life, the Mirror reported Sunday. The story was accompanied by pictures of Amy and the girl hugging and walking together, plus a "confirmation" from the grandparents that the adoption process was underway.

Alas, "There's no truth to it," a Winehouse rep told Gossip Cop on Sunday.

 Pictures: Amy Winehouse, 1983-2011

Marjorie Lambert, the girl's 57-year-old grandma, had been quoted as saying, "Amy wanted to have a child so bad. If she had not died, there is no doubt she would be here in St. Lucia ­completing the adoption process. There is no way she would have done what she did to herself if Dannika was with her."

Winehouse was found dead in bed at her north London home July 23.

Lambert's implication that Winehouse overdosed or killed herself directly contradicts the opinion of the singer's family. Though results of toxicology and other tests are still pending, sources in the Winehouse camp told the Sun on Thursday they believed cold-turkey withdrawal from alcohol was behind the 27-year-old's recent death.

Dannika reportedly said she was looking forward to living with Winehouse in London, and that she "would call her mum and [Amy] would call me her ­daughter." Dannika's parents, who allegedly were OK with the idea of giving up their daughter to the wealthy but not-so-stable performer, split shortly after the girl was born. The father is jobless in Germany, and Mom raises the girl in poverty on the island, the paper said.

 Photos: Amy Winehouse's funeral

Lambert told the Mirror she was convinced that if Winehouse had stayed on the island she would still be alive.

"Amy always wanted to drink," the grandmother was quoted as saying, "but I would not let her drink before she had something to eat."


Must Amy Winehouse be crowded into the '27 Club'?

Russell Brand remembers Amy Winehouse: friend, genius, addict

Amy Winehouse funeral: Kelly Osbourne attends, cremation follows service

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Amy Winehouse performs in Brazil in January 2011. Credit: Nabor Goulart / Associated Press



Soulja Boy? More like Balloon Boy: Rep denies $55-million birthday jet

Soulja Boy hasn't bought a $55 million jet

Soulja Boy? More like Balloon Boy.

A claim that rapper Soulja Boy bought himself a tricked-out Gulfstream G5 jet as a 21st birthday present has turned out to be just that: a claim -- and a false one, a new voice out of the rapper's camp said Friday.

"The elaborate rumors circulating about Soulja Boy purchasing a jet for his 21st birthday are grossly over exaggerated and are not true," spokesman Greg Miller said in a statement. One source told Reuters that the rapper, real name DeAndre Cortez Way, recently used someone's private jet but had no plans to pick up one of his own.

TMZ said Saturday that its exclusive info about the jet buy earlier this week came via Soulja Boy, his assistant and Shai Storm, a member of the rapper's management team. Storm had not responded to multiple inquiries in the wake of Miller's statement, the website said.

The Balloon Boy saga, which unfolded in Colorado in late 2009, turned out to be a hoax perpetrated by the parents of the boy whose life was said to be in danger as he allegedly floated away in an silvery, experimental, UFO-looking balloon. Fortunately, no flight of Soulja Boy's alleged jet ever took place, the nation was not captivated by televised images and the National Guard was never scrambled in response to the report of custom travertine floors and multiple airborne wet bars.

That said, unlike Soulja Boy, a.k.a. "Is That Guy Still Around?," Balloon Boy and his family didn't have a red carpet, pay-per-view birthday party scheduled for later on the evening of their hoax.

Unlike Falcon Heene, a.k.a. "Balloon Boy," the rapper was not hanging out in a box in the attic, playing with toys and taking a nap.

The truth of the story? "Is That Guy Still Around?" turned 21 on Thursday.


Soulja Boy buys a $55-million jet for his 21st birthday

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie settle lawsuit over false breakup story

Owen Wilson death? A lie. Adam Sandler? Not dead. Charm of a week of hoaxes? Dead on arrival

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Left photo: Soulja Boy in 2010. Credits: Gus Ruelas / Reuters

Right photo: The landing of Richard Heene's experimental balloon in 2009. Credit: CBS4denver.com / European Pressphoto Agency

Michelle Obama pregnant? No -- not even while snowboarding

Michelle Obama is not pregnant, Michelle Obama pregnant with child No. 3? Not exactly. A holiday season pregnant with fake news and death hoaxes? More than a little bit.

Word that the first lady is pregnant came Sunday most prominently via the Weekly World News, which "quoted" White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs as confirming -- out of Oahu, where the Obamas are vacationing -- that the pregnancy is two months along. We can only imagine the "while snowboarding" angle so popular in this season's wave of celebrity death hoaxes was too impractical to include, given the family's much publicized current tropical location.

Though WWN wasn't the only site pushing the story -- which may have grown out of a psychic prediction that ran Tuesday in the Toronto Sun -- it was the only site we could find that shared this TMI tidbit:

"There was a great deal of mystery about the whereabouts of the President and First Lady on Election Night this year," the WWN wrote. "There were many rumors about where they might be --  but now we know.  The happy couple was spending quality time together, making a new baby."


Oddly, the president made no mention of the "pregnancy" in his weekly address. Shock. And that with the "baby" speculated to be due on his birthday!

Now, the Ministry used to buy WWN from time to time back in college -- for reasons similar to why we bought Mad magazine. Hey, maybe that's just us.

But that story going around about Barack Obama going cigarette-free for nine months? That one's true, according to Gibbs -- or at least it was a week ago.


Tucker Carlson prefers dogs over Michael Vick or Obama

Kim Kardashian not pregnant by Kanye West -- but what about a space-alien baby daddy? Huh?

Owen Wilson death? A lie. Adam Sandler? Not dead. Charm of a week of hoaxes? Dead on arrival

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: First Lady Michelle Obama looks on as President Obama holds a baby -- no, not theirs -- while greeting military families during Christmas dinner at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe on Dec. 25, 2010. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

Owen Wilson death? A lie. Adam Sandler? Not dead. Charm value of a week of death hoaxes? Dead on arrival

Owen Wilson death report is false. Owen Wilson's death has been, um, exaggerated. Adam Sandler is not dead either. And neither died in a snowboarding accident -- rather they "died" in online hoaxes on Wednesday and Tuesday, respectively.

Charlie Sheen dead snowboarding on Sunday? Nope, nada, nil. Eddie Murphy? He's fine, and according to Gawker also accused of snowboarding. Blame a faux "news organization" going by the name Global Associated News.

Oh, yes, the very ill Aretha Franklin? Also not dead as of Wednesday, though she is recovering from surgery and reportedly battling pancreatic cancer. Our wishes go out to her, and to her fans, who are so kind in comments.

This holiday break that has brought a slew of engagement and baby announcements has also brought a ludicrous number of death hoaxes -- sadly reminding the Ministry that when we heard a little over a year ago that actress and USO supporter Brittany Murphy had died, we assumed briefly that it was a hoax as well.

The introduction of the snowboarding angle is particularly offensive in Southern California because of the real death Monday of a 24-year-old Fullerton man who crashed into trees on his board at the Mountain High ski area. Offensive and unoriginal as well -- the Russell Crowe death hoax in June had the actor plunging from an Austrian mountaintop, which is close enough to snowboarding, conceptually, to be disparaged.

Chris Brown? Also not dead, though he's been kind of killing himself on Twitter in a war of words with a former member of the R&B group B2K, in which he invokes homosexual rape, racial slurs and more in response to comments about Rihanna. "Soon as i defend myself its world war 3," he tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

Continue reading »

Morgan Freeman dead? No, he's not -- and CNN is looking into it

Morgan Freeman dead CNN tweet "Morgan Freeman dead" is, well, a lie.

A fraudulent tweet reading "Breaking News: actor Morgan Freeman has died in his Burbank home," purportedly sent by CNN, was propagated Thursday afternoon, eventually eliciting a response from CNN denying it was the source of the misinformation.

"CNN did not report Morgan Freeman death. Rumor is false. CNN will aggressively investigate this hoax," the network said around 3 p.m. PST.

Freeman, who's also been the target of a "Dude has a fake hand!" hoax, joins Bill Cosby, Russell Crowe, Betty White, Gordon Lightfoot and more in the ranks of the walking undead.


Morgan Freeman's hand still not fake -- chill, people, OK?

Betty White is just fine -- though one hoaxer better lie low for a while

Bill Cosby is not dead -- and he's not pleased about a fourth death hoax

Russell Crowe is alive and well and added to our celebrity death hoax gallery

Gordon Lightfoot's death hoax: a post-game wrap-up, with an apology to Twitter

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Image credit: Twitter

Timbaland is alive and well, thanks for your concern

Normally when those of us at Ministry of Gossip hear that a celebrity has been falsely accused of departing this Earth, we lay the blame at the feet of some Twitter-happy mischief makers. (Can you blame us? Look at this gallery of celebrity death hoaxes.)

But rumors of Timbaland's demise on Tuesday seem to actually have started with the best intentions. TMZ is claiming that family members were worried about the musician because he seemed to be rather distraught. He was possibly torn up over a burglary at his Malibu house the day before. (The report says thieves had made off with a $2-million Jacob & Co. watch). Authorities stepped in and a manhunt began for the singer-producer, who was found safe and sound.

So how did this whole thing reach Internet red alert? For that, you can probably look to Ryan Seacrest, whom AccessHollywood.com says apparently stirred the pot when he told his "On Air With Ryan Seacrest" radio show listeners that Timbaland had attempted suicide. Thank goodness Seacrest was able to clear the air on Twitter.

— Whitney Friedlander

Photo: Timbaland performs at the KIIS-FM concert at the Honda Center in Anaheim in 2007. KIIS, as you may recall, is Ryan Seacrest's radio station. See, these things have a way of coming full circle. Credit: Los Angeles Times.

Bill Cosby is not dead -- and he's not pleased about a fourth death hoax

Bill-cosby Bill Cosby called in to "Larry King Live" on Monday night to chat about his death -- the death that happened only in the context of an Internet hoax propagated on Twitter. No, Bill Cosby is not dead.

"Emotional friends have called about this misinformation," he said on his own Twitter account. "To the people behind the foolishness, I’m not sure you see how upsetting this is."

This is the fourth time it's happened, the comedian says, and it's just not funny anymore. (Was it ever?) "This time, people are not amused by this," he told CNN (listen here -- and make sure you know first who Stephen Wright is -- we imagine host Kyra Phillips wishes she did).

Cosby told about his daughter calling to check if he was OK, about a restaurateur friend calling after his son and the people in his restaurant had started crying, about Malcolm Jamaal Warner's mom calling to check on his health.

Continue reading »


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