Reported by Liku Zelleke
“Hugh Hefner Passes Away at the age of 88” was the headline that caught many people off guard last Sunday. The report said that the Playboy Magazine founder had passed away of natural causes in his now infamous mansion of the same name.
Almost immediately there was a storm on Facebook where an “R.I.P. Hugh Hefner” page was created by fans. Posts R.I.P.-ing the octogenarian were posted and shared well over 300,000 times before Hefner himself went online and re-tweeted a fan’s comment that read:
“I Googled @hughhefner and it said he died but still made it to movie night. Lol. The internet is an odd place sometimes.”
Next, it was his wife’s turn: 28-year-old Crystal also went online and posted a picture of the couple looking happy, healthy and pretty much alive as they attended their film night.
A follower, believing the rumors, sent her a message:
“Dear Crystal. Sorry for your loss, may God bless you and your family!”
To which she replied…
“A lie can run around the world before the truth has got its boots on. #QuoteOfTheDay”
The hoax was posted by nbctoday.co (no affiliation to the NBC) and to the inexperienced eye, could almost pass as a serious news or tabloid site. The news was so elaborately reported that it even included false statements from “LAPD officer” Jimmy N. Gardner who, after disclosing the fact that the tycoon was confirmed to have died from natural illness, went on to say that they had decided to not release details about “a more specific cause of death.”
The year 2014 has been a notoriously busy year for hoaxers falsely announcing the deaths of celebrities. Other famous personalities who had been declared dead this year (but are still alive) include Miley Cyrus, MacAulay Culkin and Bobby Shmurda.
When Hefner’s representatives finally came out to make a statement about the hoax, they touched on that fact and said, “He [Hefner] joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax. He’s still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the internet.”
Powered by Facebook Comments