Entertainment

Celeb hoaxes: It just wasn't true

Updated 10:54 AM ET, Wed March 28, 2018
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Tyga and Kylie Jenner FILETyga and Kylie Jenner FILE
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Rapper Tyga set the record straight in March after constant chatter that he was the father of former girlfriend Kylie Jenner's daughter. Jenner gave birth to Stormi Webster in February. "Webster " is the legal last name of Jenner's boyfriend, rapper Travis Scott. Swan Gallet/WWD/REX/Shutterstock
In August 2015, a parody news site set fans to worrying after it falsely reported that actor James Earl Jones had died. Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect/getty images
One Direction fans lost it for a minute in December 2014, but reports that Niall Horan was leaving the group were debunked by Billboard. The UK sites that tweeted the rumor said they were hacked. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
No one's safe when it comes to Internet death hoaxes, and that includes popular dog trainer Cesar Milan. After erroneous reports that Milan had died erupted in early December 2014, he posted a rebuttal on Instagram, assuring his fans that he was "safe, happy and healthy." Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR/File
In early December 2014, the Internet was briefly tricked into believing that rocker Axl Rose had passed away at 52. The reports were false, and Rose responded to the death hoax with good humor: "If I'm dead, do I still have to pay taxes?" he asked on Twitter. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/File
There was a rampant rumor in November 2014 that Robert Plant had turned down an $800 million contract that would've led to Led Zeppelin's reformation and a reunion tour. The only problem? It wasn't true. Plant's publicist called it "rubbish," and Richard Branson, who was said to have been financing the effort, also called the report "completely untrue." Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images for 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/File
For some reason, in early November 2014, word spread on the Internet that "Home Alone's" Macaulay Culkin had died. The actor and the musician took the gossip in stride, debunking the rumors with proof of his existence before poking fun at them with some "Weekend at Bernie's"-style photos. Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Adult Swim/File
In September 2014, many on the Web were swindled into believing that actress Betty White had passed away. Thanks to a headline from the satirical outlet Empire News that read "Actress Betty White, 92, Dyes Peacefully In Her Los Angeles Home," some assumed that the star had "died." Thankfully, White is alive and well. Getty Images
Musician Scott Weiland was surprised to learn via media reports that he was in jail. It turned out to be an imposter. Getty Images
No need to start mourning. A report that "Orange is the New Black" was canceled is not true, E! assured the world. The buzz apparently started after a humor site posted that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said: "A woman's place is in the home, in the kitchen, taking care of children. A woman in jail? How does anyone watch this show in the first place?" jojo whilden/Netflix
Kanye West clearly thinks very highly of himself. It was reported that he said he was "the next Nelson Mandela," but it just wasn't true. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Surface Magazine
Paris Hilton was offended when the world believed she had tweeted mixing up Mandela and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. after Mandela's death. She tweeted: "Whoever made that stupid fake tweet lacks respect to the loss the world is mourning right now. Same goes for all the blogs who ran with it." Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
For those who believe Andy Kaufman faked his death in 1984, the latest reports could have been seen as a glimmer of hope. But it now appears to be just an homage to the eccentric comedian. Herb Ball/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
Seems like every day social media kills another celebrity. Recording artist Raz-B was said to be in a coma after being hit by a bottle in China. His rep denies that his camp started the rumor. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Remember when the White Stripes, Meg White and Jack White, were claiming to be siblings? Turns out they were actually married. The two divorced in 1999, and the band broke up for good in 2011. Malcolm Taylor/Getty Images
Singer Lauryn Hill may be strong in some of her opinions (she reportedly prefers to be called "Ms. Hill"), but there appears to be no truth to the story that she told MTV she would rather her children starve than have white people buy her music. ADE JOHNSON/AFP/Getty Images
Marilyn Manson is way out there, but he did not have a rib removed so that he could more easily ... pleasure himself. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/File
Singer Billy Idol may sorta have the hairline for it, but he did not portray Eddie Munster on the television series "The Munsters." That was actor Butch Patrick.
That Richard Gere gerbil story just refuses to die. And that's all we are going to say about that one. Getty Images
Call it a hoax or an urban legend, but the kid who played "Mikey" in the Life cereal commercial back in 1971 did not die from consuming Pop Rocks candy and soda. A now-adult John Gilchrist told Newsday in 2012 that he still enjoys the cereal. YouTube
Author James Frey found success when he appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to talk about his book "A Million Little Pieces." He also found scrutiny and shame when it was revealed that his memoir about struggling with addiction wasn't entirely true. Getty Images
Before 2006, novelist J.T. LeRoy was thought to be a young male truck-stop prostitute who chronicled his treacherous tales in critically acclaimed novels. But the persona was later revealed to be the invention of writer Laura Albert. In person, LeRoy was played by Savannah Knoop, who made appearances disguised as a man. Franco Origlia/Getty Images
Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers from the kids show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," was neither a Marine sniper nor a Navy SEAL with confirmed kills in Vietnam. We aren't even sure how this one got started. Courtesy PBS
Lady Gaga does sport some flamboyant outfits, but we assure you that she is a woman and not a man dressed as a woman, as some have claimed. Nor was she born a man and had a sex change. Chris Polk/FilmMagic/Getty
Jamie Lee Curtis is not a hermaphrodite. We repeat: She is not a hermaphrodite! Jason Merritt/Getty Image
This one caused such an issue that Oprah Winfrey felt compelled to invite Tommy Hilfiger on her show to prove she never kicked him off it. Every few years the story pops up that the designer was asked to leave Winfrey's show after he said he didn't want African-Americans and Asians wearing his clothes. So not true. Getty Images
Sorry porn aficionados: A young Barbra Streisand, seen here in 1966, did not appear in a stag film. As The Village Voice pointed out in 2003, it was just an adult film actress with a pronounced nose. Terry Fincher/Express/Getty Images
Star Jones let the world believe she relied on diet and exercise when she started shedding weight in 2003. She finally came clean in 2008, revealing she had gastric bypass surgery to lose more than 160 pounds. OK, this one might be more of a fib than a hoax, but plenty of people took the deception very personally -- including her former "The View" boss Barbara Walters. Mark Mainz/Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images