Even before the internet, phony legends about our favorite stars became facts. And what were they supposed to do, really? As Winston Churchill once remarked: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” As the common folks explain: Liar liar, pants on fire!
Today, it’s time to set the record straight. The lives and careers of stars have been skewed in the press and the gossip columns, for profit and for prank. Celebs and their circles have tried to debunk the viral myths. Right here, right now, it’s time to help them do it once and for all. Ready, set, reset.
Marilyn Monroe Was a Plus Sized Icon
It’s one of the trickiest hoaxes to hit the internet, and it seems to be everywhere. Was the curvy Marilyn Monroe a size 12-14, just like many of her fans today? Not quite. It’s time to face the facts, in inches and pounds. With body positivity on the rise, it’s no wonder that talk about historical standards has become part of the conversation. Still, those hips don’t lie.
According to her own modeling agency, the actress was 5’ 6” and just 120 pounds. Her measurements were 36-24-34. And this was all marked down as a size 12. What many Americans may not know is that clothing companies over the years have changed their sizing practices to accommodate expanding waistlines. In reality, department stores have just gotten sneakier. Marilyn was an hourglass, but far from plus size!
JLo Has a $27 Million Butt Insurance Policy
In the late 90s, Jennifer Lopez got the world shaking its booty to hits like “If You Had My Love” and “Let’s Get Loud.” And for that, they were thankful. Rumors popped up that the star had taken out an insurance policy on her posterior asset in case of damage. The figure floated was $27 million. Did she ever confirm the claim?
While it does seem like her earning power could be directly tied to the plump, supple condition of her bottom, there is no relevant documentation. Plus, she denied the report. Directly from Jen: “There is no such thing as that.” Asked and answered. Next!
Marilyn Manson Actually Had A Rib Removed
He was creepy and dark, and he liked it that way. Marilyn Manson shocked parents in the 90s with his gothic vibe, letting rumors spread unanswered at times that went with his persona. A prime example: The rocker had one of his ribs removed. Was that ever true? No.
It was spread via word of mouth at high schools around the nation. Fans just knew he had gotten the surgery. Why did he let this go on and on? He explained: “I’ve always measured success not only by the number of people that love you, but the ones that hate you, too…I like to provoke people so they think…I think that’s a healthy part of entertainment — that you don’t get too much from The Spice Girls.” Fair enough, Mister Manson.
Lady Gaga is a Man
Lady Gaga gained a big following after her breakout hit, “Pokerface.” Since then, her rise to the top has been only up, up, up. Born in New York City as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, she achieved her dream of becoming a singer and even transformed into a wild style icon. The question is, was she also born something else?
Rumors swirled at the beginning that she was actually a man. Her answer? Not really, but she wasn’t mad: “At first it was very strange, and everyone sort of said, ‘That’s really quite a story!’ But in a sense, I portray myself in a very androgynous way, and I love androgyny…I like pushing boundaries.” The verdict is, she was born this way after all.
Elvis Died of a Heart Attack on the Toilet
In his last years, the man known as “Elvis the Pelvis” had gotten a bit bloated. The pop icon had gained weight and no longer looked like his former self as time went on. At his death, information spread that his heart had given out on the toilet. So embarrassing! Was that the whole story, though?
The reality of his medicine cabinet says a whole lot of fans never knew. At the time of his death in the bathroom, he was to have high levels of opiates, specifically Percodan, Demerol, Dilaudid, and codeine — plus Quaaludes. A doctor had been giving him more and more over the years for chronic pain. It’s no wonder his heart eventually gave out, sadly. His doctor eventually went on trial. A common story these days, as well!
A Young Barbra Streisand Did a Few Adult Films
Barbra Streisand has been around for six decades in her field, winning an Emmy, Oscar, Grammy, and Tony. No one could have imagined that she got her start any other way than dancing her little heart out. But for whatever reason, rumors have swirled for decades that Barb was in naughty films. Was it true?
The answer, of course, is no way! There people who seemed to think a woman named Tasha Voux on grainy video was Barbra. But the reality is, that movie was filmed in the mid-60s when she was only 10 and could not have been the same person. Believers did keep trying to promote clips this way for a long time. Some have been fooled!
Larry King Had a Fart Fan Under His Desk
The late Larry King was a legend in his time. The interviewer of interviewers, he had his way of getting guests comfortable at the desk. Some claimed he had a special technique. Allegedly: A fart fan blew away all the stinky because Larry had a problem with gas in his later years. Was that his secret?
It’s not true, but Larry thought it was a funny rumor. He addressed the source directly once: “Have I had flatulence in my life? Sure. Is it a common thing? No…But it’s nothing I do more than any ordinary person would do. And when I do do it, it always feels good. It never feels bad. But I don’t do it a lot, and I don’t have a fan. And maybe once in my life have I done it onair—I have no memory of doing it on air.” He may have been an old fart, but he wasn’t a farter!
Avril Lavigne Died and Was Replaced By a Body Double
The Avril Lavigne replacement conspiracy theory is a mouthful and a headache. It all originated online around 2011, and there are a few reasons for its popularity. Because the singer was off the grid for years due to a Lyme disease infection, people did start to wonder where she was.
A Brazillian blog really pushed this gossip for a while until it went viral on Twitter. Allegedly, there were even subliminal messages in her songs to explain her disappearance and replacement. One double was hired to distract paparazzi. But when she died or committed suicide, the double just took over. In any event, none of it ever happened. Avril is healthy again, and she might look slightly different. But 20 years in the public eye does mean women are going to age!
Lorde is Decades Older Than She Claims
New Zealand’s Lorde shocked the world as a young teen. Her voice was so far beyond her years and led her to become a Grammy-winner, pretty much right away. Some started to doubt that a person so young could be so talented. Plus, she looked significantly older! A rumor got around that she was actually 45.
Truly, she did not look like a teen to any observer. Maybe it was all the extra radiation in the ozone hole in New Zealand. But whatever the reason, it was time for the media to just check. An outlet got ahold of her actual birth certificate, which confirmed she was 17 at the time of the rumor, born in 1996. Debunked!
Rapper Tupac is Still Alive
Is Tupac alive? The official story goes that he was shot in a drive-by in Las Vegas. All these years later, the concept that he somehow escaped persists in pop culture. Some genuinely give it credence. Are people just having trouble letting go of such a hip-hop genius, or is there some truth to the claim?
Because most of his albums were released after his death and he kept getting remixed into new songs like he was around, people were a little weirded out. Plus, they missed him! One theory said it was all a marketing plan. Another said he escaped to Cuba and was living his best life here. But according to his family, he was cremated, and his ashes were scattered in his mother’s garden in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Sorry, fans.
Mama Cass Died From Choking on a Ham Sandwich
Way back in the 70s, Mama Cass was the matriarch of the Mamas and the Papas. She also released five solo albums and has a special place today in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At her death, fans were saddened. But they were also surprised to learn she died by choking on a ham sandwich, of all things.
The reality is, Mama Cass died in her sleep from heart failure, RIP. According to the forensic pathologist who did her autopsy: “There was left-sided heart failure…she had a heart attack which developed rapidly.” No drugs were in her system, either. And no ham sandwich!
Walt Disney’s Body is Cryogenically Frozen Somewhere
Eventually, all good things come to an end. Even Disney had a sad ending, for once, when its founder Walt Disney died from lung cancer. He fought hard, had the surgeries, and tried his best. But alas, the happiest place on earth had to go on without him. Is he cryogenically frozen on the grounds somewhere, by the way?
Nope, it never happened. Allegedly, Walt did have an interest in the topic, according to two different biographies, though his daughter denies it. His body was cremated, not frozen, and hidden somewhere on the grounds of one of his theme parks. The internet sure has some wild theories about the location under rollercoasters, but technology has not preserved the great animation entrepreneur for the future. His legacy will just have to live on in cartoons.
The CIA Murdered John Lennon
It was one of the most shocking assassinations in history. The man of peace himself, John Lennon, had been shot to death in broad daylight. Who did it, and why? Some fans of the late Beatles singer decided it was none other than the CIA that didn’t like the idea of imagining all the people sharing all the world very much.
The actual murderer was a man named Mark David Chapman. Stalked right to his NYC apartment, John was ambushed by the deranged fan. At trial, lawyers tried to mount an insanity defense, but he still got 20 years to life plus mandatory mental health monitoring. A sad story overall, without a doubt.
Kim Kardashian Faked that Scary Paris Robbery
It was totally alarming to hear that Kim and Kanye had been robbed at gunpoint in Paris, of all places. Their luxury vacation was cut short when their jewels were stolen and their peace of mind taken. $10 million in value was lost. Fans sympathized. But a few years later, Kim appeared in a photoshoot wearing a very familiar ring. What was that all about?
No, Kim did not steal back her crazy 20-carat ring or admit she had faked anything. None of those rumors are true. For a photo shoot to promote her brand, she just called up the original jewelry designer. According to Kim: “I borrowed all jewelry from Lorraine Schwartz. It was nice to borrow it all and nice to give it back to her…I thought this was the perfect way to bring it back and wear them again.” The thieves are still on the loose, actually!
Keira Knightly is Anorexic
Actress Keira Knightley was always thin. In Bend it Like Beckham, she looked athletic. But over the years, observers saw her become frailer, in their view. The idea that she was anorexic came up again and again. Was that a problem, or was she being misdiagnosed by armchair docs?
According to Keira, she is just fine. She shared: “I’ve got a lot of experience with anorexia. My grandmother and my great-grandmother suffered from it and I had a lot of friends at school who suffered from it, so I don’t think it’s anything to be taken lightly…The very thought of a diet makes me want chips and ice cream, and I just hate going to the gym. The most exercise I get is turning on the TV.” Skinny shaming, be gone!
Gene Simmons Had a Cow Tongue Grafted on His Own
KISS bassist Gene Simmons was a rebel from the start. His unique tongue helped him become infamous after he kept flickering it at cameras. It was hard to ignore, perhaps even more than the music. Some theorized he had it surgically altered with cow tongue to make it as long as it was. Did he do that?
So that never happened. But Gene does enjoy his own tongue. He once shared: “I was oblivious, for the first thirteen years of my life, that I was endowed with a large oral appendage, my superlong tongue. It really was longer than everyone else’s, and I was soon to find out that having a long tongue came in handy with the girls.” Sounds like mother nature, doesn’t it?
Stevie Wonder Can Secretly See Just Fine
For years, skeptics have floated the rumor that blind Stevie Wonder can see. His lifelong image had been that of a man succeeding against all odds to become a star. But the internet is adamant, in some corners. Is the disability all an act? Superstition ain’t the way. It’s time for the facts.
You would never know Stevie Wonder was blind due to the way he has adapted to life so easily. Some people thought they saw signs he could see at his shows. But don’t be fooled; he is a blind man. At birth, he arrived six weeks early. As a premie, he was given too much oxygen in the hospital, giving him an eye disorder. Very unfortunate, and the damage was permanent! But according to Stevie: “Don’t worry about me being blind, because I’m happy.”
Oprah Winfrey is Really a Lesbian with BFF Gayle King
For 25 years, The Oprah Winfrey Show was the next best thing since sliced bread, in TV terms. Never married, Oprah was always allegedly in a long-term relationship with a mysterious man named Steadman. Fans rarely saw him. But they did routinely see warm hugs between the host and her best bud, journalist Gayle King. Was there more to their relationship than met the eye?
According to Oprah: “I’m not a lesbian…I’m not even kind of a lesbian…And the reason why it irritates me is because it means that somebody must think I’m lying. That’s number one. Number two…why would you want to hide it? That is not the way I run my life.” Gayle is just the sister she never had, folks!
Katy Perry Was Banned For Life from SNL
SNL is a big dream for any artist out there. So when Katy Perry got to sing and do a viral segment with Elmo on Saturday Night Live, it must have been a career high point. Soon, out of the blue, rumors started to spread that she had been banned from the set forever. Had she, and why?
The story was born from some well-placed clickbait on the net using her picture to claim that some stars had been banned from the show. Although users clicked through until the end, they never found information about Katy. Sadly, the idea persisted. It’s not true, and never was!
Jamie Lee Curtis Admitted She Was a Hermaphrodite
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis made it big in Hollywood and then found the world questioning her biology. Allegedly, she was born with both parts. The idea has been around for decades, and it just won’t seem to go away. When she adopted children instead of having them, this led people to see it as confirmation.
Yes, intersex babies do indeed happen sometimes. But Jamie has adamantly denied this about herself over and over. All sources claiming to know it appear to be hearsay. It keeps getting printed without any documentation. These days, the name Jamie can just be a girl — no backstory required!
Lindsay Lohan Had a Twin That Was Murdered
The very first-time viewers appreciated Lindsay Lohan was her role in The Parent Trap. As a child actress, she did both an American and British accent and charmed both nations. But maybe some people were not aware that there are special effects. Some seem to buy the twin act a little too much!
Online sleuths claimed that her twin was named Kelsey Morgan Lohan, and that she was murdered after the film. The idea is wild, and the Lohan family pictures prove otherwise. The child actress never had a twin and deserved full credit for both roles, just like in the movie credits. Great work, Lindsay!
JFK Had an Affair With Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was irresistible in her time. She was a fantasy most men could only dream of, and it was hard. Perhaps one of the only exceptions would have been a young prez of the United States. After the actress sang him happy birthday in front of the world, gossip began.
Once, Marilyn and JFK were actually at the same place at the same time in Paris, at a ball. There were photographs of them that night, like everyone else. On another occasion, they may have been at a party at the same time. But evidence of an affair is absent in the historical record. It’s romantic, maybe. But it probably never happened, and no one has proved it in 70 years.
Richard Gere Had a Gerbil Removed From His Bum
There are many tales of little creatures being discovered during emergency room visits. True or untrue, there seems to be an idea that some put gerbils in their pants to experience something new. For whatever reason, actor Richard Gere got dragged into the fray on this one. What’s the truth of the matter?
A prankster actually faxed the ness to offices all over Hollywood decades ago. The paper claimed that Richard had a “gerbilectomy” at Cedars-Sinai Hospital but that he was okay. But when the National Enquirer tried their best to track down the facts, they found there were none. Super fake news!
Mr. Rogers Was a Marine Sniper in Vietnam
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was a charming show where children learned about life from a kind man in a sweater. Mr. Rogers himself always seemed like he couldn’t harm a fly. He just loved puppets. That’s why it was surprising when people heard he was a sniper in the Vietnam War who killed more than a hundred people!
Well, he wasn’t. According to the Navy: “While there are rumors that Mr. Rogers, the host of internationally acclaimed TV show for children – Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, served as a Navy SEAL or a Marine Scout Sniper during the Vietnam era with a large number of confirmed kills, we have to state it is false. Mr. Rogers never served in the military.” Plus, he would have been too old at the time of that war. Think, people!
Khloe Kardashian’s Real Dad is OJ Simpson
Today, there is no family more famous than the Kardashian-Jenner crew. They are simply everywhere, with their glamour. Before they were fabulous, though, there was a more serious mission in the family, and the late Robert Kardashian was one of the defense lawyers for OJ Simpson during his infamous murder trial. That’s where the rumors started that Kris may have gotten to know the client a little too much.
Pictures online before Khloe’s facial plastic surgery appear to show a resemblance between the disgraced football player and the Kardashian daughter. But according to OJ himself: “I have nothing to do with it. I would be proud…but trust me, I had nothing to do with it.” Case closed?
That Wonder Years Kid Was Actually Marilyn Manson
It’s an old show, at this point, Maybe the reruns are finally starting to go off the air. But for decades after its premiere, The Wonder Years was a smash-hit coming of age series. One character seemed to resemble a popular 90s goth artist. Supposedly, the character Paul Pfeiffer is young Marilyn Manson.
No, indeed, this is just young actor Josh Saviano. He was a good sport about the rumor, stating: “I find it humorous. To see the creativity and imagination of some people is pretty interesting. It doesn’t upset me, nor does it offend me. I just take it as a joke.” Josh is right. It’s pretty silly, indeed.
Melania Trump Has a Few Body Doubles
The Trump years were full of conspiracy theories, and former First Lady Melania did not escape the chaos. Online, the idea that she was sometimes a body double in public appearances circulated widely on social media. Did Melania really use this tool to escape her obligations?
Users online compared picture after picture to try to prove the theory. But reporters at The Daily Mail compared photos from the same events, at different angles. Overall, the claims did not hold up. Despite the seeming optical illusion, no deception was at play. It was Melania, after all!
Harry’s Real Dad is Not Prince Charles
It’s not a nice thing to say, but a chunk of the British public has never believed Harry was really royal. Because of Diana’s well-known affair with a military man named James Hewitt, some speculate that the younger prince may not really be the son of Charles. That would mean he is just a commoner!
There has never been a DNA test conducted, and there probably never will be. Royal experts often say Harry was born at the wrong time for that theory to be true. And so far, even though Harry has been at odds with his dad, he hasn’t claimed that he is not related to his dad. Only time will tell, but for now, rumors are just rumors!
Marisa Tomei Mistakenly Got the Oscar
It actually does happen sometimes: Steve Harvey famously hosted the Miss Universe pageant and announced the wrong name at the end. It was embarrassing for all parties. The internet will probably never let him forget it. Allegedly, the same happend to actress Marisa Tomei, but no one had the heart to call it out and let her keep the award. Did it?
The myth is pervasive. A year after Marisa took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for My Cousin Vinny, a piece was printed in the Hollywood Reporter that the squinting presenter just couldn’t read the name properly on the paper. He was flustered, pressured, and just blurted out her name from the teleprompter. The Oscar committee has flat-out denied this, full stop. They loved her performance!