Thursday was a blockbuster day for internet rumor, prompting publicist denials of bad news from two stars from very different places in the celebrity stratosphere. Both Tom Cruise and Stevie Wonder had to put their PR people to work to quash rumors that were making the cyber rounds.
Word spread yesterday that both superstars had met with tragedy in different ways and different places. Tom Cruise was rumored to have fallen to his death from a cliff in New Zealand, the same cliff where Tom Hanks was rumored to have fallen and met his end a couple of years ago.
Tom Cruise is alive and well, his agent said on Thursday, denying Internet reports that the actor had fallen to his death in New Zealand.
“This is completely not true. Tom is not in New Zealand nor has he been there recently. This is erroneous and unreliable Internet garbage,” Cruise publicist Jeff Raymond told Reuters.
Claims that the star of “Top Gun” and “Mission:Impossible” had plunged to death from the Kauri Cliffs circulated on the Internet on Thursday and were even picked up by traders on the Singapore oil and foreign exchange markets.
Stevie Wonder, on the other hand, had to quell rumors that his home, including all his music memorobilia, had burned to the ground.
The New York Post reported on Thursday that Wonder’s home was one of those that went up in flames and that all his musical memorabilia had been destroyed.
“I’m grateful to say that my house was not burned down in the fire,” Wonder said in a statement. “I extend my sympathies to anyone who may have been touched by this horrendous event.”
Shelley Selover, a spokeswoman for Wonder, said the singer does not even have a house in the immediate area hit by the fire, although he does have a home in the San Fernando Valley.
The speed at which information flies around the internet is amazing, and something that most of us here thrive on. But Thursday showed in duplicate that sometimes we need to stop and wait for the facts before we accept everything we read as truth.
Celebrity gossip is the most susceptible to the problem, people assume, exaggerate, misquote, or just plain make up thing about celebrities all the time. It’s a business all it’s own, ask Perez. You never want to be the last to hear the news, good, bad, or otherwise, but you don’t want to have the wrong information, either. My advice would be to check back, and check back often. *wink*
Stevie Wonder is shown performing on 7/31/08 in Hollywood. Credit: PRPhotos. Here is Tom Cruise helping an elderly person who fell – it looks like a setup – on 10/5/08 and with Suri on 10/6/08. Credit: Bauergriffin and WENN