Harvey Weinstein Suicide Hoax: Viral Story Claims That Disgraced Movie Mogul Took His Life

Harvey Weinstein is not dead, but anyone scouring the internet this week may have been fooled into thinking that the disgraced movie mogul committed suicide.

A viral death hoax spread across social media this week, claiming that Weinstein shot and killed himself while in Arizona for sex addiction rehab. The story managed to fool a number of people, who shared the fabricated story online — some of them with glee at news of his death.

The fake news story originated on a site called ABCNewGo, which is designed to fool readers into thinking it is the legitimate ABC News site. The report even came complete with a fake suicide note in which the site claimed Weinstein railed at his sexual assault accusers and declared his innocence.

But anyone who poked around the site a bit would have quickly learned that it was peddling fake news, though it was mixed in with some real stories including one about the store Kroger raising the age limit for firearm sales.

While Harvey Weinstein is not dead, the onetime power player in Hollywood is quickly seeing his empire crumble around him. He was booted from the company he founded, which last week filed for bankruptcy as Harvey retreated to sex addiction rehab in Arizona (that part of the fake news story was correct).

The intent of the Harvey Weinstein suicide hoax was not apparent, though the rumor-busting site Snopes noted that the site in question is a frequent peddler of fake news. Many of these sites are created with the hope of one of the stories going viral, generating clicks and ad revenue from unsuspecting people. Others aim to steal personal information from people visiting the site or install malware, though that did not appear to be the case with the Weinstein hoax.

Some celebrities have been frequent target of death hoax stories, including actor Will Smith and Morgan Freeman, who have each been the subject of several different death hoaxes. There have been some other fake reports surrounding Harvey Weinstein as well, though this appears to be the first true death hoax to strike him.

So if you see a story claiming that Harvey Weinstein committed suicide, feel free to skip the link and just keep scrolling.