Ella Mai was set up for a big week, but instead the singer ended up in the muck of the rumor mill after a fake sex tape spread around social media.
The short, explicit video clip was posted to Twitter and identified the woman in the video as the British-born singer. Though the video gained some immediate viral interest, a number of fans quickly pointed out that the woman seen in the sex tape was indeed not Ella Mai, and many rose to her defense.
“Y’all know d**n well that was not ELLA Mai in that video,” one person wrote.
Others noted that the alleged video appeared to be timed to take some attention away from Ella Mai’s big week. She is set to release her debut self-titled album next week, and has been getting big buzz for collaborations with Chris Brown and John Legend.
The singer has also been basking in the glow of her breakthrough single, “Boo’d Up.” Mai just broke a 13-year-old radio record last held by Mary J. Blige by spending a total of 16 weeks on top of the charts, DJ Booth noted, giving her the longest-running No. 1 song by a female artist on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.
Though the song was originally released on the 2017 Ready EP, it has gained a huge foothold in recent weeks, and will soon be getting an even bigger audience. As Vibe noted, Ella Mai will be performing the song at the 2018 American Music Awards next week.
“It’s all fitting, as the AMAs nominated the 23-year-old British singer for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Song (‘Boo’d Up’),” the report noted. “What a great way to follow up revealing the Chris Brown-assisted ‘Whatchamacallit,’ a track from her forthcoming self-titled album, this week.”
Ella Mai is not the only celebrity to be targeted by a fake sex tape. Last year, a video claimed to show actress Selena Gomez in an explicit scene, but Gossip Cop, a site dedicated to debunking fake celebrity rumors, verified that it was a fake made by stitching together real video from her social media page with unrelated explicit footage. The site where the video originated has been notorious for posting fake pictures and video of celebrities, IBT noted, including fake images of actress Halle Berry nude.
For her part, Ella Mai has not offered comment on the apparently fake sex tape making the rounds online.