Oprah Winfrey took to Twitter and debunked a viral story that she had been arrested on sex trafficking charges. The media mogul’s name was a top trending topic on the social platform because of the fabricated report which also linked several other celebrities.
Late Tuesday night, Winfrey’s name became the top trending Twitter topic due to a bogus report that claimed police raided her home in Boca Raton, Florida and arrested the 66-year-old. Newsweek reported that the fabricated story was accompanied by a video of a reporter claiming authorities searched her home for underground tunnels.
The rumor was allegedly started by QAnon, a far-right group, and it involved Madonna, Kevin Spacey, Charles Barkley, Celine Dion and Tom Hanks. Many people latched onto the conspiracy theory. One viral tweet claimed Hanks does not actually have the coronavirus and is only using it to shield his “child trafficking” activities, and the media has used the COVID-19 pandemic to distract the public from the truth about the nefarious undertakings of these celebrities.
Early Wednesday morning, the talk show host addressed the trending topic from her verified Twitter account. Somebody close to her had called and alerted her about the report. She denounced it as trolling and said, just like most people, she has been isolating because of the coronavirus.
“Just got a phone call that my name is trending. And being trolled for some awful FAKE thing. It’s NOT TRUE. Haven’t been raided, or arrested. Just sanitizing and self distancing with the rest of the world. Stay safe everybody.”
She included a praying-hands emoji at the end the tweet, which received 96,000 likes, 18,000 retweets and 6,700 comments in five hours. Most of the comments were jokes that Winfrey actually had abducted children or were references to her giving away “a new car.”
“Let those kids out Oprah,” one person commented.
“And give them a damn car,” was another tweet.
“Oprah has a phone in jail pass it on,” one Twitter user wrote, implying she had been detained.
“Girl stop lying,” a fourth individual said.
As reported by Newsweek, one person pointed out that the body-cam footage from the alleged video did not appear to be from Winfrey’s Boca Raton home but the home of someone who “lives in a $30k bungalow in west Detroit.” According to the outlet, CNN reporter Ben Jones sent a tweet bashing QAnon for the irresponsible hoax.
“Welp, Oprah is the top trend in the United States because QAnon people completely made up that she was arrested as part of their fictitious baby eating ring,” Jones wrote.
As reported by The Inquisitr, Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, were recently released from the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.