Celebrities Declared Dead When They Weren’t

In 2006, an error-ridden press release reported that actor/comedian Will Ferrell, who was 38 at the time, was killed in a paragliding accident. The article was posted on iNewswire, according to ABC, and was full of inaccuracies, including Ferrell’s age and his alma mater. According to the release, which reported on by Gawker, “a freak wind gush basically blew Ferrell and his companion towards a wooded area where they lost control before crashing into the dense foilage [sic].” 

The release was eventually retracted, but it made a large enough impact that the star’s publicist was forced to issue a statement to set the record straight. Matthew Labov noted, “Not much to say other than we heard and read about it this morning and reacted accordingly. There was no point in trying to track [the source] down as it was obviously a hoax.”

iNewswire claimed that the release was published by an individual with a web address that couldn’t be traced. The president of Airtek Paragliding, the company that the release claimed Ferrell used before plunging to his death, responded that he was unaware of the actor using his services. If Ferrell was to die unexpectedly, a paragliding accident would be somewhat appropriate way to go, considering his penchant for humor.

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