Hugh Hefner found dead of natural causes on Sunday night. Or at least that is what one fake news website says. The fake website, nbctoday.co, misled social media users into believing the Playboy mogul had died. The website, which many mistook for the legit news source, NBC, took users to a link to the fake news story.
The story that was posted said the following:
“Hugh Hefner, Founder and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, was found dead of natural causes Sunday morning at his home, the Playboy Mansion, in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles police officer Jimmy N. Gardner. He was 88.
Police responded to a call around 9 a.m. PDT and confirmed Hefner’s identity from other residents of the Playboy Mansion, Gardner said. Police are not releasing a more specific cause of death at this time. “We’ll have to wait for an autopsy report for an official cause of death,” said Gardner. “From what I have heard Mr. Hefner was in good health for an 88 year old man. With no signs of foul-play we are left to believe his death was of natural causes.”
Hefner’s long publication career first began as a copywriter for Esquire, which was cut short in 1952 after being denied a $5 raise. Less than a year later, after mortgaging his furniture and generating loans from everywhere from banks to even his mother, Hefner launched Playboy. The racy magazine was nearly a hit from its first issue published in December 1953, which featured Marilyn Monroe from her 1949 nude calendar shoot and sold over 50,000 copies.
However, the Playboy venture wasn’t initially all fun and games. On June 4, 1963, Hefner found himself in trouble with the law after being arrested for selling obscene literature after an issue of Playboy featuring nude shots of Jayne Mansfield was released. A jury was unable to reach a verdict.
He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for television and has made several movie appearances as himself. In 2009, he received a “worst supporting actor” nomination for a Razzie award for his performance in Miss March.
Hefner’s death comes as a shock to millions. Despite his older age, the Playboy tycoon was in excellent physical shape.
Hefner was quoted as saying, “Life is too short to be living someone else’s dream.” As a pioneer in the industry, this is a quote he took to heart.
This story is still developing. More details will be made available once they emerge.”
Sounds pretty legit, right? Apparently so, the Inquisitor reports the link has more than 159,000 Facebook shares, along with over 39,000 likes. It has approximately 1800 Twitter shares. By Monday morning, the death story was trending.
But, no worries, Hugh is alive and kicking. In fact, his wife, Crystal Hefner, posted a photo of the mogul last night during the tradition family movie night.
So, remember, you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet!