Lil Tay and Josh Seiter are just some of the celebrities who had to clarify that they are still alive after being pronounced dead on the internet.
In August 2023, Lil Tay’s Instagram account released a statement claiming she and her brother had passed away. Us Weekly subsequently received a response from the email address listed in the rapper’s Instagram bio. “With profound regret, we confirm the accuracy of the statement,” the comment read.
Lil Tay issued a statement one day after her death was reported.
“I want to make it clear that my brother and I are safe and alive, but I’m completely heartbroken, and struggling to even find the right words to say. It’s been a very traumatizing 24 hours. All day yesterday, I was bombarded with endless heartbreaking and tearful phone calls from loved ones all while trying to sort out this mess,” the statement read. “My Instagram account was compromised by a 3rd party and used to spread jarring misinformation and rumors regarding me, to the point that even my name was wrong.”
Seiter, meanwhile, made headlines later that month when his Instagram account posted a statement claiming that he died. The Bachelorette alum took to social media shortly after news about his alleged death broke to confirm that he was still alive.
Scroll down for more celebrities who clarified that they are still over the years:
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Before Lil Tay addressed the confusion, her former manager questioned the legitimacy of the death announcement.
“Given the complexities of the current circumstances, I am at a point where I cannot definitively confirm or dismiss the legitimacy of the statement issued by the family,” Harry Tsang told Insider in a statement in August 2023. “This situation calls for cautious consideration and respect for the sensitivities involved. My commitment remains focused on delivering updates that are both reliable and appropriately timed.”
Credit: Courtesy of Lil Tay/Instagram
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A statement was posted on Seiter’s social media in August 2023 claiming he died following a mental health battle.
“Hey guys as you can see, I am alive and well,” the former reality star said in an Instagram video, one day later. “My account was hacked for the last 24 hours. I had been trying desperately to get into it. Somebody was playing a cruel joke and mocking my mental illness and the struggles I’ve gone through with depression and suicide attempts. I am sorry for the pain they caused when they made that post.”
Seiter also addressed fan speculation that he faked his own death. “Those are all ridiculous accusations made up by somebody with nothing better to do with their time,” he said in a separate statement. “As a mental health advocate, issues of suicide are very sensitive for me. To suggest that I would orchestrate a death post around that issue is sickening. I have dedicated the last 8 years of my life blogging and raising awareness about mental health, and I will continue to do so. Regardless of what my detractors have to say.”
Credit: Courtesy of Josh Seiter/Instagram
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Jerry Lee Lewis
In October 2022, TMZ incorrectly reported that Lewis passed away at age 87. “He’s alive,” the singer’s rep told Us at the time.
Lewis actually died two days later after dealing with health issues.
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Reports surfaced in January 2021 that Roberts died after being hospitalized for a urinary tract infection that advanced to sepsis. The actress’ longtime publicist, Mike Pingel, confirmed the news to TMZ due to a conversation he had with Roberts’ partner, Lance O’Brien, after he spoke to the hospital.
O’Brien, meanwhile, later got a call from Cedars Sinai Medical Center that his longtime girlfriend wasn’t actually dead. She passed away shortly after her death was prematurely announced.
Credit: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
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In 2016, Spears made headlines when Sony Music’s Twitter account got hacked and claimed she died. A spokesperson for the pop singer quickly clarified that Spears was alive and well.
“I assume their account has been hacked,” the statement read. “I haven’t spoken to anyone … as of yet but I am certain their account was hacked. Britney is fine and well. There have been a few Internet clowns over the years who have made similar claims about her death, but never from the official Sony Music Twitter account.”
Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Intimate Britney Spears
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George R.R. Martin
“While it is strangely moving to realize that so many people around the world care so deeply about my life and death, I have to go with Mark Twain and insist that the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” the author wrote via LiveJournal in 2016 following an online death hoax. “I expect to hang around for quite a while yet, thank you very much. But thank you all for caring.”
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“What happened was someone made a very believable CNN page with my death announcement. It was so believable. As I understand it, a fan was trying to play a prank on his friend,” Braff explained on Alan Carr: Chatty Man in 2014. “Everyone called me, like, ‘Are you dead?’ I then had to go and make an announcement, like a video, saying ‘Hey, I’m still alive.’ It put it on Facebook and the saddest part of the story is, my video didn’t even get that many likes!”
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Following an online death hoax, Knight took to social media to refute the claims. “Some of you will be glad to hear this, others strangely disappointed, but….I am alive and well!” the Seinfeld alum tweeted in March 2014.
Credit: Jesse Grant/WireImage
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Claims about Culkin’s alleged death began circulating on social media in 2014. The actor tweeted about the incident, writing, “We’re on tour you silly people. One of the great things you can do when you’re alive is stop for lunch in Breaux Bridge, LA.”
Culkin also poked fun at the rumors by using the Instagram account for his band, The Pizza Underground, to post a photo of himself pretending to be dead.
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Chloe Grace Moretz
In 2013, Moretz slammed reports claiming she died in a snowboarding accident while visiting Switzerland.
“I’ve had my loved ones calling crying to check and see if I’m alive. Don’t make this up. It’s not real. I am fully alive and here. You’re sick,” the actress tweeted at the time. “I don’t know who made this up but you’re disgusting. I am not dead. I did not die from snowboarding. It isn’t even snowing here in Switzerland.”
Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage
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“There is a rumor going around that I died after falling off a mountain in Austria yesterday while shooting a movie,” the country artist tweeted in January 2012. “While I would love to be shooting a movie in Austria, I definitely did not fall off a mountain! Nor am I dead! I am alive and kicking!!! Most of you know this already because I’ve been giving you daily accounts of Shelby’s race. Oh well. Have a great day.”
Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images