Hoax video claims Kobe Bryant’s widow died by suicide
A misleadingly edited video circulating online claims that basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s widow killed herself.
This is false; there has been no such announcement, and the footage actually shows a Fox News anchor speaking about the death of a colleague.
“BREAKING NEWS: VANESSA BRYANT Recorded her SUICIDE After Depression Attack this Morning,” reads the headline that accompanies the video, which features a BBC News logo.
But there is no report of her death on the BBC News website.
The claim comes weeks after Kobe Bryant and the couple’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash in California.
The footage in the video is actually from Fox News, and shows anchor Neil Cavuto announcing the death of journalist Brenda Buttner in 2017.
“I have some very sad news to share with you today,” Cavuto says, which has been in edited in the misleading video to cut off after that statement, warning users of graphic content and urging them to share the post in order to see the rest of the clip.
Clicking on some versions of the Vanessa Bryant suicide claim opens another video that follows the same pattern, but says that her daughter Natalia killed herself — a claim that is likewise false.
“BREAKING NEWS: KOBE BRYANT’s ELDEST DAUGHTER ‘NATALIA BRYANT’ left a ‘Suicide VIDEO’ of Herself ‘COMMITTING SUICIDE’ After BEING BULLIED…” reads the headline that accompanies that video, which, like the claim about her mother, features a BBC News logo.
There are, however, no reports of Natalia Bryant’s death on the BBC News website or elsewhere.
The video shows another anchor saying: “Well, tonight the shock is still raw for fans.” It then prompts viewers that they must share the post to see the remainder.
The footage in the video is actually from Fox 32 Chicago, a network affiliate, and shows anchor Dawn Hasbrouck in a years-old clip.
“The graphics in that clip are at least five years old, and we haven’t used them in a long time,” Will Hager, a digital content creator at FOX 32 Chicago, told AFP by phone. “And it’s really a dated video. Dawn looks different now. Everything is different.”
Neither Bryant nor a representative could immediately be reached for comment about either of the false claims.