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10 Ridiculously Absurd Rumors About Famous People

by Gregory Myers
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Shortly after humans first learned how to speak, they learned how to gossip. And while people certainly love to share wild rumors about their friends, there’s nothing better than a ridiculous story about a celebrity, even if that story makes no sense whatsoever.

10Michelle Obama Is Transgender


In 2014, Joan Rivers made a joke in poor taste about Michelle Obama being “a tranny.” As you’d expect, Rivers largely declined to apologize, arguing that transgender people were some of the most beautiful in the world, so there was no reason for Obama to feel insulted. Now, while the joke was off-color, Rivers was a comedian and obviously she didn’t really believe that the First Lady of the United States was secretly transgender. Unfortunately, some people took her statement as a slip-up revealing the actual truth.

Alex Jones over at Infowars—your one-stop-shop for incoherent conspiracy ramblings—quickly picked up the story, arguing that while he couldn’t prove that Michelle Obama was transgender, we should consider the possibility because the entire administration is tyrannical and untrustworthy. He went on to claim that the dimensions of the First Lady’s body don’t “look right” and that “known anatomy” proves that she must have been born “Michael Obama.”

Of course, the entire story is just ridiculous. For one thing, we currently have no technology for a transwoman to become pregnant and carry a baby to term, and it’s obvious that Malia and Sasha are both her daughters. But that hasn’t stopped the conspiracists, who claim that Michelle and Barack could have used a surrogate and cunningly disguised the fact that Michelle herself was never actually pregnant. They probably got some tips from Beyonce.

9Jennifer Lawrence Isn’t Really Clumsy

Jennifer Lawrence Wins Best Actress: 85th Oscars (2013)

Jennifer Lawrence has recently become America’s sweetheart, all thanks to her endearing personality. Sure, people loved her depiction of Katniss in The Hunger Games, but she become even more beloved when she won an Oscar and acted so humble and down-to-earth. She even tripped on the stage, shaking if off with a sort of clumsy grace. Before long, everybody loved Jennifer Lawrence—except for those who know the truth. You see, some conspiracy theorists have noticed that Lawrence has also tripped on stage at other award shows, and they have theorized that she either started faking falls in order to drum up her popularity, or, even worse, was never even clumsy to begin with.

While this theory is impossible to disprove, there really isn’t any reason to believe it either. Perhaps Jennifer Lawrence is just naturally a little clumsy. It doesn’t help that she’s probably not used to wearing insanely decked-out dresses and high heels, a combination that would make anyone a little less graceful on their feet.

8Oprah And Bill Cosby Secretly Destroyed Dave Chapelle’s Career


Photo Credit Davej1006

When comedian Dave Chappelle started a sketch show on Comedy Central, he never expected it to take off the way it did. The show quickly became a sensation and Comedy Central was so desperate to keep the gravy train going they offered Chappelle a cool $50 million for two more seasons. But Dave was already starting to get tired of the whole thing and decided to take some time off to visit Africa and reconnect with himself. The tabloids claimed he was doing drugs, but Chappelle himself has stated that he just needed to clear his head. Eventually, he decided to end the show.

Most people assume that Chappelle decided to quit partly because of the pressure, and partly because, as he later said, “I was doing material that was funny, but was socially irresponsible.” Conspiracy theorists latched on to the second part, claiming that Chappelle was actually forced out of his position after running afoul of Oprah and sweater-wearing curse-hater Bill Cosby. Apparently, the pair didn’t appreciate the way that Chappelle often used the “N-word” and other racial phrasing in his show, even if it was to make a satirical point. So they teamed up with Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, and BET owner Robert L. Johnson to form an organization known as “the Dark Crusaders” and set about trying to destroy Chappelle’s career.

Supposedly, the Crusaders went so far as to tape a special version of Oprah’s show where she suddenly breaks off from interviewing Tom Cruise to personally insult Dave Chappelle, ending with “I’m going to make sure you never work in Hollywood again.” Johnson then used his network connections to make sure that the show was only sent to Dave Chappelle’s house. Chappelle also allegedly received a personalized voodoo doll in the mail, despite the fact that he was at a farm in Ohio and nobody should have known where he was. In fact, the conspiracy theory is so crazy that it ended up parodied on 30 Rock, a humiliation usually reserved only for trashy reality shows and NBC executives.

7Suri Cruise Is Not Tom Cruise’s Biological Child


Photo Credit: Angela George

We all remember where we were when Tom Cruise jumped up and down on Oprah’s couch screaming about how much he loved Katie Holmes. The couple are now divorced and Katie has full custody of their daughter, Suri. Considering the reputation of the Church of Scientology, many people were quite surprised that Tom didn’t put up more of a fight when it came to custody. In fact, some people were so surprised that they dredged up a long-forgotten conspiracy theory claiming that Suri isn’t Tom’s daughter at all (astonishingly, aliens do not appear to be involved).

It’s well-known that Katie broke up with her boyfriend, American Pie star Chris Klein, very shortly before she started going out with Tom, and there have also been unconfirmed rumors that Tom held auditions for the “role” of his wife in real life. So, all the pieces fall into place—Katie must have been pregnant with Chris Klein’s baby, but agreed to pretend the baby was Tom’s as part of their arranged Scientology marriage. How else to explain the “curious way that Suri was kept from the public” even though her parents could easily have had her on the cover of every gossip magazine in the world?

6Sarah Palin’s Son Is Actually Her Grandson


Photo via Wikimedia

During the 2008 US presidential campaign, the world was introduced to Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska and the media promptly went into a frenzy. First, they discovered that Palin was pregnant and that the baby had been diagnosed with Down syndrome. Palin intended to keep the baby, which played well with conservatives. The media then discovered that Palin’s teenage daughter Bristol was also pregnant, a scandalous revelation for a family with political ambitions. This led to a conspiracy theory that Sarah Palin pretended to be pregnant in order to hush up her daughter’s indiscretion. If this theory were correct, it would mean Sarah’s son Trig is actually Bristol Palin’s child.

The people who believe the theory claim that Palin showed no sign of a baby bump or other signs of pregnancy at all, that there is almost no record of Trig’s birth (despite Palin showing medical records for the presidential race), and that the Palins took a long, scenic route back from the hospital, something a woman who had just given birth would not want to do. Of course, the theory makes little sense considering that Bristol actually does have a child, who is decidedly not Trig. Additionally, children born to older mothers have a greater chance of Down syndrome—a young woman like Bristol having a baby with the condition is much less likely.

5Shia LaBeouf Knew About The NSA Years Ago

NSA, FBI, CIA spying on Americans – exposed in 2008 – Shia LaBeouf on Jay Leno

Most people know of Shia LaBeouf as that actor who went a little crazy. After all, he’s always in the news getting into altercations in bars, being disrespectful to the police, doing drugs, committing acts of plagiarism, failing to adequately apologize for acts of plagiarism, attempting to apologize but plagiarizing parts of the apology, hiring a skywriter to apologize for acts of plagiarism over the wrong town, and just generally behaving very oddly. Of course, most people simply chalked it up to the effects of growing up as a child actor, but others had a different theory entirely.

It all started a few years ago, when Shia was interviewed by Jay Leno to promote his movie Eagle Eye. According to Shia, the movie had an FBI consultant who told him that one in five phone calls were recorded. Shia didn’t believe him, but the agent proved it by playing Shia a recording of one of his own calls. No one took his claim seriously at the time, but a few years later the revelations from Edward Snowden made it clear that widespread communications monitoring was indeed happening. Perhaps Shia’s erratic behavior was somehow caused by the government in order to discredit him, because he knew too much and was speaking out about it in public? Alternatively, Shia makes some fairly wild claims on a regular basis. Maybe he just got lucky?

4Jaden Smith Intends To Move Out And Remove His Penis

Jaden Smith on Not Getting Emancipated

Originally, Jaden Smith was known for his famous father and for starring in movies like the Karate Kid remake. However, in recent years, he has started to attract attention for his strange behavior. Many people follow him on Twitter to keep up with his strange sayings and stranger capitalization. He also attended Kanye West’s wedding while wearing a formal white Batman suit. So it probably comes as no surprise to hear that there are multiple strange rumors surrounding him.

One of the strangest from a couple years back claimed that Jaden was tired of living with his parents and wanted to strike out on his own. Supposedly, he was going to become an emancipated minor, buy his own house, and live entirely on his own. An even weirder rumor claimed that Jaden intended to have his penis removed on his 18th birthday, something some people fell for due to the strange nature of many of his tweets.

Of course, neither of these rumors had a spark of truth to them. The penis removal story was actually published on a hoax news site, something which seemed to pass by such luminaries as comedian D.L. Hughley. The emancipation story originated in British tabloid The Sun and was promptly debunked by both Will and Jaden, who wondered why he would be in such a hurry to get his own house when “everything at [Will’s] house is free.”

3Dr. Oz Is Nefariously For/Against Vaccinations


Photo Credit David Shankbone

Dr. Mehmet Oz isn’t all he seems. For example, he’s currently best-known for appearing on Oprah and suggesting all kinds of strange tips and tricks to help people achieve a healthy body. However, in his spare time, Oz is actually an extremely accomplished surgeon, currently Vice Chair of Columbia University’s Department of Surgery. That means people suspect he knows full well that many of the products he shills simply don’t work. In fact, he was recently taken to task by a Senate hearing for promoting a green coffee extract that could supposedly help with weight loss.

But all that pales in comparison to the claim that Oz is anti-vaccine. It all started when Oz invited controversial authors Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Robert Hyman on his show to talk about the supposed “dangers” of mercury in vaccines. Critics claim that Oz failed to adequately challenge their claims, essentially allowing his show to be used to promote their work. On another occasion, he mentioned that his children didn’t receive their flu vaccines during the H1N1 pandemic because his wife was against it.

As it happens, Oz himself has denied being anti-vaccine and has actually been vaccinated live on his show. His children didn’t receive the flu vaccine because his wife didn’t consider it necessary, arguing that the H1N1 outbreak “wasn’t the plague people were led to believe,” but Oz himself was in favor of it. He is also on the record as blaming a whooping cough outbreak in 2010 on parents deciding not to vaccinate, encouraging his readers to get vaccinated to protect “the whole community.” Naturally, this has led to a new crop of conspiracy theories questioning why Oz would “cave to Big Pharma” and back down from his supposed anti-vaccine stance.

2Michael Jackson Is Still Alive


When the King of Pop died, fans everywhere grieved for his loss and the news could talk of little else for weeks. His children were heartbroken, the world lost a music legend, and the tortured soul that was Michael Jackson could finally be at peace—or could he? Due to the tragic nature of his death, along with a good old-fashioned inability of humans to let go of people they love, a growing number of fans are convinced that Jackson never actually moonwalked off this mortal coil at all.

In fact, people have been reporting sightings of him all over the world, from the United States to Paris. The Paris sighting even came with an incredibly realistic and convincing video of Jackson, who quickly shields his face with a bag and turns around, with his security guards further shielding him from view. Of course, some petty naysayers insist the video is a fake, but you can be sure sightings will likely continue long into the future, probably even past the point where he should have died of old age anyway. As Elvis, Tupac, Biggie, and Jim Morrison can confirm, sometimes our greatest artists don’t actually leave us, but just decide to disappear with a bang and sit things out on the sidelines for a while.

1OJ Simpson Was Protecting The Real Killer: His Son


Photo Credit Gerald Johnson

The OJ Simpson trial was the definition of controversial, although some people would doubtless angrily disagree with that assessment. Many people are still convinced to this day that OJ literally got away with murder, while others are just as convinced that he was framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Of course, even those who think OJ (pictured visiting the troops in happier days) didn’t do it agree that the circumstances are very strange. In fact, private investigator William C. Dear supposedly spent 18 years looking into the matter and reaching a surprising conclusion, outlined in his impressively titled book: OJ Is Innocent And I Can Prove It.

According to Dear, the actual crime was committed by OJ’s eldest son, Jason, who had a history of violent acts. The book claims that even though Jason Simpson was never a suspect, his dad got a defense attorney for him the day after the murders. It goes on to claim that OJ Simpson arrived at the crime scene shortly after the murders and tried to conceal his son’s involvement. Of course, if this were true, it would mean that OJ Simpson is innocent of murder but guilty of being an accessory to the murder after the fact.

fact checked by Jamie Frater