An internet hoax hits a new audience again six years later! Rumors rampant on the net that the People Sexiest Man Alive, Johnny Depp, has died in a fatal car accident seem to have stemmed from a weird cut'n'paste created in 2004 and posted on the then-popular Angelfire user's page. Angelfire was a precursor to easy site-builders like WordPress.com, hosted through POP email provider and search engine, Lycos. Thousands had taken to Twitter to pay their respects, unaware of the mix-up, which further perpetuated the silly story. Epic Twitter fail.
The body of the fake article [shown below] reads:
"BORDEAUX, France (CNN) -- Johnny Depp's car was found along side a road outside Bordeaux, France, with the guard rail embedded deep inside the car.
A tourist was driving down the road when he saw a car wreck alongside the road. He stepped out and tried to see if anyone was in there while his wife dialed the police for help.
To his dismay, he found the a body in the car among liquor bottles.
The police arrived at the scene shortly after and pulled out the body of the former actor, Johnny Depp.
The police suspect that alcohal was the cause of the accident."
The article then continues on to discuss the British navy, a clear indication that the image had been pasted over an actual news story. Whew!
A screenshot shows the webpage, hosted on an Angelfire fan page: