Oprah Winfrey has been the subject of some wild rumors over the years, but this one might take the cake.
It was recently reported that the media mogul had been detained on sex trafficking charges. The story alleged that police raided Oprah’s posh Florida estate.
A report started going viral that claimed Oprah had been arrested at her Boca Raton, Florida home. It even propelled her name to the top of Twitter’s trending topics on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.
But why was Oprah supposedly picked up by police? The unhinged theory claimed she was arrested for her role in a global sex trafficking ring, and that her home had been raided.
Friends did the talk show host a favor by picking up their cellphones and telling Oprah she was trending on social media. Once she heard about the outlandish claims, the 66-year-old, who is obviously not in jail, used her verified Twitter account to refute them.
“Just got a phone call that my name is trending. And being trolled for some awful FAKE thing,” Oprah wrote in her post. “It’s NOT TRUE. Haven’t been raided, or arrested. Just sanitizing and self distancing with the rest of the world.”
“Stay safe everybody,” she added.
The conspiracy theory apparently stemmed from the far-right online devotees of QAnon, the bizarre conspiracy theory that “centers on the idea that an anonymous government official, or ‘Q,’ has been secretly sharing messages and symbols that serve as evidence of a hidden plot to overthrow Trump.”
Followers of QAnon believe that several elite politicians and celebrities secretly belong to an international pedophile ring.
QAnon’s theory picked up steam when a social media user posted photos of caution tape surrounding a Mediterranean villa. The user claimed it was Oprah’s, and that authorities were “excavating the property and digging up the tunnels.”
Another claimed that Oprah’s home was suspected to be “some kind of child trafficking location.”
Yet another user posted a video of police kicking in a door and claimed it was leaked body cam footage from the raid on Oprah’s home.
Of course, none of these wild claims were true. But most of the country is social distancing and finding themselves under self-imposed quarantine. It looks like folks are mostly just eager for a distraction.
New York Magazine reporter Yashar Ali tweeted,
“I can’t believe Oprah had to even acknowledge the existence of a QAnon hoax.”