Did you hear the one about Richard Gere gerbilling? How about Beyoncé’s fake pregnancy? Or how Katy Perry faked her own death? These wild celebrity urban myths just won’t disappear, and we think we know why: They are hilarious! Take a look at seven different wacky celeb rumors we’ve rounded up — we’re sorry to say we’ve debunked them all.
1. Richard Gere put a gerbil in his butt
No. No, he didn’t. But this is one gross myth that has a lot of traction. The story goes that Gere was brought to the emergency room with a foreign object lodged in his nether regions. An X-ray supposedly determined that object was a gerbil. In some versions the gerbil was dead, in others, alive. We can’t decide which is grosser. Then, some jokester went so far as to send out a fake press release from the ASPCA condemning Gere’s gerbil abuse. But when tabloids contacted the animal welfare group, they denied it came from them. The whole thing was even referred to in Scream.
Years later, it came out that Gere believe Sylvester Stallone of all people is the one who started the rumor because of an on-set argument that got Gere fired from The Lords of Flatbush. (For the record, Stallone denies it.)
2. Beyoncé faked her pregnancy with Blue Ivy
Did you know Beyoncé totally faked her pregnancy with Blue Ivy while a secret surrogate really gave birth? This crazy rumor started when Bey wore a loose maternity dress to a TV interview, and when leaned forward while sitting down, the silky fabric of the dress slid forward and creased. This immediately started screams that she was wearing a fake belly that had folded in on itself. Problem is, you can tell her dress is not stretchy and wouldn’t cling tightly enough to her skin to fold in with a fake belly (if that were even the way stomach prostheses work, which it isn’t). However, Bey did get a lot of press out of it, and judging from the fact that she released an entire album berating her husband for cheating, that’s all that matters. This time around, she made sure to flaunt her bare belly on Instagram constantly so we’d know for sure she really had twins in there.
3. Walt Disney is cryogenically frozen under Disneyland
While it’s kinda fascinating to imagine the entertainment visionary being defrosted and brought back to life like one of his own animatrons, the truth is far more sad reality than science-fiction. Disney died of lung cancer and was cremated two days later. His ashes were buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in California. Mental Floss says the rumor probably got started because the president of the Cryonics Society of California told the Los Angeles Times Disney wanted to be frozen — but he himself admitted he had seen Disney’s ashes firsthand.
4. Rod Stewart almost died from a stomachful of semen
Picture it: Rod Stewart gargling “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” while going down on a fleet of sailors, swallowing so much semen he has to have his stomach pumped. On second thought, maybe don’t picture it. Stewart addressed this one in his own memoir, saying he believes his former manager Tony Toon spread the rumor as payback for Stewart firing him. “I have never orally pleasured even a solitary sailor,” Stewart wrote. “And I have never had my stomach pumped, either of naval-issue semen nor of any other kind of semen.”
5. Mr. Rogers was a Vietnam sniper whose sweaters covered his military tattoos
This rumor states the gentlest man in the world, Mr. Rogers, was a cold-blooded killer during the Vietnam War. Sometimes he’s pegged as a Navy Seal, others as a Marine sniper with dozens of confirmed kills who always wore his cozy, long-sleeved sweaters on TV to cover up his “Born To Kill” tattoos. Even the U.S. Naval Institute says this one is false.
While he did have his general pilot’s license, he never served in the military, and this so-called stone cold killer was actually an ordained Presbyterian minister who became a vegetarian because he didn’t “want to eat anything that has a mother.” You didn’t really believe Mr. Rogers could kill a fly, let alone dozens of humans, did you? Miss Elaine would be so disappointed in you.
6. Katy Perry is really JonBenét Ramsey
Where exactly did Katy Perry come from? She claims to be the daughter of a humble preacher, but this rumor says the truth is far more sinister: The singer is actually child murder victim JonBenét Ramsey, whose death was faked to make her a star. Yeah, totally doesn’t make sense no matter how you cut it, but that doesn’t stop people from talking about it. Sorry, Katy.
7. Nicolas Cage is immortal &/or a vampire
Several years back, a strange photo popped up for sale on eBay. It was a Civil War-era photo of a man that happened to look exactly like actor Nicolas Cage. Obviously, this can only mean one thing: Nicolas Cage is a vampire.
Come on, guys. First of all, vampires don’t age, and Cage definitely has aged since he hit the Hollywood scene in the ’80s. Second of all, everyone knows that vampires can’t be photographed because it involves mirrors and they don’t have reflections. Duh.
For the record, John Travolta isn’t a vampire either.