Taylor Lautner gay? Not so fast

Dec 27, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. ET

Out and proud? Twilight star Taylor Lautner was the subject of a holiday season hoax that duped some celebrity tweeters into believing the actor had come out as gay.

Has Taylor Lautner come out of the closet? Not quite.

The Twilight hunk got quite the holiday surprise when a People magazine cover splashed with the headline "Out & Proud" hit the Interwebs on Monday.

A hoaxer created a People cover for the Jan. 7, 2012 edition with a picture of Taylor and the caption: "Tired of rumors, the Twilight star opens up about his decision to finally come out."

"I'm more liberated and happier than I've ever been," Taylor is quoted as saying in the mag.

The fake cover fooled plenty of people before it was revealed as a hoax. The Photoshopped image circulated Twitter and was so convincing, it prompted other celebs to tweet their support for the young actor.

"Proud of Taylor Lautner for his bravery and his courage," PETA Man of the Year Russell Simmons wrote on the microblogging website.

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The Def Jam founder quickly backtracked after a rep for People confirmed that the cover was "absolutely fake." (Eagled eyed viewers may have recognized the Brad Pitt/Carnie Wilson sidebar from an issue of People published in May 2006.)

"Disappointed that people would joke about someone coming out about their sexuality. Let Taylor Lautner be whoever he wants to be..." Russ added.

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Taylor's sexuality has been fodder on the gossip wire for years. In 2009 -- at the height of the actor's romance with singer Taylor Swift -- Rolling Stone magazine made the bold move of quizzing Taylor on the gay rumors.

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"Another possibility is that maybe you're just sort of discovering yourself," the Stone interviewer asked.

"OK," Taylor replied.

"As a young person trying to figure out his sexual identity in the world," the reporter continued.

"OK. I see where you're going. Interesting choice," the star answered.

"It is a possibility," the writer added.

"There's a lot of rumors out there," Taylor answered.

Photo credit: WENN.com