Patti LaBelle Fights Aretha Franklin? Fake News Story Tricks Twitter

Image: Patti LaBelle Fights Aretha Franklin? Fake News Story Tricks Twitter Patti LaBelle, left, and Aretha Franklin.

Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 09:34 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Patti LaBelle attacked Aretha Franklin and has since been charged with assault and battery, according to a false news report published by a satirical website that pokes fun at news and events while misleading unsuspecting readers.

In the phony news story, published by TheNewsNerd.com, the 69-year-old LaBelle met Franklin at an R&B/Soul concert on March 20 in Atlanta, Ga., where she delivered "a Mayweather-style right and left" to the 72-year-old fellow R&B icon, causing her to stumble "backwards, landing awkwardly." The physical exchange that never actually happened was reportedly preceded by an exchange of obscenities and "LaBelle quickly [removing] her wig and earrings as . . . a tell-tale sign that a fight [was] about to ensue," TheNewsNerd.com wrote.

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The fake new site attributed the make-believe beat-down to a reportedly disrespectful glance Franklin threw at LaBelle, seen below, at the White House's Women of Soul event last month.


The phony report led to a series of tweets sharing the fake news story as if it were true, despite the site's disclaimer, which appears below each story, and reads: "The stories posted on TheNewsNerd are for entertainment purposes only. The stories may mimic articles found in the headlines, but rest assured they are purely satirical."



Aside from the disclaimer, some of the prominent headlines on the site might have been tell-tale signs to most casual observers that the articles being reported by TheNewsNerd.com are not actual news, such as the three below:

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The false report was quickly disproved by Franklin herself, who, according to Billboard.com, released a statement in which the Soul Music icon said, "I’ve never heard anything crazier — regarding myself and Patti allegedly fighting on March 20 in Atlanta."

"On March 20 I was in New York City readying for my birthday patty (Sorry. LOL. Laughing at my typo error). I meant PARTY, which we all had one fabulous time," the statement continued. "Patti and I are cool and we always have been. I enjoyed her at the White House. Classic Patti."

Earlier in the week, another satirical news site, EmpireSports.co, similarly fooled readers into believing 49-year-old WWE wrestler "The Undertaker," whose real name is Mark Calaway, died from a "severe concussion" he suffered during a WrestleMania match with Brock Lesnar.

The 300 pound, 6-foot-10 Undertaker is alive and well in his native Texas.

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