Hollywood Unlocked and its founder Jason Lee made international headlines on Tuesday. The celebrity news outlet reported that 95-year-old Queen Elizabeth II was dead.
“Sources close to the Royal Palace notified us exclusively that #QueenElizabeth has passed away. She was scheduled to attend the wedding of British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, but was found dead. Story developing. 🙏🏾❤️,” read a caption on the @hollywoodunlocked Instagram page.
While the British Royal Family did not confirm Queen Elizabeth’s passing, Hollywood Unlocked continued to publish about her alleged death. A second Instagram post claimed there are “carefully constructed plans [titled ‘Operation London Bridge’] that have already been put in place for this moment.”
As other publications and social media users expressed skepticism about Hollywood Unlocked‘s report, Jason Lee backed up his blog. On Tuesday afternoon, Lee tweeted, “We don’t post lies and I always stand by my sources. Waiting for an official statement from the palace.”
Lee also uploaded an iPhone note about the backlash over Hollywood Unlocked‘s Queen Elizabeth report to his personal Instagram account. The former Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood cast member stated that he has “never been wrong” and he trusts his sources.
Today, the unverified Twitter account @HollywoodUL issued an apology on behalf of Hollywood Unlocked, blaming an “intern journalist” for the mistake. That tweet thread has since been deleted. Jason Lee addressed the @HollywoodUL posts on his own verified Twitter account.
“Woke up to some fake account posting a retraction. We do not know that account and we have not retracted our story. There has yet to be an official statement from the Palace. Staying tuned,” wrote Jason Lee on Wednesday morning.
As of press time, there has not been official confirmation about Queen Elizabeth II allegedly dying this week. Buckingham Palace did confirm the Queen canceled planned engagements after testing positive for COVID-19.