If you need help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. Or contact Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
In early February 2020, just a few days after Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant were killed in a helicopter crash along with seven other people, a hoax video started to circulate on social media which falsely claimed that Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, had died by suicide. On Feb. 19, we came across a carbon copy of this hoax, only this time it was Bryant’s daughter, Natalia, who supposedly died by suicide.
A video report made up to look like it came from BBC News was widely circulated on social media. While this video carried the BBC logo, it was published on suspicious looking websites, such as w0rldnews.g0ldenbuzzers.com and t0pstories.caldomns.com, which have absolutely no affiliation with the British Broadcasting Corporation.
This was not a genuine news report.
In addition to this video being hosted at suspicious websites, the actual video report also contained some major red flags. For instance, it starts with a screenshot containing the words “R.I.P. Natalia Bryant.” After a few seconds it cuts to a news anchor at a desk saying “the shock is still raw for fans of the late.” The video then cuts back to the screenshot before the news anchor can finish her sentence.
As was the case with the Vanessa Bryant death hoax, the video of the news anchor comes from an unrelated incident. Although we haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact segment that was pilfered by these hoaxsters, the news anchor appears to be Dawn Hasbrouck from Fox 32 Chicago (not the BBC).
No genuine news outlets have reported on Natalia Bryant’s alleged death. Furthermore, Natalia’s mother, Vanessa, has made no such announcements on her social media pages.
Natalia Bryant did not die by suicide in February 2020. This is just another death hoax aimed at exploiting a tragedy.