On Sept. 17, 2023, the purported celebrity gossip YouTube channel Drama Bay published a video that salaciously claimed a "connection" between musician Sam Smith and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison in 2019, had been revealed.
The clip's title read, "Sam Smith PANICS As [Their] Connection With Epstein Island LEAKED!," misgendering Smith in the headline. (Smith came out as nonbinary and announced that their pronouns were they/them in 2019.)
The video had been viewed over 5,400 times on Drama Bay's YouTube channel at the time of this writing. The YouTube video also circulated on TikTok, with three posts featuring the video collectively garnering more than 350,000 views at the time of this writing. We also found posts on X (known formerly as Twitter) that linked to the video.
Note, however, that the Drama Bay YouTube page bears this crucial disclaimer:
Disclaimer: Content might be gossip, rumors, exaggerated or indirectly besides the truth. Viewer advised to do own research before forming their opinion. Content might be opinionated.
In other words, Drama Bay does not warrant its own content as accurate or true, and in fact advises readers not to believe it without conducting their own research. For this reason, we chose a fact-check rating for this claim that we call "Unfounded," which we define as follows: "This rating applies to a claim that we have investigated but found no demonstrable evidence to support it. Such claims typically originate as hearsay, speculation, or groundless rumor."
So what was supposedly "leaked" to reveal the purported connection between Smith and Epstein's island? According to Drama Bay's video, it was a TikTok video posted by Smith that showed them wearing a blue-and-white striped top. On Smith's shirt was an illustration of a boy eating an apple.
According to the video, the blue-and-white-striped top supposedly linked Smith to Epstein because Epstein had a blue-and-white-striped building on his island, Little St. James. Several unproven rumors and conspiracy theories involved the building, and what sorts of activities occurred in it — in part, because construction plans for the building that were submitted to U.S. Virgin Islands officials differed greatly from what was actually built.
However, there is no evidence, nor any reason to assume, that the blue-and-white stripes on Smith's shirt and Epstein's building were related to each other. Most plausibly, the designs' similarities were likely coincidental. The video itself did not provide possible evidence to support its claim. It only repeated baseless conspiracy theories.
We've previously fact-checked another unfounded claim on Drama Bay's YouTube channel concerning Michelle Obama's alleged mistreatment of her family's former chef. We've also fact-checked false claims related to Epstein that have appeared on similar "celebrity gossip" YouTube channels, such as the false assertion that actor Corey Feldman had released a list of celebrities who were involved in criminal acts on one of Epstein's islands.