George Michael Fake Death Photo Published By National Enquirer
A fake George Michael death photo was published by the National Enquirer on Wednesday. The late star is actually alive in the picture, but the snapshot was manipulated to give readers the impression that he is dead.
The cover of the supermarket tabloid blares, “George Michael: The Last Photo!” Next to the large cover line is an image of Michael seemingly laying down with his eyes closed. It is obviously meant to look as if he is dead.
But this is a blatant manipulation. In actuality, the publication took a grainy, previously published paparazzi photo of Michael and rotated it 90 degrees. As a result, it appears as if Michael is laying dead, when in reality, he was upright at a dinner party when the picture was taken.
To be fair, the National Enquirer doesn’t explicitly say it is a “death photo,” but that certainly seems to be the implication by the way it is abnormally featured. And the outlet has a long, sordid history of trying to dupe readers in such a way. Last year, the tabloid purported to have footage and photos of Prince lying dead. They were actually “photo recreations.” A similar stunt was pulled with fake Bobbi Kristina Brown photos in 2015.
But the Michael photo manipulation is not the only problem with this cover story. The front of the edition also announces, “Pop Icon’s Suicide Note Found!” But what is actually featured is comments he “once said,” statements made long before his death last month. In fact, in tiny print at the bottom of the page, the National Enquirer admits that what it is passing off as a “suicide confession” is actually his “words from a series of interviews recreated as a ‘suicide note.'”
It’s there that the magazine also showcases the cover photo again, now acknowledging that it was taken “two months before his death.” Both admissions were likely only done to remove liability and prevent the outlet from getting sued. But if all that wasn’t disgraceful enough, the publication also “commissioned” a “psychiatric specialist” — who NEVER treated Michael — to say he had “suicidal tendencies.” To call this entire cover story shamefully misleading would be a gross understatement.