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Girl, Interrupted star Winona Ryder was one of the most visible movie stars of the 1990s. Following a shoplifting arrest in 2001, she seemingly ‘vanished’ before returning to the national spotlight in Stranger Things. One tabloid reports she’s breaking her silence to explain why she disappeared. Gossip Cop investigates.

Winona Ryder looking surprised, in a black dress at a Stranger Things premiere.
(Tinseltown/Shutterstock.com)

‘Why I Vanished’

In the cover story of OK!, Ryder “breaks her silence” to explain “why I vanished.” The story says Ryder’s “world fell apart after she was caught shoplifting, and the disgraced actress disappeared from sight.” Nearly 20 years after her arrest, the Heathers star is “ready to come back to Hollywood in a big way.”

After years of “meditating and going to therapy,” Ryder is “breaking her silence and telling friends it was the right choice.” Her critically acclaimed performance in Stranger Things has made Ryder “eager to get back to the big screen.” The article concludes by saying “the shame of her shoplifting arrest will never completely go away, but Winona is really happy.”

Bait And Switch

The cover of this tabloid would have you believe Ryder has conducted a tell-all interview with OK!. That is not what this story is. Most of the article is spent recapping Ryder’s career before vaguely saying she wants to do movies again. This is a bait and switch story meant to deliberately make the reader think the tabloid has interviewed Ryder when all it has are old interviews and supposed “insider” testimony.

She Didn’t Vanish

Ryder has continued to act in new projects for decades. Following her arrest in 2001, she hosted Saturday Night Live and starred in Mr. Deeds with Adam Sandler. She worked with Richard Linklater on A Scanner Darkly and had a supporting role in 2009’s Star Trek. Most recently she starred in the romantic dramedy Destination Wedding opposite fellow 90s icon Keanu Reeves. She can’t be planning a return to the big screen because she never really left it.

Other Bogus Tell-Alls

At its heart, this is just another bogus tabloid “tell-all” story about how a celebrity is planning to break their silence. Gossip Cop busts these stories all the time because they’re very easy to manufacture. Tell-all stories free up tabloids to openly speculate on what celebrities might say if they "broke their silence." This story is a favorite of OK! in particular.

We’ve busted tell-all stories about Kelly Ripa, Jennifer Aniston, and Dolly Parton. Elton John and Ryder’s The Ten co-star Justin Theroux who were supposedly going to "reveal all" as well. Ryder is in the esteemed company of stars this tabloid baselessly claims will spill all their secrets. The truth is Ryder never disappeared entirely and simply took some time to work through her own depression. Since this story has not spoken to Ryder and pretends as if it did, Gossip Cop is busting this story.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.

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