Publicity stunts permeate pop culture news, but this one is particularly disturbing and desperate. Over the weekend, news outlets widely reported that Raz B (née De’Mario Thornton), disgraced singer of the former boys group B2K, was on life support following a fight in a nightclub near Shanghai. The story was picked up by international media, despite the fact that a picture, taken post-fight and showing Raz B injured and wide awake, made its rounds on the internet.

CNN reports:

“A celebrity news website first reported the original member of the boy band B2K was in a coma Saturday, identifying its source as Toy Jones.

Although Jones gave CNN the same information Sunday, she declined to give the name of the hospital — only saying it was in the Zhejiang province near Shanghai.

Several hours later, Jones sent CNN a written statement saying the singer had miraculously recovered from the coma and would be released from the hospital in days. The unedited statement reads: “Doctor says Numerous Brain scans showed that Raz’s entire cortex- the parts of the brain that give us consciousness, thought, Memory and understanding is now functioning. Doctors say its a miracle and told his family that he stands a strong chance of survival and no signs of being brain dead for the rest of his life against all odds,Raz woke up this morning and is in stable condition We ask the the fans and media respect our family’s privacy.”

[…] When CNN asked Jones about the statement, she said “as far as I know it is true” that he was in a coma. She said she was hired by Raz B’s family to get the story out to the news media.”

When something sounds fishy, it usually is. CNN waited to report the news until details were confirmed, and it was then that the coma story quickly unraveled.

Raz B’s manager, Elayne Rivers, came forward calling the story a hoax and Raz B’s brother, Ricky Romance, told CNN he has been “misled by unknown reasons.” His full statement follows: “I was unfortunately unable to contact my brother at the time and then panicked. I then alerted as many people of this information hoping to gather facts… Since the source that gave me this information was what I thought to be legitimately reliable I didn’t question I just believed. I apologize if I seem like I jumped to conclusions but a coma is a serious situation and it was concerning my brother whom is my best friend as well. I sincerely apologize for the confusion I caused if that is the case.”

Was it confusion or attention they were going for? What do you think, Clutchettes and Gents?


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