Comedian Kevin Hart was involved in a serious car crash in the early morning hours of Sept. 1 when the vehicle he was riding in rolled down an embankment on a California highway.
According to reports, Hart and the driver suffered "major back injuries" while another passenger had minor injuries.
But a Facebook post shared a day after the accident says Hart’s injuries were much worse, claiming he is "paralyzed from the neck down" and that he also "paralyzed" his vocal cords, leaving him unable to speak.
Here is the post, in full:
"‘It is with deep regret to announce that Kevin Hart has been paralyzed from the neck down and his vocal cords have been paralyzed as well, leaving him with the inability to speak. On Sunday morning, he and two others were involved in a in an (sic) accident on Mulholland Highway that left Kevin Hart’s vintage Plymouth Barracuda car smashed, in a ditch. We ask that at this time, fans respect the (sic) Hart’s family wish for privacy, as they work with medical professionals.’"
The statement is littered with grammatical mistakes – the first sign it was not taken from a legitimate release. It was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
While Hart reportedly has a long road of recovery ahead of him, he and his vocal cords have not been paralyzed.
According to several news reports, Hart suffered three spinal fractures and underwent surgery after the crash but did not suffer any paralysis, nerve damage or numbness. While Hart has a long recovery ahead, he is reportedly already walking; his wife, Eniko Parrish, told TMZ he was "awake" and is "going to be just fine."
The post appears to have originated from a story on LFR Solutions, a website known to make up fake stories about celebrities.
The story says that, according to "medical sources at UCLA Medical center" Hart "suffered trauma to the nerves in his spine and throat which have left him paralyzed from the neck down. In addition to being diagnosed with quadriplegia, he also suffered trauma in his neck, causing irreversible damage to his larynx, leaving both vocal cords paralyzed."
It then credits the statement found in the Facebook post to an unnamed Hart representative.
The website attempts to make it look like it posts legitimate entertainment news, but buried at the very bottom of the page in tiny, barely legible writing (3.5 font size to be exact) is a disclaimer that everything on the site is satire:
"THE STORIES POSTED ON LFRSOLUTIONS.COM ARE FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. THE STORIES MAY MIMIC ARTICLES FOUND IN THE HEADLINES, BUT REST ASSURED THEY ARE PURELY SATIRICAL."
Beyond the disclaimer’s impossibly small text, when a portion of a fake story is lifted from a satire site and posted separately on social media, users have no chance of coming across a disclaimer.
We rate this post False.