A look at what didn’t happen last week


Associated Press

A roundup of some of the most popular, but completely untrue, headlines of the week. None of these stories are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out; here are the real facts:

Not real: “Irish woman legally marries a 300-year-old pirate ghost”

The facts: Amanda Teague, who has worked as an impersonator of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow character from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” made global headlines last week when she claimed she had legal paperwork certifying her marriage in 2016 on a ship off Ireland to the ghost of a Haitian pirate. Marriages to people who are dead are not recognized anywhere.

Not real: “Melania Trump bans White House staff from taking flu shot”

The facts: The first lady didn’t keep White House staff from getting their flu shots, as claimed in a widely shared story by the website BeAware. Melania Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said the story, which the site itself labeled a conspiracy, is “absolutely false.”

Not real: “‘Friends’ reunion movie trailer has fans going crazy; WATCH”

The facts: The 3-minute “trailer” for a reunion of the show that ran from 1994-2004 has garnered more than 38 million views on YouTube, prompting headlines around the world asking fans to watch. But no such movie is in the works. The video was made by a fan. It splices together clips from the show’s actors in more recent projects, including Courtney Cox’s “Cougar Town” in which Matthew Perry guest-starred.

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