Claim: Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late basketball star Kobe Bryant, “committed suicide” in front of her children due to depression. (READ: NBA plunged into mourning as Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash)
An article on the website netw0rk-channel.wereblogs.com carries the headline “BREAKING NEWS: VANESSA BRYANT Recorded a SUICIDE VIDEO IN-FRONT of HER KIDS, After Depression this Morning. | BBC-News.”
The article itself does not have any words, just a video titled “ACTUAL Footage: Vanessa BRYANT filmed her Suicide” that has a BBC News logo.
The video thumbnail has a photo of Bryant with her name and the years 1982-2020.
The article webpage has at least 20 ads.
This article was flagged on Facebook’s Claim Check, a tool that is available to the social media platform’s 3rd party fact checking partners.
It was first shared on the platform on Friday, February 14, and has been shared more than 3,000 times.
The facts: Vanessa Bryant is alive. There have been no official reports of her death, and she was actively posting on social media on the day that article on her alleged suicide spread.
On February 14, Bryant posted on Instagram, saying that the Mamba Sports Foundation’s name has been changed to Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation in memory of both her late husband and daughter. The foundation provides opportunities to young people in sports.
Bryant also posted a tribute to Kobe on February 15, saying: “To my forever Valentine, I love you so much. Missing you so much on your favorite holiday. Te amo per sempre (I love you forever). Kisses to you and Gigi in heaven. Happy Valentine’s Day, my babies. With all my love, your boo-boo.”
The video on the website that is allegedly from BBC News plays for a few seconds before warning that the video may show graphic content and viewers must share it to continue watching.
The website also makes it appear as if the video was shared many times on Facebook, with the numbers “1.2K Comments 17.3K Shares 2.9M Views” underneath it. However, these numbers are static text and are not part of an official Facebook interactions counter.
The video URL actually leads to a 25-second YouTube video titled “Now its sad” on the channel “ashir mohamad.” This video was uploaded on February 6 and has since accumulated 252,492 views.
NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on January 26. Vanessa and Kobe have 3 other daughters together, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. – Vernise L Tantuco/Rappler.com