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Hollywood Unlocked and Jason Lee apologise over false Queen death report

Celebrity news blog Hollywood Unlocked has backtracked on their false report that the queen has died.

Two days after it was publicly announced that Queen Elizabeth II had tested positive for Covid-19, Hollywood Unlocked published a story with the headline: “HU Exclusive: Queen Elizabeth Dead.”

The piece read: “Sources close to the Royal Kingdom notified us exclusively that Queen Elizabeth has passed away. She was scheduled to attend the wedding of British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, but was found dead.”

While Hollywood Unlocked was widely criticised for the story, founder Jason Lee doubled down on it, claiming: “We don’t post lies and I stand by my sources.”

However, on Friday (25 February), a new article was published to the website titled: “Fact Check: 10 Reasons We Believed Queen Elizabeth Was Dead.”

In the post, the author laid out why Hollywood Unlocked and Lee had incorrectly believed the rumours to be true.

The article claims that Lee was directly contacted by a source who had attended Enninful’s wedding and claimed that guests had been told of the monarch’s passing there, prompting “dismay” among the attendees.

Lee then allegedly corroborated this report with a source “familiar with the British military”, who claimed that the palace “had been locked down and all the top generals had been summoned to Windsor Castle ‘for an undisclosed reason’”.

It is stressed in the article that Hollywood Unlocked had not “intentionally” meant to cause harm to the monarchy.

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A statement from Lee then reads: “Although I’ve never been wrong when breaking a story because this involves The Queen this is one time I would want to be. And based on Wednesday’s report from the Palace, I can say my sources got this wrong and I sincerely apologise to The Queen and the Royal Family.”

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