2 months TLC
Everybody loves a good conspiracy theory. It’s quite natural to assume there is more going on below the surface than we are aware of, but when celebrities are dragged into these vast, expansive webs of lies, things get extra juicy. Faked deaths, mistaken identities, secret surrogates, and more. Below we explore some of our very favourite celebrity conspiracy theories.
During the mid-‘60s, people truly believed that Paul McCartney had been killed in an auto accident, and replaced by a lookalike named William Campbell. While the story is mostly laughed at now by Beatles fans, with even John and Paul themselves inserting “clues” into songs after finding out the rumour exists, it has still persisted for over forty years. Showing similar stamina is the growing rumour that Avril Lavigne died in 2003, at the tender age of 18, only to be replaced by a similar-looking kid named Melissa Vandella. The story goes that Lavigne was overwhelmed by the attention she received after her debut album ‘Let Go’ sold millions of copies, and Vandella was hired as a lookalike to deflect paparazzi and allow Lavigne to avoid public appearances. When the pressure got too much, Lavigne killed herself, and as her star was in ascent, the label covered up her death. Melissa became Avril. Fans love pointing out her the differences in her arm freckles, the shape of her eyes, and even her fuller face — as if the natural changes she went through between 17 and 30 are proof positive she is a different girl.
Josh Saviano Image | The Guardian / Marilyn Manson Image | Shutterstock
One of the best and most reliably-wrong conspiracy tropes is that of a beloved child star growing up to be someone altogether less wholesome. When shock-rocker Marilyn Manson tore onto the scene in the mid-‘90s, shocking parented and priests alike, rumours started that Manson was actually sweet, nerdy Paul Pfeiffer from The Wonder Years – all grown up and tight with the devil. While there is enough of a structural resemblance, face-wise, to make this story plausible, its spread relied upon a pre-Google era when fact checking things was too much effort, especially if they seemed true. In reality, Marilyn Manson is one Brian Warner, whereas Paul Pfeiffer was played by actor Josh Saviano – who cleared up the rumour years ago. Still, the story is a good one – and so it persists.
When Beyoncé’s body quickly bounced back after giving birth to her first child, daughter Blue Ivy, many ignored the fact that she had a staff of specialist chefs, dieticians, and personal trainers, and leapt straight to “she must have paid a surrogate and worn a fake baby bump for months in public.” Seems logical, right? This theory was fueled by an interview in Australia with the legendary Molly Meldrum where she sat down, and her baby bump seemingly folded and moved in a most unnatural way. There are numerous conspiracy theorists who have slowed down this footage, and we have to admit it looks rather odd – almost hypnotic, even. Beyoncé killed these rumours dead by posting a photo of her bare baby bump soon after, but we’ve all seen what can be done with Photoshop, right?
This rumour has been swirling for quite some time, but enjoyed its most prominent airing last year when both a dramatised mini-series about the OJ Simpson trial, as well as an Oscar-winning, eight-hour documentary on his life, shone the spotlight on Simpson and his odd relationship with the Kardashians. With Robert Kardashian featuring heavily in both series, people started focusing on the years-old rumour that OJ is actually Khloe’s biological father. When Simpson was granted parole a few months ago, Khloe hit back at those spreading the claims yet again, saying “People are assholes but I don’t care lol. I focus on the good”, adding, “They are all fucked lol such assholes. Hehe oh well… I’m happy and they hatin’.” While the comments are undoubtedly cruel given the fact her father passed away when she was a small child, we have to admit, there is quite a resemblance there – and Simpson isn’t exactly known for his moral compass.
Katy Perry Image | Shutterstock
Much like the OJ Simpson rumour above, the theory that Katy Perry is actually murdered child pageant star JonBenét Ramsey caught fire after a series of television specials earlier this year highlighted the mysterious murder case. Katy Perry had an odd upbringing, being raised in the Pentecostal church, and even releasing Christian music under the name Katy Hudson. This is a past she has attempted to cloak, adding slight credence to the rumours. The theory was first floated in 2014, when a ludicrous video was uploaded to YouTube claiming that JonBenét wasn’t murdered, but instead hidden away and trained up to be a pop star. “She was sacrificed”, the video, now removed, claimed. “That sacrifice was in name only, and that sacrifice was to get something, and that something was to become a star.” It seems a strange way to breed a future pop star, but oh well. Aside from a slight superficial resemblance between the two, and the fact that both girls’ parents look similar — in that wholesome American way — there isn’t anything else holding this claim together. Considering it involves a murdered child, it isn’t the most fun conspiracy theory on the list.
– Posted by Nathan Jolly
Princess Diana’s death was a chilling event that sent shock waves across the globe. But was she the unfortunate victim of a tragic accident or was she the assassination target of a treasonous conspiracy?
Over three nights from Monday 28 August at 7.30pm AEST
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