False Britney Spears Rumor Sparks Confusion In LA

By | June 14, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Britney Spears is alive and well, her publicist has said, despite rumors of her death in a car crash with her pop star boyfriend Justin Timberlake that triggered hundreds of frantic phone calls to Los Angeles authorities.

“There is no truth to the rumor circulating around the world that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were involved in a car accident on Tuesday,” Spears publicist Lisa Kasteler said in a statement about the false report.

Kasteler said that Spears, 19, and Timberlake, 20, were both in “great health” and hard at work: Spears recording a new album and Timberlake on tour with his teen heartthrob band ‘N Sync.

The Louisiana-born Spears, whose album “Oops! I Did It Again” was one of the best-selling releases of 2000, was scheduled to perform at a concert at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday.

“Representatives for both Spears and Timberlake are looking into the situation to determine the original source of the rumor and if legal action is appropriate,” Kasteler said.

Police and fire officials in Los Angeles were deluged with phone calls on Tuesday night and into Wednesday after the phony report was apparently spread by two San Jose-based radio personalities, known as Kramer and Twitch, whose program was being broadcast in the Dallas, Texas area on KEGL-FM.

According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, Kramer and Twitch told their listeners that Spears and Timberlake had been in a car crash in Los Angeles, leaving Spears dead and Timberlake lingering in a coma.

Kramer and Twitch cited a “source” in Los Angeles as giving them the scoop and said that Cedars Sinai Medical Center there had confirmed the report, the Morning News said, adding that the pair also made reference to apparently nonexistent wire service reports.

A Los Angeles police spokeswoman said her department spent the night answering phone calls from reporters and distraught fans of the pop couple.

“We got hundreds and hundreds of calls last night and more this morning based on a false report by a Texas radio station,” the spokeswoman said, adding that fire officials and local hospitals were also inundated by callers.

Local news radio stations in Los Angeles reported the hoax on Wednesday and assured listeners that Spears – one of the top-selling pop artists in the world – and Timberlake were not dead or gravely injured.

KEGL could not be reached for comment on the report, but Gabrina Soliz, a spokeswoman for the station’s corporate parent Clear Channel Communications said officials there were looking into the incident.

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