Two days after it was publicly announced that Queen Elizabeth II had tested positive for Covid-19, Hollywood Unlocked published a story on 22 February titled, “HU Exclusive: Queen Elizabeth Dead.”
The story read, “Sources close to the Royal Kingdom notified us exclusively that Queen Elizabeth has passed away.”
The blog’s founder, Jason Lee, responded to criticism of the story, insisting: “We don’t post lies and I stand by my sources.” Lee doubled down on his claim in a tweet posted the following day stating that the site had not retracted its story despite a fake Twitter account that issued an apology.
Now, Hollywood Unlocked seems to have backtracked on its original reporting when the blog published a new article on Tuesday, 1 March, which was headlined: “Queen Elizabeth Recovers From Covid To Host Virtual Audiences At Windsor Castle Home.”
The 95-year-old monarch carried out two virtual meetings from Windsor Castle on Tuesday after being diagnosed with coronavirus on 20 February.
Last week, a Hollywood Unlocked author and Lee explained their reasons for believing the rumours of the Queen’s death to be true in an article titled, “Fact Check: 10 Reasons We Believed Queen Elizabeth Was Dead.”
Lee explained that he was contacted directly from a source who attended the wedding of British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful. The source claimed the news led to “dismay” among the attendees.
“Although I’ve never been wrong when breaking a story because this involves The Queen this is one time I would want to be,” a statement from Lee said in the article. “And based on Wednesday’s report from the Palace, I can say my sources got this wrong and I sincerely apologize to The Queen and the Royal Family.”