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Fake News: Museum Employee NOT Arrested For Sexually Assaulting Wax Sculpture of Donald Trump

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 14 Jun 2018 23:33:31 Z)

Was 57-year-old wax museum empoyee Robert Murphy from New York arrested for sexually assaulting President Donald Trump's wax sculpture? No, that's not true and he didn't sexually assault several other wax celebrities either. The story was made up by a site that publishes invented stories about bizarre crimes and weird sex acts for entertainment purposes. It is not real.

The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on June 14, 2018 titled "Museum employee arrested for sexually assaulting wax sculpture of Donald Trump" (archived here) which opened:

New York, NY | An employee of the famous Madame Tussauds wax museum was arrested this week after performing sexual acts upon several sculptures from the establishment's collection, including one representing President Donald Trump.

Robert Murphy, 57, is suspected of engaging in sexual intercourse with at least 17 wax models since he was hired last month as a janitor.

Screenshot of https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/museum-employee-arrested-for-sexually-assaulting-wax-sculpture-of-donald-trump/

We were unable to determine where the mug shot came from but it has been around since at least 2013 according to TinEye, long before Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States.

The site also ran the exact same story but about a statue of President Barack Obama which has now been removed so here is the archived version:

Museum employee arrested for having sex with wax sculpture of Obama

New York | An employee of the famous Madame Tussauds wax museum was arrested this morning, for allegedly having sex with several sculptures from the establishment's collection, including one representing President Obama. 57-year old Robert Murphy, who works as a janitor for the institution, is accu

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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