Daniel Radcliffe’s girlfriend was left “very confused” by text message inquiries about the actor’s health after he was falsely reported to have contracted Covid-19.
The Harry Potter star hit headlines in early March when a tweet from a fake BBC Twitter account went viral, suggesting the Brit had been diagnosed with the coronavirus, supposedly making him the first known celebrity to suffer from the illness.
Radcliffe’s representatives subsequently shot down the reports and assured fans the claim was “not true”, but the actor’s longtime girlfriend, Erin Darke, had no idea about the disease drama because she was on a plane as it all unfolded online.
“As soon as the plane landed, I turned my phone on and I had all these texts like, ‘Tell me the Internet’s wrong!’ ‘Is Daniel OK?'” she recalled to Vulture.
“I was like, ‘What the f**k is happening?’ And finally a couple people texted me, ‘Oh, it was a hoax, never mind.'”
Darke was left even more perplexed as she had only seen Radcliffe hours earlier: “I was just very confused,” she shared.
And the star didn’t fill his partner in on the fake rumours until the following day, after realising the hoax had gone viral.
“I think I was like, filing it under – Erin and I have been together long enough that she also knows weird stuff gets written about me occasionally,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Radcliffe initially became aware of the virus claims when a make-up artist on his now-scrapped London play Endgame informed him of the rumours, and he was tickled by the unfounded gossip.
“We’d done the matinee and I went into hair and make-up for the evening show, and the hair and make-up artist, a lovely guy called Rob, turned around with a sort of knowing smile, and he was like, ‘You’ve got coronavirus!’ I was like, ‘What?! I’m sure I don’t. I just did a play.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, my niece just texted me.'”
“So I was immediately like, quite amused by it,” he added. “It’s not the first time I’ve had something crazy written about me. (But) I don’t ever think there’s been a rumour about me that was so topical, that was pivoting off the news.”
Days after the Radcliffe rumours surfaced, acting veterans Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announced they had tested positive for Covid-19 while in Australia. Idris Elba, Olga Kurylenko, Placido Domingo, Jackson Browne, and John Prine have all since also contracted the disease.