England rugby star James Haskell has been the focus fake reports on Facebook
One story, from an account posing as ESPN, claimed to expose his ‘dirty secret’
Another shared on social media was headlined ‘James Haskell, gone at 31’
The Mirror has reported that James Haskell could take legal action against Facebook after his name was tarnished in a ‘fake news’ scandal.
There were false claims that the Wasps flanker had ‘committed suicide’ and was a ‘drugs cheat’.
Other claims to have emerged stated that Haskell had been selling drugs and had quit the sport, but the Wasps back row posted a video on YouTube in which he described the fake stories as “click-bait”.
The untrue stories were published by a scam nutrition firm, posting from Panama, who were earning ad money on the social network site by click through’s
Haskell asked Facebook to track down the culprits after the vile post irresponsibly suggested he had suffered a steroid overdose.
But the flanker is considering his options and may take the matter further.
His lawyer Matt Himsworth said: “They just said they were not responsible. We haven’t ruled out taking this further.”
Haskell, who runs his own popular fitness blog, is releasing a new book in the New Year called ‘Perfect Fit’ as he shares his tips. It will be released in January 2018.
‘It’s horrific. You laugh it off to start with and then you realise your group of friends, and all those who follow me or rugby, are seeing this stuff,’ The Wasps and British Lions star told The Sunday Times.
He added: “Unfortunately it appears that nobody checks anything any more. With social media, the attention span of people is just vaporising around us and everybody believes everything they see.”
Haskell asked Facebook to reveal who paid for them, but the company wouldn’t do so, the rugby star said.
‘They just said they’re only a medium, they can’t do that. You can’t even pick up the phone [to call them], you have to fill out a form. They couldn’t have cared less,’ he said.”