Surely, by now, you've read the red-hot "news": Lady Gaga has had a leg amputated below the knee just 'cause she thought it'd look cool.
Why, according to A Pakistan News, where content is "accurate and based on the facts," the Grammy winner dropped the bombshell Wednesday on MTV "whilst hopping around the studio." A bajillion "OMG!" tweets confirmed. Daily Top Trends even posted a photo of the singer and peg leg in concert.
And we all know doctored pictures never show up on the World Wide Internets, don't we? Just as we all know cyberspace never helps spread rumor, right? Oh, people, come on.
We emailed Gaga's record-label rep this morning asking him to confirm, deny and/or clear up the amputation story, which began being seriously tweeted Wednesday afternoon. We haven't heard back yet. We imagine he's too busy laughing. We heard back: "It's not true," the rep wrote.
We also contacted MTV for comment, but we assume network reps are likewise too busy rolling on the floor to reply.
To be blunt, and possibly insensitive to those with limb difference, this story doesn't have a leg to stand on.
Let's start with MTV. Have you gone to its website lately? Have you noticed the lack of "Exclusive: Lady Gaga Amputates Leg!" headlines? Have you noticed that the most recently archived Gaga live appearance is from February, not Wednesday? And, by the way, do you know where Gaga was confirmed to be on Wednesday? On the American Idol stage. Taping a performance for an upcoming show. No word about her hopping.
Let's move on to amputation. Per A Pakistan News, Gaga told MTV: "This is the latest fashion I'm starting, and you can see that I'm a world leader when it comes to wacky and weird s--t, huh." Have you ever heard of someone excising a leg for fashion? Dr. Gaurav Sawhney, an Indian-based orthopedist and medical expert for JustAnswer, hasn't. As he told us today in an email: "I have never heard of any licensed surgeon amputating a perfectly fine leg for cosmetic reason, and I do not know any country or any place where this has happened, or would be considered legally or ethically correct."
Now, there have been numerous reports of women excising their little toes in order to squeeze their feet into highest of high heels, but, one, little toes are not legs, and, two, those stories have their doubters, too.
Let's move on to the "news" reports. If Gaga really were hopping around MTV studios, don't you think somebody would notice which leg she was hopping around on? Or, to put it another way, don't you think somebody would notice which leg she didn't have? These are important details. And hard to miss, too. And, as far as we've seen, they're not noted in any account of the supposed Gaga TV appearance. (Memo to fake-news writers: Next time you're amputating a celebrity leg, be sure to tell us if it was the left or the right one. It's more entertaining, and somewhat more plausible that way.)
And, finally, let's move on to Lady Gaga. On Monday, she tweeted she was hard at work in rehearsal: "Sweat, passion, +knee pads." Note the use of the plural: knee pads. And before you pull up that peg-leg photo, and tell us, "Well, no one said she didn't have two knees," just stop it already. Listen to her record label: She's got two legs. And while we're on a roll, she doesn't live on jars of Gerber, and she's not a man, baby.
Now, by all rights, we must give those pushing the leg-amputation story credit. As far as we can tell, it may be a first for celebrity hoaxes. Any old celebrity can be "killed" by Twitter these days. Only Lady Gaga can be made more legendary by it.
EDITOR'S NOTE: One of our commenters is right: Lady Gaga's "missing" leg is the handiwork of a humor site. It appears credit goes to Britain's Daily Squib, which posted the peg-leg photo and an article about Gaga's "new look" on April 24, four days before the story got twisted, the satire got lost and the amputation became "real."
(Originally published April 30, 2010, at 1:08 p.m. PT)
And check out all of Gaga's bits and pieces in our Fashion Spotlight gallery.