There have been many tragic events in the world’s history but the stories of people who lied about them may be even more tragic just for how upsetting they are.
Steve Rannazzisi’s Lies about 9/11
This list was inspired by the recent announcement by comedian and star of the League Steve Rannazzisi over how he lied about being involved in 9/11. He said that he worked for Merrill Lynch at the World Trade Center in New York on that day in 2001 and escaped the attacks. Fourteen years later, he admitted that he never worked for Merrill Lynch and that he was never there.
The 9/11 Survivor Organizer’s Lie
Tania Head claimed to have been one of the people who survived the WTC attack from a spot over the points of impact. She was the president of the World Trade Center Survivors’ Network but was ousted in 2007 when it was found that she was never there.
Lies About a Personal Struggle
Author James Frey claimed that his novel A Million Little Pieces was about his troubled life of crime and drug addiction. He later admitted that he made up most of it.
A Big Lie About a Rape
The Tawana Brawley rape case was a big story in the late 1980s as she claimed to have been raped by a number of white men. Prosecutor Steven Pagones was among the men who had been accused of raping her. As his marriage and work career started to collapse, it would be until after his life collapsed when the courts found that Brawley’s story was a lie. Brawley currently owes Pagones hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.
Brian Williams’ Lies about Iraq
Former NBC news anchor Brian Williams claimed that he was in a military helicopter that was shot down during the early stages of the Iraq war. He admitted that he had lied about the statement. (He also lied about certain things he saw during the Egyptian uprising and Hurricane Katrina.)
A Holocaust Survivor’s Lies About Love
Herman Rosenblat survived the Holocaust and claimed that he met his wife after she threw him apples over a concentration camp’s face and eventually met her years after being rescued. However, it was soon found that there was no way how a girl could have thrown apples high enough to get over the camp’s fence, thus causing Rosenblat to admit that his story was fake. A movie deal involving his story was also cancelled.
A Hollywood Star Fakes His Death
Patrick McDermott faked his own death in 2005. This was to try and get a life insurance policy to pay off for his son.