A photo of what appeared to be a People magazine cover featuring "Twilight" star Taylor Lautner coming out of the closet circulated the Internet earlier this week but the magazine says the cover is a fake.
The mock-up cover says the star is "Out & Proud" and claims Lautner is "tired of rumors." It also features a fake quote by the star saying, "I'm more liberated, and happier than I've ever been." The cover has date of Jan. 7, 2012 and features secondary photos of Brad Pitt and Carnie Wilson.
"It's ridiculous," People magazine's spokesperson told OnTheRedCarpet.com on December 27. "This began as a Twitter joke that went viral. The cover in question is 100 percent fake."
Reuters reports that Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons was one of many people duped by the fake cover. He Tweeted to his followers that he was "proud" of Lautner's "bravery and his courage" before realizing the cover was fake.
That Tweet was deleted from his account and Simmons later wrote, "Disappointed that people would joke about someone coming out about their sexuality. Let Taylor Lautner be whoever he wants to be."
The 19-year-old actor is best known for his role as Jacob Black in "The Twilight Saga" franchise. He previously dated his "Abduction" co-star Lily Collins but the two broke up earlier this year. Lautner was also romantically linked to singer Taylor Swift for three months in 2009 after the couple appeared in the movie "Valentine's Day" together.