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10 of the Best

Top ten weird celebrity rumours

Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo has denied having six toes on each foot recently. Welcome to the weird world of celebrity rumours…

ELLEN POMPEO, STAR  of Grey’s Anatomy has recently laughed off claims that she has six toes on each foot.

The rumour started after Pompeo was snapped by paparazzi in a pair of sandals, and the grainy photos give the impression she has six toes. The actress has said to friends the rumours are all wrong – and that she actually has seven toes on each foot, according to tweets by the show’s producer Shonda Rhimes.

If you are in the public eye, it is pretty much inevitable that some weird stories about you will be spread around – and there are plenty out there. So, here are some of our favourites:

1. Marilyn Monroe had six toes

Weirdly, the rumour about Pompeo isn’t new. Apparently, musing about the number of digits a person may or may not have has been popular pastime for a while now.

Pompeo might be interested to hear that none other than the silverscreen goddess herself, Marilyn Monroe, was also accused of having six toes. The Monroe rumour was sparked by a photograph taken on a beach in California in 1946, in which sand clumping around one of her feet looks like an extra toe.

Not that it’s a bad thing if you have been born with extra digits, of course. Just ask the latest Bond girl, Gemma Arterton, who revealed to Esquire magazine that she was born with six fingers on each hand. (We can’t see many people complaining about how she looks, somehow.)

2. Marilyn Manson was that kid off The Wonder Years

To be fair, this was a really easy mistake to make.

The story goes that as a child Brian Warner – aka Marilyn Manson – played Kevin Arnold’s dorky sidekick, Paul Pfeiffer, in The Wonder Years.

Unfortunately, it’s not true. Paul was actually played by Josh Saviano, who did not grow up to be a shock-rocker but lawyer instead.

3. Shirley Temple was a midget

When she was hot on the circuit, allegations surfaced that Shirley Temple was not a child but actually a 37-year-old midget. People did not seem to believe that her demeanour – which author Graham Green called “a dubious coquetry” that appealed to “middle-aged men and clergymen” – could be that of a genuine child.

She proved them all wrong, of course, when she grew up.

4.  Walt Disney is cryogenically frozen

Disney expressed an interest in cryogenics while alive, which inevitably led to the rumour that he had been frozen after death – a variant of this being that he was frozen and then buried under the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland.

Not true, Disney was actually cremated.

5. Jamie Lee Curtis was born a man

Depending on who you talk to, Curtis was either born male or intersex – or, of course, a girl.

This is a perennial bit of gossip that has been doing the rounds for about two decades now – which, we can only suppose, comes from the fact she has a unisex first name.

Still, she’s in good company: Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Mae West all had to put up with similar rumours when they were in the limelight.

6. Richard Gere and the gerbil…

We’re a little squeamish, so we won’t be going into the details of this one.

Suffice it to say, it involved Richard Gere, a gerbil, and a trip to the Accident and Emergency room.

This is one of the longest-lasting rumours about a celebrity – and is probably one of the most inventive as well.

Gere has insisted, thankfully, that it isn’t true.

7. Tom Cruise is gay – and the Church of Scientology has dirt on him

This is a contemporary favourite.

After Tom Cruise became a staunch follower of the controversial Church of Scientology, people began to ponder why that might be.

The church engages in a mysterious, intense form of spiritual counselling – called “auditing” – in which followers reportedly bare their souls. This has probably helped the rumour that Tom Cruise has revealed something that he would prefer others didn’t know and, so the story goes, this is that he’s gay.

We don’t exactly know why people think he’s gay, but – if you twisted our arm – we might say Top Gun had something to do with it.

8. Michael Jackson was killed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

This one actually is true.

No, only joking… we’re pretty sure the president of Iran had nothing to do with Michael Jackson’s death.

The story, however, is that Ahmadinejad ordered Jacko’s death to distract the Iranians from protesting against the regime. Not true, but it would be quite a creative way to do things, nonetheless.

9. “Goldfinger” girl died of asphyxiation

This one stems from a weird, pseudo-medical belief worthy of the Dark Ages: namely that if you cover yourself in paint, your pores get blocked and you slowly suffocate – a la the tragic character covered in gold paint from that James Bond movie.

Eh, ever heard of breathing your mouth or nose? Just a thought.

10. Keith Richards had his entire blood supply replaced

It is slightly more understandable that this one did the rounds, as anything you hear about Keith Richards has the potential to be true.

The story goes that, in order to kick his heroin addiction, Richards had his entire blood supply replaced in a Swiss hospital. It’s pretty extreme and probably a lie – but, again, Keith Richards…