A few hours ago, Lady Gaga tweeted “will cry all day, we lost a lovely and beautiful little monster ana to leukemia #ripanalittlemonster” to her more than 4 million followers. She linked to the incredibly moving story of a 15-year-old Lady Gaga fan who apparently died this morning. According to an exclusive Crushable investigation, it appears that Gaga and her fans may have been the victim of a cruel hoax.
This morning, a Twitter user named “JoelxSoul” tweeted: “This is a moment of sadness, as I have to share the news I hoped I’d never have to share. This a.m. my baby sister Ana (@analilmonster as you probably know her) lost her, almost 5 year old, battle against acute lymphocytic leukemia.” He then writes about Ana’s bravery, and her enduring love for Lady Gaga. He asks for privacy for the family, but also asks everyone’s help in passing this story on to Gaga. He then tweeted identical messages to three people who had corresponded with “Analilmonster” on twitter. “I’m asking my sister’s contact’s on her profile to help me get this http://tl.gd/1l8ndr to Lady Gaga by RT. #RIPlilmonster.”
Within a few hours, the story — screengrabbed in full below — had reached Lady Gaga and Perez Hilton, who both retweeted it. Here’s Gaga’s response:
Unfortunately, there are a number of troubling clues to suggest that this a hoax: Ana’s Twitter account is only five days old. She discusses only cancer and Gaga, and is apparently not connected on Twitter to anyone that she’s met in real life. She mentions her brother but never her parents, and provides no details of where she is, except for a reference to Gaga being a trending topic in Baltimore. She @messages some other Gaga fans on Twitter, and on Tuesday night is discovered by a Twitter user called “edwitched,” who tells his followers about her. She tells one of her new Twitter friends that she’s not on Facebook.
Meanwhile, Joel’s Twitter has only existed since last night, when he tweeted “@Analilmonster Hi love you baby sis. Have a good night, princess.” He followed up this morning with 13 tweets about her death and her feelings for Gaga, all in the space of an hour, before going quiet again. He writes that he doesn’t want media attention, but leaves absolutely no way for Gaga, or anyone else, to get in touch with him.
It seems unlikely that Joel would start his Twitter the day before his sister died, with a single message to her, and that he would be so focused on getting her story spread throughout Twitter immediately after her death. (A representative for Lady Gaga was not immediately available for comment.)
If this turns out to not be a hoax, we are deeply sorry to Ana’s family for their loss. However, every shred of evidence suggests that this is a hoax, that “Joel” and “Ana” exist only on the Internet, and have only existed there for less than a week. Real people on Twitter leave evidence of their offline lives. They follow their friends from real life, they have more than one interest, they use other Internet platforms. What kind of 15-year-old girl is not on Facebook? The whole saga seems like an attempt to attract the attention of a popstar and possibly gain Twitter followers.
“Joelxsoul” gained 900 followers his first day on Twitter. As for Lady Gaga, the singer’s representative did not immediately respond to Crushable when asked for comment on the apparent hoax.
UPDATE: Gaga unwittingly paid tribute to Ana at her concert in Manchester on Thursday night. Now this is getting out of hand. Someone needs to step forward and pay for making her cry!