FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Tom Hanks Quarantined In Australia With Wilson The Volleyball?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook more than 1,400 times purportedly shows actor Tom Hanks quarantined at an Australian hospital with a volleyball that resembles the one in his movie “Cast Away.”

Verdict: False

A photo of Hanks at a New York Rangers game has been superimposed onto a hospital room photo. It appears to have originated on an Australian satire website.

Fact Check:

Hanks announced on March 11 that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, both tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show A Chinese Coronavirus Hospital In Wuhan)

Social media users started sharing the alleged photo of Hanks holding a volleyball resembling Wilson, his make-believe friend in the 2000 movie “Cast Away,” after the actor tweeted about the couple’s positive test results. Post captions say hospital staff gave Hanks the volleyball to “keep him company while quarantined” in Australia.

The image, however, has been digitally manipulated. A still from a video clip of Hanks attending a 2015 New York Rangers hockey game has been superimposed onto a European Pressphoto Agency picture of a hospital room.

It appears to have originated in a story that Australian satire website The Betoota Advocate published on March 11. Facebook and Twitter users then circulated that photo as being real.

Hanks and his wife have been hospitalized in Queensland for isolation after experiencing fatigue, body aches and fevers. The actor was in Australia for pre-production work on a Baz Luhrmann-directed Elvis Presley biopic, according to CNN.

As of March 13, Australia has reported 156 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and three deaths, according to the Australian Department of Health website.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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