FACT CHECK: Did BBC News Publish A Story About Tom Hanks Being Arrested For Child Pornography Possession?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows BBC News published an article titled “Tom Hanks arrested on 135 counts of child porn possession.”

Verdict: False

There is no record of BBC News publishing or deleting the story.

Fact Check:

The image shows what looks like a screen grab of the BBC News website in which a headline featured prominently on the page reads, “Tom Hanks arrested on 135 counts of child porn possession.” The supposed story is paired with a picture of actor Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson.

The alleged article about Hanks being arrested cannot be found on the BBC News website. The three articles visible in the screen grab below the purported Hanks story were published June 18, presumably meaning it would also have been posted that day. However, no such article about Hanks appears in archived versions of the BBC News website from June 18.

Additionally, in the screen grab being shared on Facebook, three bullet points related to the COVID-19 pandemic can be seen below the supposed Hanks article. One archived version of the BBC News website from June 18 shows the same bullets beneath a story that put up the headline “LIVE One Covid vaccine dose cuts hospital risk by 75%.”

“We can confirm that BBC News did not post this story,” a BBC News spokesperson said in an email to Check Your Fact. (RELATED: Did Tom Hanks Die From COVID-19?)

If Hanks been arrested for possession of child pornography, it likely would have been widely covered in the media, yet there are no credible news reports about such a development, from BBC News or any other outlet. In July 2020, Check Your Fact debunked a viral rumor that Hanks had been arrested in Australia for pedophilia.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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