‘I’m fine’: Roseanne Barr’s heart attack scare shakes up fans, triggers confusion

Since-debunked rumors of banished Hollywood actress Roseanne Barr suffering a heart attack triggered mass confusion and prayers on social media Saturday evening.

The rumors began after a man claiming to be the actress’s assistant called into a livestream being held on the video platform Periscope by investigative reporter Lee Stranahan of Sputnik.

“This is Roseanne’s assistant, Frank. I’m a new assistant for her. She just had a heart attack, and I’m trying to figure out exactly what to do about this. You left her a voice mail on her voice mail, and you were talking about …,” the hoaxed said before Stranahan cut the stream.


The reporter then  posted a tweet explaining what’d happened, noting that when his phone rang, it specifically said “Roseanne,” meaning the call had definitely come from the actress’s phone.

“I was doing a call-in segment about Zionism on Periscope when the phone rang, saying it was my friend @therealroseanne. I was surprised but it’s a topic she’s interested in so,” he wrote.

“It was her assistant, saying she’d had a heart attack. This went out live. I don’t know her status.”


Roughly two hours later YouTube personality Trazy Beanz reacted to Stranahan’s tweet by, one, noting that she’d just spoken with Barr and confirmed she was “perfectly fine,” and two, suggesting to the Sputnik reporter that he’d just been pranked.

“Lee, I just spoke with her. It seems someone played a nasty joke on you. I can confirm her number doesn’t start with the area code you listed. Roseanne is alright, thank God,” she wrote.


Minute later Barr chimed in herself to let the world know she was ok.


But by then the damage had already been done, and “news” of Barr’s rumored heart attack had already spread all across social media, triggering mass thoughts and prayers.


What remains unclear is Frank’s real identity and how he pulled off the hoax.

Despite Beanz’ assertion about the alleged area code discrepancy, Stranahan is adamant that the hoax call did in fact originate from Barr’s phone.

“I didn’t say the area code,” he tweeted. “It was absolutely from her phone. And it was someone who had listened to her voicemail.”

Either he’s mistaken, or someone in Barr’s presence had briefly used her phone without her realizing it. It’s a mystery — one that’s spawned a lot of conspiracy theories on Twitter.


Barr has yet to comment on the theories.

Vivek Saxena


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