Fact check: Tom Hanks is not under house arrest for 'pedophilia', pics of actor wearing ankle monitor are fake
Every Tom Hanks fan is aware of the fact that the actor and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive for COVID-19 while both of them were down in Queensland, Australia, when the actor was filming a biopic about singer Elvis Presley, in March 2020. But one conspiracy theory on social media suggested that Hanks lied about being infected with coronavirus because he wanted to hide the fact that he had been placed on house arrest for “pedophilia,” and fitted with an ankle bracelet to monitor his whereabouts.
The ridiculous claim surfaced after a meme went viral online, showing a number of photos of the 'Forest Gump' star walking around wearing a green t-shirt and black pants with his ankle fitted with some sort of a monitoring device.
A caption to the photos read: "Look who has a new ankle bracelet! Tom Hanks. Some of you don't know it but Mr. Hanks was arrested in Australia for pedophilia. He went on national TV to say he had COVID-19 and he was quarantine himself. Not true. He was in custody for a time then house arrest is (i)n his hotel. Now, he's a flight risk."
Click here to see the fake pics.
According to the myth-busting site, Snopes, the conspiracy theory had no truth behind it. To start with, the photos in the post were taken in Los Angeles in May 2020, when Hanks had successfully recovered from the infection and returned to his homeland. As a result, the actor couldn’t have been in custody in Australia at that time. Also, the closeup of his ankle appears to show nothing more than the hem or cuff from his pant leg, which is ruffled in a way that could be mistaken to look like a monitoring device.
Other similar photos circulating on the internet under the same claim also do not provide enough concrete evidence to support the fact that Hanks ever had an ankle bracelet on one of his legs. If he was indeed such a dangerous criminal whom the authorities thought was a flight risk, he would not have been allowed under any circumstances to return to the U.S. a few weeks later with no precaution other than just an ankle monitor.
Also, if a legendary actor like Hanks was ever accused of pedophilia it would have made national mainstream news. Some of the latest photographs of the actor taken in June and July 2020, showed him wearing shorts and sandals with no visible device attached to his body.
The posts are a part of the QAnon conspiracy theory that many A-list celebs are a part of a child sex trafficking ring and that was why the celebrities were seen wearing ankle monitors. Just like Hanks, a number of photos allegedly showing celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey wearing ankle monitors to suggest that they are under house arrest circulated on Facebook last month. However, none of the pictures are authentic.
The host of 'The Ellen DeGeneres' show has been particularly targeted by the group as users claimed that the talk show host can be seen in her latest videos with an ankle bracelet. According to Reuters, the photo in question was taken from a clip of her show where Ellen makes a video call to actress Courtney Cox. The picture was captured from a moment in the video at around the 3:05 minute mark. Her sweatpants appear ruffled although there is no clear view of an ankle monitor.
In a similar conspiracy post against Oprah, that has recently gone viral reads, "It's crazy many ppl don't know Oprah (Winfrey) on house arrest for Sex trafficking kids, as well as Ellen, Tom Hanks, Clinton's this list is long." The photograph of Winfrey which is being circulated online was taken from a clip of her cooking spaghetti carbonara. Again, throughout the video, there was no clear view of an ankle monitor.