A story is going viral that claims renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has been accused of sexual assault by a former student.
The story comes from the website SitSetDigital.com and claims the accuser was a former student named Gabrielle J. Kelley. The story reads in part –
BREAKING: Stephen Hawking accused of sexual misconduct
A former student of the acclaimed physicist and author, Stephen Hawking, is accusing the famed scientist of sexual assault in 1994. The accuser, Gabrielle J. Kelley, who was 22 at the time of the alleged incident, claims that Hawking took advantage of her when she was a student in one of his physics lectures.
“Although it’s very old, the memory still haunts me,” said Kelley. “I felt so powerless for so long because Hawking is so intimidating and held in such high stature in the academic community. I felt that no one would believe me.”
However, those who read the article in its entirety would have detected a hint of “satire” towards the end as the article closes. For example, this excerpt –
When I asked him what happened, his voice sounded so monotone, as if he didn’t care,
Of course, Stephen Hawking speaks using a computerised speech synthesizer, famous for its robotic monotone sound.
We were not familiar with the site SitSetDigital.com, which became clear when checking its public WHOIS information. The site was only registered on August 2017. As such, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to take this story at face value. There are no sources provided, and no media outlets are reporting on the same thing. In fact, this article about Stephen Hawking appears to be the only article published on this site at the time of writing.
In fact, any Internet search of any of the details provided in this article lead back to the same article or to other sites that have published the same article verbatim.
This is a classic red flag of a fake news article, which is what this article appears to be. We don’t recommend circulating this article.