A Day of Hoaxes Revealed: Wash. Woman Admits Acid Attack Was Self-Inflicted; Casey Affleck Says Joaquin Phoenix’s Portraying Himself as Bearded, Spaced-Out Rapper For the Past Few Years Was a Put-On

Sep 16, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Two elaborate hoaxes were revealed today, one serious and one involving performance art.

Bethany Storro, the 28-year old woman from Vancouver, Washington, who claimed that a woman assailant threw a cup of acid in her face has told police that "her injuries were self-inflicted," CNN reports.

According to the article, Storro " ‘is extremely upset,’ said police Commander Marla Schuman. ‘She is very remorseful. In many ways it got bigger than she expected.’ Police would not speculate on Storro’s motives, only saying the August 30 incident did not occur as she described and that there were discrepancies in her account, including wearing sunglasses in the evening."

The second hoax revealed was the explanation of the bizzare behavior the last two years of Joaquin Phoenix. The actor said he was abandoning acting, grew a ragged beard and said he was an aspiring rapper.

Phoenix’s behavior was the subject of a documentary, "I’m Still Here," by filmmaker Casey Affleck. It included a notorious appearance that Phoenix made on David Letterman’s late night talk show in 2009.

According to a report in the New York Times, Affleck says that every bit of the documentary, including the Letterman interview–which was included in the film–was a performance by Phoenix.

Affleck says in the article that "Letterman was not in on the joke when Mr. Phoenix, on Feb. 11, 2009, seemed to implode his own career by showing up in character as a mumbling, aimless star gone wrong…Mr. Letterman summed up the interview: ‘Joaquin, I’m sorry you couldn’t be here tonight.’ ” [See a video clip of the interview below. Phoenix is scheduled to make a return appearance on Letterman’s show on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010.]

Affleck’s film was marketed as a documentary, not a mockumentary. 

Over the last few years some have speculated that Phoenix was indeed playing a character, similar to what the late comic actor Andy Kaufman had done with his character "Tony Clifton."  


  1. She was booked on OPRAH… Thats awesome…. Oprah to the Rescue… NO wait , shes Crazy…. we need Dr Phil. Dr Phil to the Rescue…… only in America…. what a jioke we are becoming to the rest of the world… people pouring acid on their faces to get on the Oprah show This must be the ” Oprah factor” they always talk about.. LOL

  2. He may not have been in on the joke, but Letterman’s canny response is what made that appearance a television gem rather than an embarrassment for all. I doubt Leno, who typically coddles his guests, could have made me laugh half as much.

  3. The Bee Gees wrote a song which kind of applies to this:
    I started a joke, which started the whole world crying,
    but I didn’t see that the joke was on me, oh no.
    I started to cry, which started the whole world laughing,
    oh, if I’d only seen that the joke was on me.
    I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes,
    and I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I’d said.
    Til I finally died, which started the whole world living,
    oh, if I’d only seen that the joke was on me.
    I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes,
    and I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I’d said.
    ‘Til I finally died, which started the whole world living,
    oh, if I’d only seen that the joke was one me (x3)
    Obviously the woman needs some major psychiatric help and Joaquin needs some as well. I was around when Andy Kaufman did his stick and didn’t find it funny then, it was just a cry for attention. This seems to be what Joaquin wants as well.
    If Joaquin wants people to pay attention to him maybe he should try some serious acting instead of trying to spook people and calling it acting. He’s not a bad actor, he should go back to it instead of wasting his time and ours with things like this.

  4. What concerns me is on GMA somehow in their report, they mentioned and showed Muslin women who had acid thrown at their faces due to marital issues. That had nothing to do with Storro’s story. I believe that Storro was trying to gain more souls into Christanity and GMA countered by showing what happens under Islam. Both religious groups using extreme measures in the name of Jesus and Allah.

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