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."