Vanessa Bryant is warning people that an article claiming her late husband Kobe Bryant had cancer and endorsed a CBD oil is a scam.
Bryant shared screenshots on Instagram Sunday of a story purporting to be from People magazine saying that the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation has released a CBD oil. Bryant wrote that the article is a hoax and People was not involved with it in any way.
"LIES! Don’t get SCAMMED. Kobe NEVER USED CBD. @people doesn’t have anything to do with this either. (Pay attention to the fake website link)," the caption said.
The fake article claimed the foundation will send a free bottle of CBD oil to anyone who requests one.
CBD, or cannabidiol, comes from hemp and marijuana, and research has shown it may help reduce anxiety for people who have schizophrenia or psychosis, or who are addicted to opiates. The Arthritis Foundation also has released guidelines for the use of CBD.
The hoax article also claims Bryant was a "cancer victim" and included a fabricated quote about the efficacy of CBD oil.
The fake story appears to be similar to a fabricated advertisement involving TODAY's own Savannah Guthrie in 2019. The bogus advertisement for a product called Liva Derma Serum claimed Savannah was leaving the show to start her own skin care line.
Many of the ads found in a 2019 NBC News investigation featured fake celebrity endorsements from the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Joanna Gaines, often saying the customer only pays for shipping in the "free" trial, but then slamming them with the total cost if the products are not returned in a certain amount of time.
Even when the ads are found to be fake, they often aren't removed. In the case of the fake ads involving Savannah, Facebook took them down for violating their policies about spam ads. Users can report spam ads on Facebook by clicking on the three dots in the top right corner of the page.
Vanessa Bryant revealed the scam involving Kobe just five days after she and her family marked one year since the tragic death of the Los Angeles Lakers legend and their 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash.
On Jan. 26, the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, Bryant shared a poignant letter on Instagram that was written by Gianna's friend, Aubrey Callaghan.
"I hope that in the midst of your intense sadness, you catch a glimpse of joy in who the daughter you created and raised was," Callaghan wrote. "You did it right, Mrs. Bryant, and we are all eternally grateful to you."
""I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too," Vanessa Bryant concluded her Instagram post. "I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn’t seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!"