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Fake R. Kelly story published in paper

Miami Herald picked it up from Internet
/ Source: The Associated Press

A fake story about singer R. Kelly circulated on the Internet and attributed to The Associated Press was picked up by The Miami Herald and then sent by the Knight-Ridder/Tribune wire to newspapers across the country.

The story falsely contended that Kelly, who is facing 14 counts of child pornography in Chicago, had been accused of making sexual advances to the underage sister of the singer Ashanti.

Herald executive editor Tom Fiedler said Wednesday the story was passed along to an editor of the Herald’s celebrity news by someone else in the newsroom. Fiedler said he believed the person picked it up off the Internet because it “had the appearance of an Associated Press story or seemed to be attributed to AP. The editor took it and unfortunately failed to verify it moved on the AP wire.”

The Herald’s procedures and ethics require “that any item that comes to us be verified as to its source,” particularly if the source is the Internet, Fiedler said.

The Herald in a short story Wednesday said the story was a hoax and had never appeared on the AP wire. The Knight-Ridder/Tribune wire ran a correction Tuesday night.