The internet this week has been rocked by the alleged sudden death of Saint Von Colucci, a 22-year-old Canadian actor who reportedly moved to South Korea in 2019 in hopes of becoming a K-Pop artist.
The story made headlines beyond South Korea after the Daily Mail broke the news on Monday. Colucci, according to the outlet, died from complications of jaw implants he received in November 2022.
The Daily Mail cited a publicist of Colucci’s by the name of Eric Blake as source of the news. Blake reportedly claimed that Colucci had undergone 12 cosmetic procedures over the past year to look like BTS member Jimin.
Colucci reportedly underwent an eyebrow lift, an eye lift, a nose job, a face lift, a lip reduction and a jaw surgery, among other procedures. Blake said the actor knew of the risks but decided to go through them anyway so he could play as Jimin for a major streaming network in the U.S.
Colucci was reportedly hospitalized on Saturday, April 22, to remove his jaw implants that caused an infection. He died hours later on Sunday, as per the Daily Mail.
The story has since gone viral, with various media outlets publishing their own stories after the exclusive report.
Entertainment sites PerezHilton.com, TMZ and Allkpop are among those that picked up the story in the U.S. Across Asia, Malaysia’sThe Star, the Philippine’sManila Bulletin and Singapore’sAsiaOne reported the same details, all citing the Daily Mail as their source. Colucci’s death also made multiple headlines in South Korea itself.
However, some social media users began to notice cracks in the story and urged others to take it with a grain of salt.
Twitter user Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty), a freelance journalist based in Seoul, questioned the story’s authenticity in a lengthy Twitter thread, pointing out inconsistencies and murky details.
Rashid noted that The Hype Company PR, the “claimed agency representing ‘Saint Von Colucci,'” was created less than a month ago and had little to no information about itself.
Running its domain, www.thehypecompanypr.com, on domain trackerWho.Is shows that the website was registered through Wix on March 28 and will expire on the same date next year. The website was also registered under the name “Lulu Lam,” which has an address at St. Clair, Toronto, Canada.
The website previously featured an About page that only contained a default Wix text. Social media links also pointed to Wix’s own pages, save for one Instagram link that led to the supposed company’s now-private account.
At the time of this writing, the website shows animated graphics of the words “HYPE” and “THE HYPE COMPANY.”
Rashid also highlighted Colucci’s own lack of online presence. His last known Instagram account, which goes by the handle @papaxxzy, is publicly accessible but devoid of a single comment, despite having a following of about 100,000. Photos also appear to be heavily processed.
Rashid took note of how one of Colucci’s Instagram post descriptions was edited on April 25, two days after his alleged death. The journalist also stressed that Colucci’s name was only mentioned a few times in the past, specifically last year.
A Google search returns Colucci’s name in four different press releases in 2022. Two of them mentioned that the “Canadian-Portuguese singer and songwriter” had signed an “exclusive worldwide management deal” with “City Boys Money.”
A Digital Journal press release, which was published on May 11, stated that the “Canadian-Portuguese singer” was 23 years old, but a later press release from IssueWire, dated Aug. 12, noted that he was 22 and born on Dec. 28, 1999, in Quebec, Canada.
The above press releases stated that Colucci was scheduled to debut songs titled “Hug Me If I Cry,” “Oppa,” “Dangerously in Love,” “Heartless,” “I Don’t Bleed,” “Kill and Die” and “Pretty Lies” in 2022. “Pretty Lies” was also reported to be the title of his Korean drama set for the U.S. later this year.
Still, only two songs — “Kill and Die” and “Heartless” — turn out with lyrics after quick Google searches. In Colucci’s Instagram Reels, the artist shared two samples for “Kill and Die” and “I Don’t Bleed.”
Another IssueWire press release, dated June 24, 2022, included a Linktree page for “Kill and Die” that leads to various music platforms. However, none of them allowed playback and most returned an error page.
The releases included media contacts referring to “IBG Press ” or “IBG Plus,” which currently do not appear in Google searches. Additionally, they all referred to aninactive website for Colucci and hispast Instagram account, which went by the handle @saintcolucci.
Interestingly, Colucci’sSpotify account is listed as verified. Yet his bio contains another inconsistency, noting that he was born on Dec. 20, 1999, instead of Dec. 28, per the IssueWire press release. Linked Facebook and Twitter accounts are also unavailable.
Another IssueWire press release dated April 22, 2022, published a quote from Colucci that showed negativity against certain Korean men. Explaining the inspiration behind one of his alleged songs, “Oppa,” the artist reportedly said:
They are about these obnoxious young Korean guys I happened to meet during my two years living in South Korea. They all hang out around Gangnam… they all kind of look the same. They all have the same hairstyle… the same fashion style but most importantly, they all have this sense of superiority over any other race, even though they can’t put two full sentences together in any other language, especially in English. This type of entitlement makes me want to vomit right in their faces covered with make-up.
Aside from suggesting that Colucci’s photos might have been AI-generated, Rashid said other pictures of the actor are “extremely blurry.”
Another Twitter user, @cowboyjooni, shared one of Colucci’s Instagram photos showing the artist’s warped arm and what seemed to be a missing thumb. Such anomalies are common in AI-generated images.
Still, the image seemed to corroborate that Colucci had a tattoo of a rose on his chest, which was shown in a photo from the IssueWire release on April 22.
Other journalists have voiced skepticism over Colucci’s alleged death, including Riddhi Chakraborty, an assistant editor and producer at Rolling Stone India.
“I got two press releases from two different PR agencies regarding this,” Chakraborty tweeted. “One declared ‘Saint Von Colucci’ is intubated and in critical condition and the next stated he had passed away. My team and I have hunted high and low but have not been able to find any legit info or sources.”
Chakraborty agreed that Colucci’s pictures look overly edited and that most seemed to “obscure” his face. “Again, we have no idea if any of this is true or false, so we can’t really verify if any of this has happened, including the supposed plastic surgeries to ‘look like Jimin,'” she added.
The Rolling Stone India assistant editor also noted that she has never seen press releases about an artist being hospitalized. Instead, their team or family members typically release a statement after being asked, she said.
iHeartRadio in Canada also expressed skepticism over the news by pointing out inconsistencies in how the story is being relayed, such as how Colucci is supposedly the “second son” of Geovani Lamas, CEO of IBG Capital, and former Brazilian model Adriana Lima.
It was only Lamas’ name that came up in the press releases tied to Colucci. Lima, on the other hand, has two daughters she shares with her ex-husband, Serbian basketball player Marko Jarić. She gave birth to her third child with boyfriend and film producer Andre Lemmers in September 2022.
iHeartRadio also noted that Colucci’s upcoming series, “Pretty Lies” (or “Cogimar”), yielded no results through a Google search and has no listing on IMDb. Colucci himself has no IMDb page.
Blake, who claimed to have worked with Colucci since March 2022, said the drama was scheduled for release on the unidentified U.S. streaming platform in October 2023. Filming reportedly took place between June and December 2022.
The Daily Mail has taken down its report but has not commented on the decision. According to iHeartRadio, a source claimed that the Mail’s editors have determined that Ruth Bashinsky, the New York-based reporter behind the exclusive, “was duped and the whole story is a hoax.” TMZ also published a report debunking the story, writing “it was all a lie.”
The lack of publicly available information around Colucci makes it challenging to verify his identify, much less confirm his alleged passing. NextShark is open to communicate with reliable sources such as legitimate next of kin, network connections or even fans — who may actually know important details — to provide an update to this story as necessary.
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